After reconstructing the color patterns of a well-preserved dinosaur from China, researchers have found that the long-lost species called Psittacosaurus was light on its underside and darker on top. This color pattern, known as countershading, is a common form of camouflage in modern animals. The findings reported in Current Biology on Sept. 15 lead the researchers to conclude that Psittacosaurus most likely lived in an environment with diffuse light, such as in a forest.
Stable isotope analysis of hair from bonobos shows that the diet of these great apes may vary with social rank and reproductive status, according a study published Sept. 14, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Vicky Oelze from Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany, and colleagues.
From skeletal remains found among ancient owl pellets, a team of scientists has recovered the first ancient DNA of the extinct West Indian mammal Nesophontes, meaning 'island murder.' They traced its evolutionary history back to the dawn of mammals 70 million years ago. The authors, including Selina Brace, Jessica Thomas, Ian Barnes et al., published their findings in the advanced online edition of Molecular Biology and Evolution.
University of Utah researchers have found that the structure of an insulin molecule produced by predatory cone snails may be an improvement over current fast-acting therapeutic insulin.
The leading theory for the moon's formation got in trouble recently when it was revealed that the moon and Earth are isotopic twins. Now highly precise measurements of the isotopes of an element that was still condensed at the 'cut off' temperature when material started to fall back to Earth suggest a dramatic solution to the problem.
Stalagmites rising from the floor of a cave in southern Indiana may contain traces of past earthquakes in the region, according to a report published Sept. 13 in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.
Scientists have developed numerous models to predict how much fuel remains inside Earth to drive its engines -- and estimates vary widely -- but the true amount remains unknown. In a new paper published in Nature Scientific Reports, a team of geologists and neutrino physicists boldly claims it will be able to determine by 2025 how much nuclear fuel and radioactive power remain in the Earth's tank.
New research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that Asian jumping worms, an invasive species first found in Wisconsin in 2013, may do their work too well, speeding up the exit of nutrients from the soil before plants can process them.
An extinct reptile related to crocodiles that lived 212 million years ago in present day New Mexico has been named as a new species, Vivaron haydeni, in a paper published this week by Virginia Tech's Department of Geosciences researchers.
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the US Southwest and captured infrared data on the clouds associated with former Tropical Cyclone Newton.