Hydraulic Control for Tuna Fins

Hydraulic control for tuna fins found, according to Science (AAAS) News, ScienceDaily, and Stanford News Service 20 July 2017, and Science vol. 357, pp. 310-314 doi: 10.1126/science.aak9607, 21 July 2017. Bluefin tuna are large, fast and very agile fish. According to Stanford News, “Tuna have numerous morphological, physiological and behavioural adaptations to move rapidly through […]

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Tyrannosaur

T rex Speed Limit

T. rex speed limit calculated by scientists, according to BBC News 18 July 2017, ABC News 19 July 2017 and PeerJ doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3420 published online 18 July 2017. A group of scientists in the UK has used a computer modelling technique to estimate how fast T-rex could have moved. Their method takes into account the strength […]

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Spring Powered Ostriches Beat Humans

Spring powered ostriches beat humans according to articles in ABC News in Science 27 October 2010 and BBC Earth News 28 October 2010. A team of researchers led by Jonas Rubenson, of the School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, University of Western Australia have compared how humans and ostriches run to see how much […]

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Snake Slithering Explained

Snake slithering explained in articles in ScienceNOW 8 June 2009 and BBC News 9 June 2009. Snakes can propel themselves forward by pushing against objects in their path such as rocks and twigs, but they can also move along smooth surfaces using a slithering movement, known scientifically as “lateral undulation” because it leaves an S-shaped […]

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Putting Feet in Mud

Putting feet in mud shows “dinosaurs and birds are different.” A study reported in Nature vol. 399, pp103-104, 141-144 comparing fossil dinosaur footprints with those produced by present day birds running through mud, showed that birds run by moving their knees, with little movement of the hip and ankle and keep their ankles off the […]

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Green Frog

Frog Kneecap Surprise

Frog kneecap surprise reported in New Scientist 7 July 2017 and The Anatomical Record doi: 10.1002/ar.23629 published online 1 July 2017. Scientists in Argentina have studied skeletons of 20 frog species and have discovered, much to scientists’ surprise, that some frogs have kneecaps. The kneecaps are made of fibrocartilage rather than bone, but as John […]

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Hip Swinging Whale Tale

Hip swinging whale tale reported in a Society of Vertebrate Paleontology press release 11 September 2008 and ScienceDaily 18 September 2008. Living whales swim using their powerful fluked tails to propel themselves through the water. There has been much speculation as to how and when the ancestors of whales evolved tail flukes. Palaeontologists have found […]

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Backwards Backbone

Backwards backbone reported in BBC News 14 Jane 2013, ABC News in Science 15 January 2013 and Nature, vol. 494, 226 doi:10.1038/nature11825 14 January 2013. A new study using high energy x-rays of the spine of a fossil creature name Ichthyostega has revealed that previous reconstructions of the animal’s spine got it back to front. […]

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Why Dinosaurs Ran on Two Legs

Why dinosaurs ran on two legs, and why most mammals didn’t, according to articles in ScienceDaily and Journal of Theoretical Biology, 2017; 420: 1 DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2017.02.032, published online 27 February 2017. Palaeontologists Scott Persons and Philip Currie of University of Alberta, Canada, have proposed a theory to explain why many dinosaurs became bipedal, i.e. standing […]

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Lucy Climbed Trees and Fell Out

Lucy climbed trees and fell out, according to reports in ScienceDaily and New Scientistst 30 November, and PLoS One, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0166095, and ScienceDaily and Science (AAAS) 19 August 2016 News and Nature, 2016; DOI: 10.1038/nature19332. Scientists at University of Texas (UT) Austin have scanned the bones of the original Australopithecus afarensis (“Lucy”) specimen using an […]

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