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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: Squawking With Dinosaurs
9 August 2011 7:02 pm
What was toothless, may have been the size of an ostrich, and lived alongside the dinosaurs? According to a paper published today in Biology Letters, the answer is Samrukia nessovi—an enormous bird discovered in the 83-million to 70-million-year old strata of southern Kazakhstan. Very little is known about the creature. Paleontologists have only a pair of lower jaw fragments to go on, the larger of which (pictured above) is almost 11 inches long. Nevertheless, the size and anatomy of the bones identify Samrukia as a unique species of archaic bird which would have weighed at least 25 pounds—far larger than any of its known contemporaries. That overturns the previously held idea that birds stayed small until the nonavian dinosaurs died out. In life, Samrukia may have resembled an albatross if it could fly, and an ostrich if it was flightless (two possibilities envisioned in silhouette in this speculative restoration) though paleontologists have a few more bones to pick before they can be sure.
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