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Non Avian Dinosaur

paleontologists-reconstruct-cloacal-opening-of-non-avian-dinosaur

Although paleontologists know now much about dinosaurs and their appearance, they have not known anything about how their cloacal region — the all-purpose opening used for defecation, urination and breeding — appears. Paleontologists from the United Kingdom and the United States have now described the cloacal opening of Psittacosaurus, an …

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Australian Lungfish

australian-lungfish-genome-sequenced

The Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri), a species of lungfish native to the Mary and Burnett River systems in south-eastern Queensland, has a genome size about 14 times larger than that of humans. The Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri) at the National Zoo Aquarium in Canberra, Australia. Image credit: Mitch Ames / …

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Bioluminescent Beetle

99-million-year-old-bioluminescent-beetle-found-preserved-in-amber

Found in a piece of mid-Cretaceous amber from northern Myanmar, the wonderfully-preserved male of Cretophengodes azari has a light organ on the abdomen which presumably served a defensive function. An artistic reconstruction of Cretophengodes azari; the larviform female in the background is reconstructed based on extant Phengodidae and Rhagophthalmidae beetles. …

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New Ancient Caiman

new-species-of-ancient-caiman-unearthed-in-texas

A new genus and species of caimanine alligatorid being named Chinatichampsus wilsonorum has been discovered by a team of paleontologists from Virginia Tech, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Iowa. Holotype of Chinatichampsus wilsonorum: (A) cranium in dorsal view; (B) interpretive line drawing; gray areas indicate …

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Cretaceous Mosasaur

cretaceous-mosasaur-had-shark-like-cutting-teeth

A bizarre new genus and species of mosasaur with teeth unlike those of any known reptile has been identified from fossils found in Morocco. Life reconstruction of Xenodens calminechari. Image credit: Andrey Atuchin. The mosasaurs were a group of lizards that became highly specialized for marine life in the mid-Cretaceous …

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NASA Heat Probe

nasa-gives-up-on-insights-burrowing-mars-heat-probe

  NASA’s InSight lander has been studying the red planet for more than two years now. During that time, InSight has beamed back data on the planet’s seismic activity, weather, and even the sound of blowing wind. It was also supposed to relay data on the planet’s internal temperature, but …

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NASA’s SLS Rocket

nasas-sls-rocket-fails-major-engine-test

  NASA retired the Space Shuttle in 2011 and embarked on two projects that would eventually restore its access to space. There’s the Commercial Crew Program, which recently led to the SpaceX Dragon successfully transporting astronauts to and from the International Space Station. The Space Launch System (SLS), which is …

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Archosauriform Footprints

250-million-year-old-archosauriform-footprints-found-in-italy

Paleontologists in Italy have discovered an assemblage of fossil footprints left by an Early Triassic archosauriform. Life appearance of the non-archosaurian archosauriform, the most suitable producer of Isochirotherium gardettensis. Image credit: Fabio Manucci. The archosauriform footprints were spotted at a paleontological site on the Gardetta Plateau in the Western Alps, …

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Physicists Extract Energy

physicists-propose-new-way-to-extract-energy-from-black-holes

Spinning black holes store rotational energy that can be extracted; when a black hole is immersed in an externally supplied magnetic field, reconnection of magnetic field lines within the ergosphere can generate negative energy particles that fall into the black hole event horizon while the other accelerated particles escape stealing …

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Long Sought Axions

astrophysicists-may-have-found-evidence-of-long-sought-axions

First theorized in the 1970s, axions are hypothetical particles that were proposed to preserve a time-reversal symmetry of the nuclear force. These particles may make up dark matter and may be produced thermally inside the cores of neutron stars, escape the stars due to their feeble interactions with matter, and …

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