New Species Of Dinosaur Found In Eastern Utah Rock

Dinosaur Discovery

Fossils of a previously undiscovered species of dinosaur have been found in slabs of Utah sandstone that were so hard that explosives had to be used to free some of the remains, scientists said Tuesday. The bones found at Dinosaur National Monument belonged to a type of sauropod — long-necked plant-eaters that were said to be the largest animal ever to roam land.

The discovery included two complete skulls from other types of sauropods — an extremely rare find, scientists said.The fossils offer fresh insight into lives of dinosaurs some 105 million years ago, including the evolution of sauropod teeth, which reveal eating habits and other information, said Dan Chure, a paleontologist at the monument that straddles the Utah-Colorado border.

“You can hardly overstate the significance of these fossils,” he said.Of the 120 or so known species of sauropods, complete skulls have been found for just eight. That’s mostly because their skulls were made of thin, fragile bones bound by soft tissue that were easily destroyed after death.
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Pooch Power: Small Dogs Originated In Middle East

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Small domesticated dogs probably originated in the Middle East more than 12,000 years ago as the descendants of grey wolves, according to a gene study published on Wednesday.University of California at Los Angeles researchers Melissa Gray and Robert Wayne led a team that searched for variations of a gene called IGF1 which is a characteristic of small dogs.

“(The variant) probably arose early in their history,” said Gray, whose paper is published online by BMC Biology, an open-access journal.”Our results show that the version of the IGF1 gene found in small dogs is closely related to that found in Middle Eastern wolves and is consistent with an ancient origin.”The work concurs with archaeological work in the Middle East that has unearthed the remains of small domestic dogs dating to 12,000 years ago. Digs in Europe have uncovered older remains, to as much as 31,000 years ago, but these are of larger dogs.

Canine selection may have been carried out by villagers in the Fertile Crescent of modern-day Iraq and other cradles of agriculture.”Small size could have been more desirable in more densely-packed agrarian societies where dogs may have lived partly indoors or in confined outdoor spaces,” says the study.


(source)

10 Animals That May Go Extinct in the Next 10 Years

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Leatherback Turtle
Dermochelys coriacea Leatherbacks are the largest of all sea turtles, measuring as long as eight feet and weighing as much as 2,000 pounds. They are also the deepest divers, plunging to depths as great as 1,200 meters as they hunt for jellyfish. Leatherbacks are distributed in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, as far north as British Columbia and as far south as Argentina. They migrate between continents, making both transatlantic and transpacific journeys between feeding and nesting sites. Populations have crashed over the last two decades—the result of poaching for egg and meat consumption, destruction of nesting sites from beachfront development, disorientation of hatchlings from the artificial lighting created by those developments, accidental capture by commercial fisherman and other factors. In 1980 the global population of nesting females was estimated at 115,000. Now that number has dropped to between 26,000 and 43,000.

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Iberian Lynx
Lynx pardinus The world’s most endangered cat species, the Iberian lynx once thrived in Spain, Portugal and southern France. Today, its numbers have dwindled to some 120 individuals divided between small populations in Spain’s Andalusia region. Habitat destruction, collisions with vehicles, poaching and a collapsing rabbit population have all contributed to the decline of this feline. As part of a conservation effort, the Spanish government has decided to release rabbits (the lynx’s favorite cuisine) into the wild. If the Iberian lynx disappears, it will be the first feral cat species to go extinct in some 2,000 years.

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Sumatran Orangutan
Pongo abelii There are no more than 7,500 Sumatran orangutans left in the world, and they are declining at a rate of roughly 1,000 per year, says Adam Tomasek, director of the World Wildlife Fund’s Borneo and Sumatra Program. At this rate, the species will be wiped out within a decade. The primary cause of this population slide is rampant habitat loss from logging, fires and other human activities.
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Rhea Chicks Burrow In Their Father's Feathers

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Three of the four new rhea chicks at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo nest in the feathers of their father. The chicks hatched on Apr. 20 and were the first rhea chicks to hatch at the National Zoo in 30 years. Dedicated fathers, it is the male rhea who incubates the eggs and protects the chicks after they hatch. The Zoo is now home to a total of seven rheas: a male, two females, and the four new chicks.

Male Bird at National Zoological Park Has Special Reason to Celebrate Father’s Day How will the only male rhea at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo spend Father’s Day? He will spend it much like he has spent the past eight weeks: as a proud papa nurturing and caring for his four chicks that hatched April 20. This is the first time in some 30 years that rhea chicks have hatched at the Zoo.

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Rhea Chicks Burrow In Their Father's Feathers

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Three of the four new rhea chicks at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo nest in the feathers of their father. The chicks hatched on Apr. 20 and were the first rhea chicks to hatch at the National Zoo in 30 years. Dedicated fathers, it is the male rhea who incubates the eggs and protects the chicks after they hatch. The Zoo is now home to a total of seven rheas: a male, two females, and the four new chicks.

Male Bird at National Zoological Park Has Special Reason to Celebrate Father’s Day How will the only male rhea at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo spend Father’s Day? He will spend it much like he has spent the past eight weeks: as a proud papa nurturing and caring for his four chicks that hatched April 20. This is the first time in some 30 years that rhea chicks have hatched at the Zoo.

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Koalas Could Be Extinct In 30 Years: Conservationists

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Australia’s koalas could be extinct in 30 years, conservationists warned Tuesday, calling for the iconic creatures to be declared an endangered species.

The Australian Koala Foundation said a recent survey indicated numbers may have plunged by more than half in the past six years due to climate change, disease and over-development.The study showed there were between 43,000 and 80,000 koalas on mainland Australia, down from an estimated 100,000 in 2003, said Foundation chief Deborah Tabart.

“We’re saying (numbers) could be as low as 43,000 and as high as 80,000, Tabart told public broadcaster ABC Radio.Large numbers have been killed by an outbreak of chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease, while others have been affected by loss of habitat due to deforestation and climate change, Tabart said.
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Is Caterack The Cat 30 Years Old ?

30 + cat

Way back in 1979, Alisa Morris adopted a 5-week-old feral kitten born near her mother’s house. Thirty years later, Caterack the cat is still kicking, reports People Pets.

When Caterack was born, Jimmy Carter was president and the Village People’s “YMCA” had just debuted on the charts. Five presidents and loads of bad songs later, the 30-year-old indoor cat — that’s 137 in cat years — is starting to show her age. She doesn’t hear so well these days, and she’s been blind in her left eye her entire life. But she still gets around. Caterack likes to dance to loud music on the stereo and comes running whenever the vacuum cleaner is on, Morris tells People Pets.

There must be something about the Lone Star state that breeds long-lived kitties. Caterack lives with Morris and her husband in Midlothian, Texas. The oldest cat ever recorded, according to the Guinness World Records, was Creme Puff, who hailed from Austin, Texas. Creme Puff died in 2005, three days after her 38th birthday.
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