Study Confirms Southern Ocean Is Absorbing Carbon – Important Buffer for Greenhouse Gas Emissions
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map of earth showing c2 and green house gas levels

By Sofie Bates, SciTech Daily

New observations from research aircraft indicate that the Southern Ocean absorbs more carbon from the atmosphere than it releases, confirming that it is a strong carbon sink and an important buffer for the effects of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Previous research and modeling had left researchers uncertain about how much atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) gets absorbed by the chilly waters circling the Antarctic continent.

In a NASA-supported study published in Science in December 2021, scientists used aircraft observations of atmospheric carbon dioxide to “show that the annual net flux of carbon into the ocean south of 45°S is large, with stronger summertime uptake and less wintertime outgassing than other recent observations have indicated.” They found that the waters in the region absorbed roughly 0.53 more petagrams (530 million metric tons) of carbon than they released each year.

“Airborne measurements show a drawdown of carbon dioxide in the lower atmosphere over the Southern Ocean surface in summer, indicating carbon uptake by the ocean,” explained Matthew Long, lead author of the study and a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Aircraft observations were collected from 2009 to 2018 during three field experiments, including NASA’s Atmospheric Tomography Mission (ATom) in 2016.

The animation and still image on this page show areas where carbon dioxide was absorbed (blue) and emitted (red) by the global ocean in 2012. (Jump to 1:00 to focus on the Southern Hemisphere.) The data come from the ECCO-Darwin Global Ocean Biogeochemistry Model. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

When human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide enter the atmosphere, some of the gas is absorbed by the ocean, a process that can slightly slow carbon accumulation in the atmosphere and the global temperature increases that go with it. Part of this is due to upwelling of cold water from the deep ocean. Once at the surface, colder, nutrient-rich water absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere—usually with the help of photosynthesizing organisms called phytoplankton—before sinking again.

Computer models suggest that 40 percent of the human-produced CO2 in the ocean worldwide was originally absorbed from the atmosphere into the Southern Ocean, making it one of the most important carbon sinks on our planet. But measuring the flux, or exchange, of CO2 from the air to the sea has been challenging.

Many previous studies of Southern Ocean carbon flux relied heavily on measurements of ocean acidity—which increases when seawater absorbs CO2—taken by floating, drifting instruments. The new research used aircraft to measure changes in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere over the ocean.

“You can’t fool the atmosphere,” Long said. “While measurements taken from the ocean surface and from land are important, they are too sparse to provide a reliable picture of air-sea carbon flux. The atmosphere, however, can integrate fluxes over large expanses.”

Click here to read the full article on SciTech Daily.

Out-of-control SpaceX rocket on collision course with moon
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spacex rocket ship falcon 9 flying across the moon in the earth's sky

By , The Guardian

A SpaceX rocket is on a collision course with the moon after spending almost seven years hurtling through space, experts say.

The booster was originally launched from Florida in February 2015 as part of an interplanetary mission to send a space weather satellite on a million-mile journey.

But after completing a long burn of its engines and sending the NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory on its way to the Lagrange point – a gravity-neutral position four times further than the moon and in direct line with the sun – the rocket’s second stage became derelict.

At this stage it was high enough that it did not have enough fuel to return to Earth’s atmosphere but also “lacked the energy to escape the gravity of the Earth-Moon system”, meteorologist Eric Berger explained in a recent post on Ars Technica.

“So it has been following a somewhat chaotic orbit since February 2015,” Berger added.

Space observers believe the rocket – about four metric tonnes of “space junk” – is on course to intersect with the moon at a velocity of about 2.58km/s in a matter of weeks.

Bill Gray, who writes software to track near-Earth objects, asteroids, minor planets, and comets, has said the Falcon 9’s upper stage will very likely hit the far side of the moon, near the equator, on 4 March.

The data analyst said in a recent blog post that the object “made a close lunar flyby on January 5” but will make “a certain impact at March 4”.

“This is the first unintentional case [of space junk hitting the moon] of which I am aware,” Gray added.

The exact spot the rocket will hit remains unclear due to the unpredictable effect of sunlight “pushing” on the rocket and “ambiguity in measuring rotation periods” which may slightly alter its orbit.

“These unpredictable effects are very small. But they will accumulate between now and March 4,” Gray wrote, adding that further observations were needed to refine the precise time and location of the impact.

As for whether the collision could be viewed from Earth, Gray says it will probably go unobserved.

“The bulk of the moon is in the way, and even if it were on the near side, the impact occurs a couple of days after New Moon.”

Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at Harvard University, wrote that the impact was due on 4 March but was “not a big deal”.

Click here to read the full article on The Guardian.

It’s time to take reproduction in space seriously
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A stork in an astronaut helmet

By Miriam Kramer, Axios

Before humans can settle off-Earth, scientists need to figure out how — or even whether — people can reproduce in space.

Why it matters: Powerful figures in the space industry like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have dreams of a future where millions of people live in space, which would naturally require a self-sustaining population of humans somewhere other than Earth.

  • “It has been [more than] 20 years since the last systematic experiments on vertebrate reproduction and development in spaceflight,” Gary Strangman, the scientific lead at the Translational Research Institute for Space Health, told me.
  • “Yet we are now actively planning missions and building rockets to reach the Moon and Mars. Reproduction will almost certainly be relevant to a three-year mission to Mars. And we don’t want to discover serious adverse effects by accident.”What’s happening: Scientists have sent a number of experiments to the International Space Station in recent years to try to answer various questions about what it might take for mammals, and eventually humans, to reproduce in space.
  • A study published in June found freeze-dried sperm from mice sent to the ISS weren’t adversely impacted by the environment in low-Earth orbit, producing healthy pups back on Earth after its return.
  • An earlier Russian experiment sent male and female rats to orbit, allowing them to breed. Two of the female rats became pregnant, but neither resulted in a live birth.

Yes, but: More in-depth studies are needed in order to figure out just what it would take for humans and other species to have babies off-Earth, and some scientists say there hasn’t been enough attention paid to funding and performing these types of studies.

  • “There’s always been a bigger problem to solve,” Virginia Wotring, a professor at the International Space University, told me. The focus instead has been on the technology needed to get to orbit, life support and funding for deep space efforts.
  • “The risks of spaceflight are (reasonably) well-understood, but the consequences of those risks on conception, pregnancy, birth and development are barely understood at all — in any species, but particularly in mammals, and even more so in humans,” Strangman said via email.
  • Women have been historically underrepresented among astronauts, making it harder to study how important parts of reproduction like birth control, menstruation and ovulation may work.

The big question: What are the major factors that could limit how and whether humans can have healthy babies in space?

  • Mouse sperm and embryos haven’t been adversely impacted by the radiation environment on the ISS, but as humans push to farther-afield destinations like Mars, that could change as the radiation environment gets worse.
  • Gravity may also be important in physically arranging the cells in an embryo. Researchers are now analyzing an experiment on the space station where astronauts cultured frozen mouse embryos to see if they needed gravity to develop. (The results of that research haven’t yet been made available.)
  • But it could be even more simple: Mammals are sensitive to stress, making it difficult to mate even on the ground, Teruhiko Wakayama, a researcher focusing on reproduction in space, told me.
  • The ethical issues surrounding studies of human reproduction also limit experiments in space, according to Strangman.

What’s next: A number of studies being proposed in the coming years could help answer those outstanding questions around reproduction in space.

Click here to read the full article on Axios.

First Latina to go to space announces bilingual STEAM board book series
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Dr Ellen ochoa smiling and posing in front of a gray background for the camera. She is wearing a blue button up. Ochoa is writing a STEAM board book series

By The Downey Patriot

Lil’ Libros Publishing has acquired world rights to a bilingual five-board book STEAM series, Dr. Ochoa’s Stellar World, researched and written by Dr. Ellen Ochoa, American engineer who became the first Latina woman to go to space.

Inspired by her experiences as a NASA astronaut, Dr. Ochoa’s books will celebrate the joy of scientific curiosity, the fundamentals of STEAM topics, and the American Latino experience for the youngest of readers.

“I wish I had known when I was little that science [or STEAM] is all about curiosity and creativity,” said Dr. Ochoa. “Those skills come naturally to young kids, and I hope this series engages kids and parents alike, in both English and Spanish, about STEAM concepts and excites them about exploring the world they inhabit.”

“We are excited to work alongside Dr. Ochoa to help create an environment where our littlest readers are introduced to STEAM concepts confidently and in two languages,” said Patty Rodriguez, publisher at Lil’ Libros. “Becoming a scientist is no longer just a dream for our children, it is a possibility and Dr. Ellen Ochoa is an example of that.”

“It is an honor to welcome Dr. Ellen Ochoa to the Lil’ Libros family. Bringing bilingual STEAM topics to children will open a world of possibilities,” added Ariana Stein, Lil’ Libros co-founder. “We are confident that Dr. Ochoa’s Stellar World will inspire curiosity and leave a lasting impact on children.”

Publication for the first book, Dr. Ochoa’s Stellar World: We Are All Scientists, is set for August 30, 2022.

Lil’ Libros is a bilingual children’s book publisher based out of Los Angeles. In a world lacking bilingual books for children, two best friends-turned-mothers – Patty Rodriguez, of Downey, and Ariana Stein – began their mission to celebrate the duality of the American Latino experience through picture board books and now hardcovers.

Click here to read the full article on The Downey Patriot.

NASA investigates ‘unusual’ carbon signature on Mars
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By , C|NET

When the words “intriguing,” “Mars” and “ancient life” show up in the same NASA statement, my ears perk up. On Sunday, NASA talked up a new study looking at “unusual carbon signals” measured by the Curiosity rover in the red planet’s Gale Crater.

Curiosity hasn’t found proof of ancient microbial life on Mars, but scientists aren’t ruling it out as one possible explanation for the rover’s findings. Powdered rock samples studied by the rover show the kind of carbon signatures that are connected to biological life on Earth. But Mars may be telling a very different story.

The study is set to be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.

Carbon is a key element in life on our own planet, so it’s important to study how it appears on Mars. “For instance, living creatures on Earth use the smaller, lighter carbon 12 atom to metabolize food or for photosynthesis versus the heavier carbon 13 atom,” NASA said. “Thus, significantly more carbon 12 than carbon 13 in ancient rocks, along with other evidence, suggests to scientists they’re looking at signatures of life-related chemistry.”

Curiosity heated up rock samples in an onboard lab and used its Tunable Laser

Spectrometer instrument to measure the gases released by the samples. Some of the rock samples had “surprisingly large amounts of carbon 12” compared with what has been found in the atmosphere of Mars and in Martian meteorites.

According to a statement from Penn State, the researchers proposed several explanations: “a cosmic dust cloud, ultraviolet radiation breaking down carbon dioxide, or ultraviolet degradation of biologically created methane.”

The cloud idea connects back to an occurrence when the solar system passed through a galactic dust cloud hundreds of millions of years ago, which could have left carbon-rich deposits on Mars. The second idea suggests ultraviolet light could have interacted with carbon dioxide gas in the Martian atmosphere and left molecules with the distinctive carbon signature on the surface.

A biological origin idea could have involved bacteria releasing methane into the atmosphere that was then converted into molecules that settled back down on Mars, leaving behind the carbon signature Curiosity found.

Click here to read the full article on C|NET.

NASA Invites Media to Launch of New Mega-Moon Rocket and Spacecraft
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Mega Moon Mission. An aerial view of Launch Complex 39B with Exploration Ground Systems’ mobile launcher for the Artemis 1 mission on the pad. The mobile launcher, atop crawler-transporter 2, made its final solo trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building on June 27, 2019, and arrived on the surface of pad B on June 28, 2019, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mobile launcher will remain at the pad over the summer, undergoing final testing and checkouts. Its next roll to the pad will be with the agency’s Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft in preparation for the launch of Artemis 1.

By NASA

Media accreditation is now open for launch and prelaunch activities related to NASA’s Artemis I mission, the first mission in exploration systems built for crew that will travel around the Moon since Apollo. Approximately a week’s worth of events will lead up to the launch of the agency’s Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft, targeted for no earlier than March 2022 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The uncrewed Artemis I mission will launch from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39B and is the first integrated flight test of NASA’s Artemis deep space exploration systems. The first in a series of increasingly complex missions, the mission will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration and demonstrate NASA’s commitment and capability to establish a long-term presence at the Moon and beyond.

NASA will set an official target launch date after a successful wet dress rehearsal test – one of the final tests before launch involving fuel loaded into the rocket – currently planned for late February.

U.S. media must apply by 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 7, and international media without U.S. citizenship must apply by 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 31. A copy of NASA’s media accreditation policy is online.

The agency continues to monitor developments related to the coronavirus pandemic, and Kennedy will grant access to only a limited number of media to protect the health and safety of media and employees. Due to COVID-19 safety restrictions at Kennedy, international media coming from overseas must follow quarantine requirements.

NASA will follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the agency’s chief health and medical officer and will immediately communicate any updates that may affect media access for this launch.

Media who would like to bring large vehicles (satellite trucks, microwave trucks, etc.) or any manner of infrastructure (scaffolding, stages, etc.) must notify the Kennedy media team by filling out a forthcoming survey. The survey will be distributed to media once the accreditation window for this launch has closed.

All parties requesting to bring stages, scaffolding, or raised platforms will be required to submit plans, including access limitations/controls, height/width/length, configuration, capacity, and load ratings of the elevated structure and any training, inspection, or other pertinent requirements.

Click here to read the full article on NASA.

Microbes in The Ocean Depths Can Make Oxygen Without Sun. This Discovery Could Be Huge
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Microbes in The Ocean Depths Can Make Oxygen Without Sun. This Discovery Could Be Huge. Octopus floating in the ocean

By DAVID NIELD, Science Alert

For most of life on Earth, oxygen is essential, and sunlight is usually needed to produce that oxygen. But in an exciting twist, researchers have caught a common, ocean-dwelling microbe breaking all the rules.

Scientists have found that a microbe called Nitrosopumilus maritimus and several of its cousins, called ammonia oxidizing archaea (AOA), are able to survive in dark, oxygen-depleted environments by producing oxygen on their own. They do so using a biological process that hasn’t been seen before.

While it’s previously been established that these microbes can live in environments where oxygen is scarce, what hasn’t been clear is what they get up to there – and how they’re staying alive for as long as they do. That was the inspiration behind this new research.

“These guys are really abundant in the oceans, where they play an important role in the nitrogen cycle,” says microbiologist Beate Kraft, from the University of Southern Denmark.

“For this they need oxygen, so it has been a long-standing puzzle why they are also very abundant in waters where there is no oxygen. We thought, do they just hang out there with no function? Are they some kind of ghost cells?”

Collect a bucket of seawater out of the ocean, and every fifth cell will be one of these organisms – that’s how common they are. Here, the researchers removed the microbes from their natural habitat and transferred them to the lab.

The team wanted to take a closer look at what would happen when all the available oxygen was gone, and there was no sunlight to produce new oxygen. The same scenario happens when N. maritimus moves from oxygen-rich to oxygen-depleted waters.

What they found was something unexpected: the microorganisms produced their own oxygen to create nitrite, with nitrogen gas (dinitrogen) as a by-product.

“We saw how they used up all the oxygen in the water, and then to our surprise, within minutes, oxygen levels started increasing again,” says geobiologist Don Canfield, from the University of Southern Denmark. “That was very exciting.”

At the moment, the researchers aren’t certain how the microbes are pulling off this trick, and the amount of oxygen produced appears to be relatively small (just enough for their own survival) – but it does look to be different to the few oxygen-without-sunlight processes that we already know about.

What the new pathway does show is that the oxygen production from N. maritimus gets linked to its production of gaseous nitrogen. The microbes are somehow converting ammonia (NH3) into nitrite (NO2-) – a process they use to metabolize energy – in an oxygen-depleted environment.

In turn, this requires them to make their own oxygen, which the team detected traces of, along with the byproduct of nitrogen gas (N2).

Click here to read the full article on Science Alert.

Scientists observe a red supergiant going supernova for the first time
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By S. Dent, Engadget

Despite the massive number of stars in the sky, spotting one in the throes of a supernova is still an incredibly rare event. Now, astronomers have captured a red supergiant before, during and after a supernova explosion for the first time, gathering crucial new information about these dramatic events.

“This is a breakthrough in our understanding of what massive stars do moments before they die,” said lead author Wynn Jacobson-Galán (UC Berkeley). “Direct detection of pre-supernova activity in a red supergiant star has never been observed before in an ordinary Type II supernova. For the first time, we watched a red supergiant star explode!”

Using the Pan-STARRS telescope in Maui, Hawai’i, scientists detected the doomed red supergiant star in the summer of 2020 thanks to the huge amount of light it was emitting. Later in the fall when it went supernova, the team captured the powerful flash using the Hawai’i-based Keck Observatory’s Low Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (LRIS). They also captured the very first spectrum of the supernova, known as SN 2020tlf.

The observations showed that the star likely ejected massive amounts of dense circumstellar material just ahead of the explosion. Previous observations showed that red giants were relatively calm before going supernova, so the new data suggests that some may change their internal structure significantly before exploding. That could then result in tumultuous gas ejections moments before collapse.

SN 2020tlf is located in the NGC 5731 galaxy about 120 million light-years from Earth and was about 10 times more massive than the Sun. Stars go supernova when they run out of fuel and collapse on their own gravity, fueling a massive carbon fusion explosion. For that to happen, they must be large enough (8 to 15 solar masses) or they’ll simply collapse into white dwarf star like our Sun eventually will. Any larger than that and they could collapse into a black hole.

Click here to read the full article on Engadget.

NASA’s Retiring Top Scientist Says We Can Terraform Mars and Maybe Venus, Too
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James Green sitting in front of an image of the sun and the NASA logo. He is wearing a suit and smiling

Since joining NASA in 1980, Jim Green has seen it all. He has helped the space agency understand Earth’s magnetic field, explore the outer solar system and search for life on Mars. As the new year arrived on Saturday, he bade farewell to the agency.

Over the past four decades, which includes 12 years as the director of NASA’s planetary science division and the last three years as its chief scientist, he has shaped much of NASA’s scientific inquiry, overseeing missions across the solar system and contributing to more than 100 scientific papers across a range of topics. While specializing in Earth’s magnetic field and plasma waves early in his career, he went on to diversify his research portfolio.

One of Dr. Green’s most recent significant proposals has been a scale for verifying the detection of alien life, called the “confidence of life detection,” or CoLD, scale. He has published work suggesting we could terraform Mars, or making it habitable for humans, using a giant magnetic shield to stop the sun from stripping the red planet’s atmosphere, raising the temperature on the surface. He has also long been a proponent of the exploration of other worlds, including a mission to Europa, the icy moon of Jupiter, that is scheduled to launch in 2024.

Ahead of a December meeting of the American Geophysical Union in New Orleans, Dr. Green spoke about some of this wide-ranging work and the search for life in the solar system. Below are edited and condensed excerpts from our interview.

You’ve urged a methodical approach to looking for life with your CoLD scale, ranking possible detections from one to seven. Why do we need such a scale?

A couple of years ago, scientists came out and said they’d seen phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus. At the level they saw it, which was enormous, that led them to believe life was one of the major possibilities. On the CoLD scale, where seven is “we found life,” it is “one.” It didn’t even make it to “two.” They recognized later there was contamination in their signal and it may not even be phosphine and we can’t reproduce it. So we have to do a better job in communicating.

We see methane all over the place on Mars. Ninety-five percent of the methane we find here on Earth comes from life, but there’s a few percent that doesn’t. We’re only at a CoLD Level 3, but if a scientist came to me and said, “Here’s an instrument that will make it a CoLD Level 4,” I’d fund that mission in a minute. They’re not jumping to seven, they’re making that next big step, the right step, to make progress to actually finding life in the solar system. That’s what we’ve got to do, stop screwing around with just crying wolf.

The search for life on Mars has been a focus for NASA for so long, starting in 1976 with the Viking 1 and 2 landers and later with missions from the 1990s onward. Are you surprised we haven’t found life in that time?

Yes and no. What we’re doing now is much more methodical, much more intelligent in the way we recognize what signatures life can produce over time. Our solar system is 4.5 billion years old, and at this time, Earth is covered in life. But if we go back a billion years, we would find that Venus was a blue planet. It had a significant ocean. It might actually have had life, and a lot of it. If we go back another billion years, Mars was a blue planet. We know now Mars lost its magnetic field, the water started evaporating and Mars basically went stagnant about 3.5 billion years ago.

We would like to have found life on the surface. We put the Viking landers in a horrible place because we didn’t know where to put them — we were just trying to put them down on the surface of Mars. It was like putting something down in the Gobi Desert. We should have put them down in Jezero Crater, in this river delta we’re at right now with the Perseverance rover, but we didn’t even know it existed at the time!

One of the Viking experiments indicated there was microbial life in the soils, but only one of the three instruments did, so we couldn’t say we found life. Now we’ll really, definitively know because we’re going to bring back samples. We didn’t know it would need a sample return mission.

You’ve previously suggested it might be possible to terraform Mars by placing a giant magnetic shield between the planet and the sun, which would stop the sun from stripping its atmosphere, allowing the planet to trap more heat and warm its climate to make it habitable. Is that really doable?

Yeah, it’s doable. Stop the stripping, and the pressure is going to increase. Mars is going to start terraforming itself. That’s what we want: the planet to participate in this any way it can. When the pressure goes up, the temperature goes up.

The first level of terraforming is at 60 millibars, a factor of 10 from where we are now. That’s called the Armstrong limit, where your blood doesn’t boil if you walked out on the surface. If you didn’t need a spacesuit, you could have much more flexibility and mobility. The higher temperature and pressure enable you to begin the process of growing plants in the soils.

There are several scenarios on how to do the magnetic shield. I’m trying to get a paper out I’ve been working on for about two years. It’s not going to be well received. The planetary community does not like the idea of terraforming anything. But you know. I think we can change Venus, too, with a physical shield that reflects light. We create a shield, and the whole temperature starts going down.

Click here to read the full article on the New York Times.

Scientists just discovered a massive sea predator from the Triassic period
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digital render of the largest predator to ever live, looks similar to a whale with a giant long mouth, believed to live in the triassic period

By Joshua Hawkins, Yahoo!

According to a new study, scientists believe the largest animals to ever live, lived in the sea. In fact, a new discovery has led them to believe that one of the largest animals was a Triassic period predator that was somewhat similar to modern-day whales.

Based on the new discovery, researchers believe that a 244-million-year-old fossil would have rivaled current cetaceans. The animal in question, an ichthyosaur, existed 8 million years after the first ichthyosaurs, at the most. Because of its massive size compared to other ichthyosaurs, scientists believe its evolution was expedited in some way.

The new study, which was published in Science on December 24, focuses heavily on the discovery of the fossil in Fossil Hill, Nevada. It also focuses on how the creature that left the fossil behind could have grown as large as it did. Based on the discovery, scientists believe that the ichthyosaur that they found had a two-meter-long skull. They also believe that it was a completely new species of Cymbospondylus.

Researchers say that this is the largest known tetrapod of the Triassic period, on land or in the sea. It’s also the first in a series of massive ocean giants that would go on to rule the sea. They also believe that the creature was able to grow to the size it did as quickly as it did by eating ammonoids. These small, yet abundant prey, would have helped the ichthyosaur grow exponentially faster. Because of the time period, scientists feel the end-Permian mass extinction helped provide such an abundant source of ammonoids.

The discoveries they’ve found have also led scientists to believe that this Triassic period predator evolved much earlier than whales. Scientists currently consider whales to be the largest animals on Earth.

There is still a lot that we don’t know about the evolution of marine animals. Scientists may be able to learn more from the discovery of this new ichthyosaur. Specifically, they may learn more about the evolutionary track that marine life followed. This particle Triassic period predator lived millions of years ago. However, its fossil could be a new door of understanding we haven’t previously been able to achieve. And, it might not be the only one out there.

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo!.

A dinosaur embryo has been found inside a fossilized egg. Here’s what that means.
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dinosaur embryo Reconstruction of a close-to-hatching oviraptorosaur egg.

BY Caitlin O’Kane, CBS News

A well-preserved dinosaur embryo has been found inside a fossilized egg. The fossilized dinosaur embryo came from Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province in southern China and was acquired by researchers in 2000.

Researchers at Yingliang Group, a company that mines stones, suspected it contained egg fossils, but put it in storage for 10 years, according to a news release. When construction began on Yingliang Stone Natural History Museum, boxes of unearthed fossils were sorted through.

“Museum staff identified them as dinosaur eggs and saw some bones on the broken cross section of one of the eggs,” Lida Xing of China University of Geosciences, Beijing, said in a news release. A embryo was found hidden within, which they named “Baby Yingliang.”

The embryo is that of the bird-like oviraptorosaurs, part of the theropod group. Theropod means “beast foot,” but theropod feet usually resembled those of birds. Birds are descended from one lineage of small theropods.

In studying the embryo, researchers found the dinosaur took on a distinctive tucking posture before hatching, which had been considered unique to birds. The study is published in the iScience journal.

Researchers say this behavior may have evolved through non-avian theropods. “Most known non-avian dinosaur embryos are incomplete with skeletons disarticulated,” said Waisum Maof the University of Birmingham, U.K. “We were surprised to see this embryo beautifully preserved inside a dinosaur egg, lying in a bird-like posture. This posture had not been recognized in non-avian dinosaurs before.”

While fossilized dinosaur eggs have been found during the last 100 years, discovering a well-preserved embryo is very rare, the researchers said in the release.

The embryo’s posture was not previously seen in non-avian dinosaur, which is “especially notable because it’s reminiscent of a late-stage modern bird embryo.”

Click here to read the full article on CBS News.

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  1. City Career Fair
    January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
  2. AEC Next Technology Expo & Conference, International Lidar Mapping Forum, and SPAR 3D Expo & Conference
    February 6, 2022 - February 8, 2022
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