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  • June 20, 2011
  • 06:52 PM

The Frustrating Legacy of “Plasterosaurus”

by Laelaps in Laelaps

For one of the most impressive seagoing predators of all time, Kronosaurus queenslandicus did not receive a very auspicious introduction in the scientific literature. Today the creature’s name immediately conjures up the image of a massive marine reptile with a cavernous maw arrayed with big, conical teeth, but in 1924, when Kronosaurus received its formal [...]... Read more »

  • June 17, 2011
  • 10:56 AM

Peloroplites: That’s One Big Ankylosaur

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

The "monstrous heavy one" was stout, armored and may have supported huge spikes on its neck and shoulders... Read more »

  • June 14, 2011
  • 02:56 PM

Linking Erosional and Depositional Landscapes

by Brian Romans in Clastic Detritus

The surface of Earth is being reshaped constantly. Mountainous uplands are broken down by water and wind producing sediment that is moved by rivers to lowlands. Some of this sediment is deposited along the way, some is delivered to the coast and continental shelf, and some makes its way to the ultimate sink, the [...]... Read more »

Covault, J.A., Romans, B.W., Graham, S.A., Fildani, A., & Hilley, G.E. (2011) Terrestrial source to deep-sea sink sediment budgets at high and low sea levels: Insights from tectonically active southern California. Geology, 619-622. info:/10.1130/G31801.1

  • June 14, 2011
  • 08:56 AM

The Circle of Life (and how Jellyfish screw it up)

by Holly Bik in Deep Sea News

Mufasa was right.  We’re all intertwined.  Whether we humans like to admit it or not, every action by a living organism on Earth has repercussions.  (And yes, you can lump in viruses and prions because I’m not getting into a philosophical debate about what constitutes ‘living’). Run, Harry! You don't want to catch Irukandji . . . → Read More: The Circle of Life (and how Jellyfish screw it up)... Read more »

Condon, R., Steinberg, D., del Giorgio, P., Bouvier, T., Bronk, D., Graham, W., & Ducklow, H. (2011) Jellyfish blooms result in a major microbial respiratory sink of carbon in marine systems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1015782108  

Parsons, T.R., & Lalli, C.M. (2002) Jellyfish population explosions: revisiting a hypothesis of possible causes. La Mer, 111-121. info:/

  • June 14, 2011
  • 05:28 AM

Highlights from ISIE 2011

by James Keirstead in James

Last week was the biennial conference of the International Society of Industrial Ecology, held at the lovely University of California Berkeley. At four days, plus an extra workshop for the Sustainable Urban Systems section, it was a long event but the week went quickly with a number of excellent talks and interesting attendees. Here are some of my highlights.... Read more »

  • June 13, 2011
  • 11:33 PM

Computers and Electrifying Bacteria

by Paige Brown in From The Lab Bench

Computer-based simulations that use an organism's hereditary information are revealing previously unknown but essential life functions of special bacteria that can be modified to help clean our water and produce electricity for our alternative energy needs... Read more »

  • June 12, 2011
  • 03:39 PM

New data about Amazonian Dark Earth (ADE).

by Umberto in Up and Down in Moxos

The Journal of Archaeological Science has just published a new study on ADE. The study, of Birk et al. is entitled: “Faeces deposition on Amazonian Anthrosols as assessed from 5b-stanols”. I have just read it and this is my very first impression:The new data are extremely interesting. The authors look at the presence of coprostanol (a marker for faeces) in Amazonian Dark Earth (ADE). They have found a clear change in the index used to asses different sources of stanols, when comparing sample........ Read more »

Jago Jonathan Birka, Wenceslau Geraldes Teixeirab, Eduardo Góes Nevesc, & Bruno Glaser. (2011) Faeces deposition on Amazonian Anthrosols as assessed from 5β-stanols. Journal of Archaeological Science, 38(6), 1209-1220. info:/

  • June 10, 2011
  • 12:36 AM

McInnis Canyons Mygatt-Moore Quarry Gives Up Fossil Clues

by (ReBecca Hunt-Foster) in Dinochick Blogs

John and I have been continuing our research out at the Mygatt-Moore Quarry in western Colorado, and recently had a paper on one of our findings published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology in May.Foster, John R. and Hunt-Foster, Rebecca K.(2011) 'New occurrences of dinosaur skin of two types (Sauropoda? and Dinosauria indet.) from the Late Jurassic of North America (Mygatt-Moore Quarry, Morrison Formation)', Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 31: 3, 717 — 721 DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2........ Read more »

Foster, John R. and Hunt-Foster, Rebecca K. (2011) New occurrences of dinosaur skin of two types (Sauropoda? and Dinosauria indet.) from the Late Jurassic of North America (Mygatt-Moore Quarry, Morrison Formation). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 31(3), 717-721. info:/10.1080/02724634.2011.55741

  • June 9, 2011
  • 03:21 PM

From the Archives: Reflections on the Gulf Oil Spill - Conversations With My Grandpa

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

If you didn't already know because, by chance, you missed my tweets, posts, and facebook updates, there is a science blogging contest going on RIGHT NOW. The 3 Quarks Daily Science Blogging Prize is currently narrowing down the top 20 posts from 87 nominees. To get through the gauntlet, a post has to get enough votes. Rather than remind you again to vote for Observations of a Nerd, I figured I'd show you why you should. Over the next 24 hours, I'll be reposting the three posts in the competition........ Read more »

Jonathan L. Ramseur. (2010) Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress. Congressional Research Service , 7-5700 (RL33705). info:/

Paine, R., Ruesink, J., Sun, A., Soulanille, E., Wonham, M., Harley, C., Brumbaugh, D., & Secord, D. (1996) TROUBLE ON OILED WATERS: Lessons from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 27(1), 197-235. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.27.1.197  

  • June 9, 2011
  • 10:03 AM

Triceratops: An A Dinosaur

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Paleontologists have recently learned how these three-horned dinosaurs fought, grew up and socialized... Read more »

  • June 9, 2011
  • 07:30 AM

The Indian Ocean’s cup runeth over

by Alistair Dove in Deep Sea News

I’ve been in Brazil for the past week for some research coordination meetings.  This has involved a number of different folks in several forums, but the whole process was pervaded by a patent anxiety on the part of many people I spoke to with regards to climate change.  This is not new of . . . → Read More: The Indian Ocean’s cup runeth over... Read more »

  • June 9, 2011
  • 07:30 AM

The Indian Ocean’s cup runeth over

by Alistair Dove in Deep Type Flow

I’ve been in Brazil for the past week for some research coordination meetings.  This has involved a number of different folks in several forums, but the whole process was pervaded by a patent anxiety on the part of many people I spoke to with regards to climate change.  This is not new of course, . . . → Read More: The Indian Ocean’s cup runeth over... Read more »

  • June 9, 2011
  • 07:30 AM

The Indian Ocean's cup runeth over

by Alistair Dove in Deep Sea News

The Agulhas leakage is an ocean current that spills warm water from the Indian Ocean into the Atlantic, where it has a profound effect on global climate.... Read more »

  • June 9, 2011
  • 12:04 AM

Revenge of the Meat-Eating Megatherium

by Laelaps in Laelaps

Unknown Island has to be one of the crummiest dinosaur movies ever made. Though it came out about 15 years after King Kong debuted, the plot is broadly the same and executed with less skill – young filmmaker hires a crew to go to an island swarming with prehistoric life; mayhem ensues. The acting’s bad, [...]... Read more »

  • June 8, 2011
  • 02:45 PM

Earliest human migrations

by zacharoo in Lawn Chair Anthropology

One of my favorite paleoanthropological sites is Dmanisi, in the Republic of Georgia. It is the oldest securely dated hominid site outside Africa (just under 1.85 million years ago), and the hominids found there display a neat mix of primitive Homo habilis and derived H. erectus features. I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to excavate at Dmanisi last year, and to return to Georgia (lamazi Sakartvelo! [I hope I translated that correctly]) for more fieldwork next month.
Recently, ........ Read more »

Ferring R, Oms O, Agustí J, Berna F, Nioradze M, Shelia T, Tappen M, Vekua A, Zhvania D, & Lordkipanidze D. (2011) Earliest human occupations at Dmanisi (Georgian Caucasus) dated to 1.85-1.78 Ma. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 21646521  

  • June 6, 2011
  • 09:16 PM

Plesiosaurs, the Beautiful Bottom-Feeders

by Laelaps in Laelaps

In 1821, British geologists Henry De la Beche and William Conybeare presented a bizarre, previously-unknown fossil creature to their colleagues in the Geological Society of London. They called their monster Plesiosaurus. A paddle-legged marine reptile akin to the recently-discovered, shark-shaped animals known as ichthyosaurs, the new animal was cast as “a link between the Ichthyosaurus [...]... Read more »

McHenry CR, Cook AG, & Wroe S. (2005) Bottom-feeding plesiosaurs. Science (New York, N.Y.), 310(5745), 75. PMID: 16210529  

  • June 6, 2011
  • 10:07 AM

Was Spinosaurus a Bison-Backed Dinosaur?

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

Spinosaurus and Ouranosaurus were fundamentally different, and they remain among the most bizarre dinosaurs yet discovered... Read more »

Anonymous. (1998) Dino Fins More Like Humps?. Science, 279(5354), 1139-1139. DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5354.1139d  

Bailey, J.B. (1997) Neural Spine Elongation in Dinosaurs: Sailbacks or Buffalo-Backs?. Journal of Paleontology, 71(6), 1124-1146. info:/

  • June 3, 2011
  • 12:31 PM

A Plethora of Fossil Possums

by Laelaps in Laelaps

In many technical papers describing fossil creatures, artists give readers a glimpse of prehistory through reconstructions of what those animals might have looked like in life. Not so with Pucadelphys andinus. In a paper published this week in Nature, artist S. Fernandez depicted a pair of the possum-like creatures at a critical point in their [...]... Read more »

  • June 3, 2011
  • 12:22 AM

Countdown to extinction!

by John Carroll in Chronicles of Zostera

One of my favorite Megadeth albums and songs, although that’s for another time.  The title also fits for a handful of species from a  group particularly close to my heart – seagrasses.  Seagrasses made the news recently, as a recent report suggest as many as 10 of the 72 known seagrass species are at risk of . . . → Read More: Countdown to extinction!... Read more »

Short, FT, Polidoro, B, Livingstone, SR, Carpenter, KE, Bandeira, S, Bujang, JS, Calumpong, HP, Carruthers, TJB, Coles, RG, Dennison, WC.... (2011) Extinction risk assessment of the world's seagrass species. Biological Conservation. info:/10.1016/j.biocon.2011.04.010

ORTH, R., CARRUTHERS, T., DENNISON, W., DUARTE, C., FOURQUREAN, J., HECK, K., HUGHES, A., KENDRICK, G., KENWORTHY, W., OLYARNIK, S.... (2006) A Global Crisis for Seagrass Ecosystems. BioScience, 56(12), 987. DOI: 10.1641/0006-3568(2006)56[987:AGCFSE]2.0.CO;2  

  • June 1, 2011
  • 11:00 AM

KRAKEN Day: Giant Squid = Awesomesauce

by Archie Teuthis in Deep Sea News

To get you ready for the awesomesauce that is KRAKEN Day(!!), it is only appropriate to open with Dr. M’s Epic giant squid post from earlier this year. Enjoy —————————————— In the following post I will enumerate the many ways in which current science repeatedly demonstrates that giant squids are awesomesauce. Awesome: (adj) . . . → Read More: KRAKEN Day: Giant Squid = Awesomesauce... Read more »

K. S. BOLSTAD, & S. O’SHEA. (2004) Gut contents of a giant squid Architeuthis dux (Cephalopoda: Oegopsida) from New Zealand waters. Bolstad , 15-21. info:/

Roeleveld, M. (2000) Giant squid beaks: implications for systematics. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK, 80(1), 185-187. DOI: 10.1017/S0025315499001769  

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