Ichthyosaur Fossil

Jurassic Blubber

Jurassic blubber found, according to articles in BBC News, National Geographic and ScienceDaily 5 December 2018, and Nature doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0775-x. For many years palaeontologists have speculated that ichthyosaurs had a layer of blubber (fatty tissue) under their skin as do living marine mammals such as dolphins and whales. Ichthyosaurs were reptiles, rather than mammals, but […]

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Deoxyribose

DNA Sugar Made in ‘Fake’ Space

DNA sugar made in ‘fake’ space, claim NASA scientists in NASA News 19 December 2018 and Nature Communications, published online 18 December 2018, doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07693-x. DNA is a large complex molecule consisting of a long chain of smaller components named nucleotides. Each nucleotide is three-part molecule that includes a sugar named deoxyribose (the D in […]

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Sun Clouds Sea

500 Million Years of CO2

500 million years of CO2 claim scientists in reports in ScienceDaily 28 November 2018, and Science Advances 28 November 2018 doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aat4556. A group of scientists at the Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) and Utrecht University have analysed a chemical named phytane in over 300 samples of sediment from deep sea cores and from […]

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Coloured Eggs

Colourful Dinosaur Eggs

Colourful dinosaur eggs found, claim scientists in a study reported in Science (AAAS) News and ScienceDaily 31 October 2018, and Nature 31 October 2018, doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0646-5. Many birds’ eggs are coloured or have speckled patterns of pigment, while reptiles lay plain white eggs.  It has always been assumed that dinosaurs, being reptiles, would have produced […]

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Demosponge

Oldest Sponges

Oldest sponges found, according to ScienceDaily 15 October 2018 and Nature Ecology & Evolution 15 October 2018; doi: 10.1038/s41559-018-0676-2. Researchers at the University of California have found evidence of sponges in rock and oils from Oman, Siberia, and India, dated as 660-635 million years ago.  This is classified the Neoproterozoic Era, and is claimed to […]

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Giant Clam

Clams Recycle Urea for Algae

Clams recycle urea for algae, according to reports in Inside JEB 19 April 2018, and Journal of Experimental Biology 14 March 2018, doi: 10.1242/jeb.176313. Giant clams live in close symbiotic relationship with marine algae known as zooxanthellae, which produce nutrients for the clam by photosynthesis.  The algae can make sugars from carbon dioxide and water, […]

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Opalescence

How Opalescent Algae Glow

How opalescent algae glow, as reported in Science (AAAS) News 13 April 2018 ScienceDaily 17 April 2018 and Live Science 20 April 2018 and Science Advances 11 April 2018 doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aan8917. Scientists at University of Bristol have studied the microscopic structure of a seaweed named Cystoseira tamariscifolia, which grows and glows in the tidal regions […]

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Bird's Nest Eggs

Nanotechnology Cracks Eggshell Problem

Nanotechnology cracks eggshell problem, according to ScienceDaily 30 March 2018, ABC News 31 March 2018 and Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aar3219, 30 March 2018. Biologists and engineers have studied the microscopic structure of chicken eggshells to work out how such shells are strong enough to avoid being broken while an embryonic bird develops inside, but yet […]

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Scallops Have Telescope Mirror Eyes

Scallops have telescope mirror eyes, according to reports in Science (AAAS) News and Live Science 30 November 2017, and Science doi: 10.1126/science.aam9506, 1 December 2017. Scallops are bivalve shellfish that have many tiny round eyes. The eyes have an unusual structure – they have two retinae (light sensitive layers) and a mirror that focuses the […]

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Fluorescent Coral

Corals Light Up

Corals light up as fluoro symbiosis found, according to Nature News 5 July 2017, Nature Middle East 20 July 2017 and Proceedings of the royal Society B doi: 10.1098/rspb.2017.0320, published online 5 July 2017. Coral reefs have long been known as a classic example of symbiosis, consisting of a combination of coral polyps and algae. […]

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