Science

Early Devonian Fish

Paleoichthyologists in China have re-described Nochelaspis maeandrine, a species of large-sized eugaleaspiform fish that lived 415 million years ago (Devonian period). Life restoration of Nochelaspis maeandrine. Image credit: Dinghua Yang. Nochelaspis maeandrine was first described in 1987 from a nearly complete head shield found in the Xishancun Formation near Qujing …

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Giant Pterosaurs

Pterosaurs reached only modest sizes in the Triassic and Jurassic periods. By contrast, the Cretaceous period saw a trend toward large to giant size (2 m to over 6 m wingspans), and while small-medium (less than 1 m to 2 m wingspans) sized forms are known from the Early Cretaceous …

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Paleontologists Find Fossils

Two new species — the small skink Sciroseps pawhuskai and the pycnodontiform fish Anomoeodus caddoi — that lived during the Early Cretaceous epoch have been identified from fossils found in the Holly Creek Formation in southwest Arkansas. An illustration of Sciroseps pawhuskai. Image credit: Brian Engh. While Arkansas is not …

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New Beaked Whale

The newly-identified species, named the Ramari’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon eueu), occurs throughout temperate southern hemisphere waters, with reports from several locations off South Africa, Australia, and Aotearoa New Zealand. True’s beaked whales (Mesoplodon mirus). Image credit: Roland Edler, Duisburg Zoo. “The Earth’s deep ocean remains less understood than the surface …

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Calling Citizen Scientists

If you’ve ever wanted to help find an exoplanet, this is your chance. There’s a new open research initiative that invites participants to help identify exoplanets using simple visual pattern matching — and it’s open to anybody who wants to help. You don’t even have to own a telescope. The …

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Crab In Burmese Amber

The new fossil from the Cretaceous of Myanmar preserves large compound eyes, delicate mouthparts, and even gills. Cretapsara athanata, a modern-looking eubrachyuran crab in Burmese amber. Image credit: Luque et al., doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abj5689. True crabs (members of the infraorder Brachyura) are an iconic group of crustaceans whose remarkable diversity of …

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Novel Tests New Physics

Physicists from CERN’s LHCb (Large Hadron Collider beauty) Collaboration have carried out new tests of lepton universality, one of the basic principles of the Standard Model of particle physics. This principle states that the Standard Model treats the three charged leptons — electrons, muons and taus — identically, except for …

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Rapid Climate Change

In a large-scale environmental DNA metagenomic study of ancient plant and mammal communities, an international team of researchers have analyzed 535 permafrost and lake sediment samples from across the Arctic spanning the past 50,000 years. A trio of woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) trudges over snow covered hills; behind them, mountains …

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NASA’s Lucy Spacecraft

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Conceptual Image Lab/Adriana Gutierrez NASA’s Lucy spacecraft is having difficulties with its solar panels. The spacecraft launched on Oct. 16th without incident, and sucessfully unfolded both its solar panels. But only one of its panels successfully latched into position. Telemetry via NASA’s Deep Space Network shows …

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Ancient Space Dust

When the solar system was first organizing itself, a disk of gas and dust took shape around the sun’s central mass. It eventually sorted itself into the system of planets we see today. But there are things we don’t know about how that happened. One observation that has been challenging …

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