EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS
Home About us
Advanced Search
2-Oct-2014 02:25
US Eastern Time

Username:

Password:

Register

Forgot Password?

Press Releases

Breaking News

Science Business

Grants, Awards, Books

Meetings

Multimedia

Science Agencies
on EurekAlert!

US Department of Energy

US National Institutes of Health

US National Science Foundation

Calendar

Submit a Calendar Item

Subscribe/Sponsor

Links & Resources

Portals

RSS Feeds

Accessibility Option On

News By Subject

Biology


Search this subject:

 
Key: Meeting Journal Funder
Public Release: 30-Sep-2014
PLOS Biology
How dinosaur arms turned into bird wings
Although we now appreciate that birds evolved from a branch of the dinosaur family tree, a crucial adaptation for flight has continued to puzzle evolutionary biologists. During the millions of years that elapsed, wrists went from straight to bent and hyperflexible, allowing birds to fold their wings neatly against their bodies when not flying. A resolution to this impasse is now provided by an exciting new study publishing on Sept. 30 in PLOS Biology.

Contact: PLOS Biology
biologypress@plos.org
PLOS

Public Release: 29-Sep-2014
Geology
Glaciers in the Grand Canyon of Mars?
For decades, planetary geologists have speculated that glaciers might once have crept through Valles Marineris, the 2,000-mile-long chasm that constitutes the Grand Canyon of Mars. Using satellite images, researchers have identified features that might have been carved by past glaciers as they flowed through the canyons; however, these observations have remained highly controversial and contested.

Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America

Public Release: 29-Sep-2014
Naturwissenschaften, The Science of Nature
Tooth serves as evidence of 220-million-year-old attack
At the beginning of the age of dinosaurs, gigantic reptiles -- distant relatives of modern crocodiles -- ruled the earth. Some lived on land and others in water and it was thought they didn't much interact. But a tooth found by a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, researcher in the thigh of one of these ancient animals is challenging this belief.

Contact: Whitney Heins
wheins@utk.edu
865-974-5460
University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Public Release: 29-Sep-2014
Genome Biology and Evolution
Ancient human genome from southern Africa throws light on our origins
The skeleton of a man who lived 2,330 years ago in the southernmost tip of Africa tells us about ourselves as humans, and throws some light on our earliest common genetic ancestry. The man's genome was sequenced and shown to be one of the 'earliest diverged' -- oldest in genetic terms -- found to-date in a region where modern humans are believed to have originated roughly 200,000 years ago.

Contact: Alison Heather
a.heather@garvan.org.uv
61-292-958-128
Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Public Release: 26-Sep-2014
Naturwissenschaften
Tooth buried in bone shows prehistoric predators tangled across land, sea
Before dinosaurs, it was thought the top aquatic and terrestrial predators didn't often interact. But researchers at Virginia Tech and the University of Tennessee discovered that the smaller of the two apex predators was potentially targeting the larger animal.

Contact: Rosaire Bushey
busheyr@vt.edu
540-231-5035
Virginia Tech

Public Release: 25-Sep-2014
Science
Innovative Stone Age tools were not African invention, say researchers
A new discovery of thousands of Stone Age tools has provided a major insight into human innovation 325,000 years ago and how early technological developments spread across the world, according to research published in the journal Science.
University of Connecticut, UK Natural Environment Research Council, Leakey Foundation, Irish Research Council, University of Winchester

Contact: Paul Teed
paul.teed@rhul.ac.uk
01-784-443-552
Royal Holloway, University of London

Public Release: 25-Sep-2014
Current Biology
Dinosaur family tree gives fresh insight into rapid rise of birds
The most comprehensive family tree of meat-eating dinosaurs ever created is enabling scientists to discover key details of how birds evolved from them.
European Commission, National Science Foundation, University of Edinburgh, Columbia University, American Museum of Natural History, Swarthmore College/Research Fund, James Michener Faculty Fellowship

Contact: Corin Campbell
Corin.Campbell@ed.ac.uk
44-131-650-2246
University of Edinburgh

Public Release: 24-Sep-2014
Nature
Fossil of multicellular life moves evolutionary needle back 60 million years
Virginia Tech geobiologist Shuhai Xiao and collaborators from the Chinese Academy of Sciences shed new light on multicellular fossils from a time 60 million years before a vast growth spurt of life known as the Cambrian Explosion occurred on Earth.

Contact: Rosaire Bushey
busheyr@vt.edu
540-231-5035
Virginia Tech

Public Release: 24-Sep-2014
PLOS ONE
New dinosaur from New Mexico has relatives in Alberta
University of Alberta scientists help create new family tree for armoured dinosaur with northern cousins.

Contact: Jennifer Pascoe
jennifer.pascoe@ualberta.ca
780-492-3802
University of Alberta

Public Release: 19-Sep-2014
Journal of Systematic Palaeontology
New hadrosaur noses into spotlight
Call it the Jimmy Durante of dinosaurs -- a newly discovered hadrosaur with a truly distinctive nasal profile. The new dinosaur, named Rhinorex condrupus by paleontologists from North Carolina State University and Brigham Young University, lived in what is now Utah approximately 75 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period.

Contact: Mick Kulikowski
mick_kulikowski@ncsu.edu
919-515-8387
North Carolina State University

Public Release: 18-Sep-2014
GSA Bulletin
Tree rings and arroyos
A new GSA Bulletin study uses tree rings to document arroyo evolution along the lower Rio Puerco and Chaco Wash in northern New Mexico, USA. By determining burial dates in tree rings from salt cedar and willow, investigators were able to precisely date arroyo sedimentary beds 30 cm thick or greater. They then combined this data with aerial imagery, LiDAR, longitudinal profiles, and repeat surveys to reconstruct the history of these arroyos.

Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America

Public Release: 18-Sep-2014
Geology
Miranda: An icy moon deformed by convection
Miranda, a small, icy moon of Uranus, is one of the most visually striking and enigmatic bodies in the solar system. Despite its relatively small size, Miranda appears to have experienced an episode of intense resurfacing that resulted in the formation of at least three remarkable and unique surface features -- polygonal-shaped regions called coronae.

Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America

Public Release: 17-Sep-2014
Nature
Modern Europeans descended from three groups of ancestors
New studies of ancient DNA are shifting scientists' ideas of how groups of people migrated across the globe and interacted with one another thousands of years ago. By comparing nine ancient genomes to those of modern humans, Howard Hughes Medical Institute scientists have shown that previously unrecognized groups contributed to the genetic mix now present in most modern-day Europeans.

Contact: Jim Keeley
keeleyj@hhmi.org
301-215-8858
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Public Release: 17-Sep-2014
Nature
New branch added to European family tree
Previous work suggested that Europeans descended from two ancestral groups: indigenous hunter-gatherers and early European farmers. This new study shows that there was also a third ancestral group, the Ancient North Eurasians, who contributed genetic material to almost all present-day Europeans. The research also reveals an even older lineage, the Basal Eurasians.
NIH/National Cancer Institute, NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute

Contact: David Cameron
david_cameron@hms.harvard.edu
617-432-0441
Harvard Medical School

Public Release: 16-Sep-2014
PLOS Biology
Meteorite that doomed the dinosaurs helped the forests bloom
66 million years ago, a 10-km diameter chunk of rock hit the Yucatan peninsula with the force of 100 teratons of TNT. It left a crater more than 150 km across, and the resulting megatsunami, wildfires, global earthquakes and volcanism are widely accepted to have wiped out the dinosaurs and made way for the rise of the mammals. But what happened to the plants on which the dinosaurs fed?

Contact: PLOS Biology
biologypress@plos.org
PLOS

Public Release: 16-Sep-2014
PLOS Biology
Meteorite that doomed dinosaurs remade forests
The impact decimated slow-growing evergreens and made way for fast-growing, deciduous plants, according to a study applying biomechanical analyses to fossilized leaves. The study provides much-needed evidence for how the extinction event unfolded in the plant communities at the time.
National Science Foundation, Geological Society of America

Contact: Daniel Stolte
stolte@email.arizona.edu
520-626-4402
University of Arizona

Public Release: 15-Sep-2014
Geological Journal
'Jaws' lived in Doncaster
Sharks, swamps and a tropical rainforest teeming with life -- it's not what comes to mind when you think of Yorkshire, England. But for the first time evidence of Doncaster's 310-million-year-old past, including a fossilized shark egg case, has been discovered in a derelict mining tip.

Contact: Aeron Haworth
aeron.haworth@manchester.ac.uk
44-161-275-8387
University of Manchester

Public Release: 14-Sep-2014
Nature
Asian monsoon much older than previously thought
The Asian monsoon already existed 40 million years ago during a period of high atmospheric carbon dioxide and warmer temperatures, an international research team led by a University of Arizona geoscientist reports in the journal Nature. Scientists thought the climate pattern known as the Asian monsoon began 22-25 million years ago as a result of the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalaya Mountains.
French National Research Agency, Universities of Poitiers and Nancy, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, Marie Curie Career Integration, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar

Contact: Mari N. Jensen
mnjensen@email.arizona.edu
520-626-9635
University of Arizona

Public Release: 11-Sep-2014
Journal of Geology
Microscopic diamonds suggest cosmic impact responsible for major period of climate change
A new study published in the Journal of Geology provides support for the theory that a cosmic impact event over North America some 13,000 years ago caused a major period of climate change known as the Younger Dryas stadial, or 'Big Freeze.'

Contact: Emily Murphy
emurphy@press.uchicago.edu
773-702-7521
University of Chicago Press Journals

Public Release: 11-Sep-2014
Science
Scientists report first semiaquatic dinosaur, Spinosaurus
Scientists today unveiled what appears to be the first truly semiaquatic dinosaur, Spinosaurus aegyptiacus. New fossils of the massive Cretaceous-era predator reveal it adapted to life in the water some 95 million years ago, providing the most compelling evidence to date of a dinosaur able to live and hunt in an aquatic environment.
The National Geographic Society

Contact: Claire Gwatkin Jones
cgjones@ngs.org
202-857-7756
National Geographic Society

Public Release: 10-Sep-2014
Journal of Paleontology
Ancient swamp creature had lips like Mick Jagger
A swamp-dwelling, plant-munching creature that lived 19 million years ago in Africa has been named after Rolling Stones lead singer Sir Mick Jagger, because of its big, sensitive lips and snout. The name of the animal, Jaggermeryx naida, translates to 'Jagger's water nymph.'
National Science Foundation

Contact: Robin Ann Smith
ras10@duke.edu
919-681-8057
Duke University

Public Release: 10-Sep-2014
PLOS ONE
Study ties groundwater to human evolution
Our ancient ancestors' ability to move around and find new sources of groundwater during extremely dry periods in Africa millions of years ago may have been key to their survival and the evolution of the human species, a new study shows.

Contact: Ry Crozier
r.crozier@unsw.edu.au
61-425-245-887
University of New South Wales

Public Release: 10-Sep-2014
Nature
Researchers discover 3 extinct squirrel-like species
Paleontologists have described three new small squirrel-like species that place a poorly understood Mesozoic group of animals firmly in the mammal family tree. The study supports the idea that mammals -- an extremely diverse group that includes egg-laying monotremes such as the platypus, marsupials such as the opossum, and placentals like humans and whales -- originated at least 208 million years ago in the late Triassic, much earlier than some previous research suggests.
National Basic Research Program of China, National Science Foundation of China, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Contact: Kendra Snyder
ksnyder@amnh.org
212-496-3419
American Museum of Natural History

Public Release: 9-Sep-2014
Nature Communications
Testing the fossil record
How good is the fossil record? And does it paint an accurate picture of the history of life? Those are the long-standing questions that geobiologist Bjarte Hannisdal at the University of Bergen's Centre for Geobiology is trying to answer.

Contact: Bjarte Hannisdal
bjarte.hannisdal@geo.uib.no
479-597-2740
The University of Bergen

Public Release: 9-Sep-2014
BMC Evolutionary Biology
Sloths are no slouches when it comes to evolution
Today's sloths might be known as slow, small animals, but their ancestors developed large body sizes at an amazing rate, according to an evolutionary reconstruction published today in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. The fast rate of change suggests that factors such as environmental conditions, or competition with other species must have strongly favored the bigger sloths, before they died out.

Contact: Alanna Orpen
alanna.orpen@biomedcentral.com
44-203-192-20554
BioMed Central