Fossil Flowers

Oldest Fossil Flowers

Oldest fossil flowers found, according to articles in ScienceDaily 18 December 2018 and Live Science 19 December 2019, and eLife 18 December 2018, doi: 10.7554/eLife.38827.001. An international group of scientists has studied 34 rock slabs containing 198 specimens of a previously unknown fossil flower. The fossils are from the South Xiangshan Formation, an outcrop of […]

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Weevil

Weevil Larvae at Sea

Weevil larvae at sea according articles in Journal of Experimental Biology, 13 December 2018, doi: 10.1242/jeb.195792. Flightless insects and small invertebrates are found all over the world, including remote islands. In order to get to such places they must cross long stretches of ocean.  Even if they are carried on rafts of vegetation they will […]

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Dandelion Seeds

“Impossible” Dandelion Flight

“Impossible” dandelion flight described, in Nature News and ScienceDaily 17 October 2018, and Nature 17 October 2018, doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0604-2. Anyone who has tried to keep dandelions from taking over their gardens and lawns knows how efficiently these plants spread their flying seeds.  Each dandelion seed is suspended under a parachute-like structure called a pappus, formed […]

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Fossil Thorns

New Fossil Challenges Theistic Evolution

John Mackay and Joseph Hubbard have found some great fossils in the Newcastle Coal Measures, on the east coast of Australia. These included fossil thorns on what seems to be a previously unrecorded species of Neuropteris, a seed fern. Regardless of what the classification finally turns out to be it means one challenging thing, so […]

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Dinosaur Flowers

Did Dinosaurs Stop to Smell the Flowers?

Did dinosaurs stop to smell the flowers?  According to articles in ScienceDaily 7 August 2018 and Historical Biology, doi: 10.1080/08912963.2018.1502288 published online 25 July 2018, they could have. Many flowers attract pollinators by producing fragrances.  George Poinar, an entomologist at Oregon State University and his son Greg, a perfume collector, have examined fossil flowers found […]

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Sauropod Vegetation

Dinosaur Food Experiment

Dinosaur food experiment described in ScienceDaily and Palaeontology, doi: 10.1111/pala.12385. Dinosaur experts have long been intrigued by how giant sauropods were able to get enough food to provide energy and maintain their large bodies. One theory is that the levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air were higher in Mesozoic eras and plants therefore […]

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Dodder Parasite

Plant Parasite Evolved By Gene Loss

Plant parasite evolved by gene loss, according to reports in Eurekalert 11 July 2018 and Nature Communications 11 July 2018 doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04721-8. Scientists in China have studied the genome and pattern of gene expression in a parasitic plant named Cuscuta australis, otherwise known as Australian dodder or southern dodder, to find out how parasitic plants […]

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Upright Plants Explained

Upright plants explained in reports in ScienceDaily 2 May 2018, and PNAS doi: 10.1073/pnas.1801895115, published online 30 April 2018. Plants are exquisitely sensitive to being tilted, and will change their growth direction to keep growing upwards if knocked off the vertical by only a few degrees.  It has long been known that plants sense the […]

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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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