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Rare T. Rex Relative Discovered in New Mexico

Rare T. Rex Relative Discovered in New Mexico 88

They don’t look remarkable to the untrained eye. The skull bones are fragmentary, unrecognizable to most. The story of a fearsome tyrannosaur, who lived millions of years before T. rex, would remain lost to the ages had it not been for the fossil’s discovery in New Mexico by a dedicated team of dinosaur hunters.

Digging in rock known to be approximately 80 million years old, but also infamous for its lack of fossil preservation, paleontologists Andrew McDonald, Douglas Wolfe, and their team searched for remnants of life in the Menefee Formation of New Mexico. This particular geologic formation was part of Laramidia, the western part of the ancient continent that eventually became the North America we know today.

Clues were there from the very beginning: Most of the bones were hollow and the skull segments were distinctive. Excited, McDonald knew these indicated a theropod. But what kind?

Theropods were bipedal dinosaurs and most, but not all, were carnivorous. Tyrannosaurus rex is the most well known type of theropod, but it’s just one of a very diverse group of animals. It is also a later form of tyrannosaur. Many of the T. rex fossils people recognize from museums are approximately 66 million to 77 million years old. Earlier forms of tyrannosaur are extremely rare.

In a paper published today, McDonald, Wolfe, and Alton Dooley Jr., introduce Dynamoterror dynastes, which is only the second known tyrannosaur in Laramidia from this time period. D. dynastes walked the Earth approximately 80 million years ago.

Comparing fragments of bones offers a unique challenge to paleontologists hoping to identify such fossils. It took considerable research into published data, as well as trying to match the bones with available specimens. Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of the study was the use of 3D scanning and printing to facilitate their research.

Rare T. Rex Relative Discovered in New Mexico 89

3D models of the D. dynastes bones. Image: McDonald et al.

The two frontal bones of the skull of D. dynastes were broken in different ways, but there was enough on both sides that they could reconstruct them.

“There are features on the right frontal,” explained McDonald, curator at the Western Science Center, “that aren’t preserved on the left, and vice versa. But there are enough overlapping features” that enabled them to recreate a digital composite of both bones.

“Those overlapping features gave us landmarks to work with,” he said.

To be clear, Dooley, executive director of the Western Science Center, said, “the 3D modeling didn’t reveal any feature that we didn’t already know was there. But it made it much easier to make the comparisons and for us to interpret what we were looking at.”

What would have previously taken weeks to confirm their fossil interpretation took only three days with the 3D models.

“The whole process of producing the composite 3D model took us [approximately] a day to scan the fragments,” said Dooley, “then maybe one more day to make the composite model and then a third day to print it out.”

These scans are publicly available to download from Morphosource and Sketchfab, enabling anyone to use them for noncommercial purposes.

“We hope that [publicly available digital fossil scans] become the standard,” Dooley said. “It’s not going to replace looking at the original specimens. As good as scans are, the actual specimen is still better. But sometimes you don’t need the original specimen. You can get the data that you need perfectly well from just a scan.” He said that these digital scans open up fossil research to scientists who may be limited by time or money.

He added: “We’re not doing [scientific] work to keep it secret. We want to further human knowledge. We want other scientists to be able to use this specimen to help them in their own research. Travel is expensive; it can be difficult. And if we can do things to mitigate the costs of doing research, we can make it more accessible.”

Source gizmodo.com

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Polar vortex: “wild” winter is coming in the US, Northern Europe and East Asia after the 16th of January

Polar vortex: "wild" winter is coming in the US, Northern Europe and East Asia after the 16th of January 94

In the upper atmosphere above the North Pole, experts saw a rapidly swirling vortex of cold air that could bring severe frosts to the United States, Northern Europe and East Asia. Serious cold snap and snowy weather are expected after January the 16th.

Snowfalls and a cold snap hit South Korea since the start of 2021, hitting historic snow maximums and temperatures. In the country, for the first time since 1964, television and newer communications are sending people cold snap warnings:

https://twitter.com/sonyeoljin/status/1346841272347082752?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

The situation is similar in Japan, where a new snow storm hit historic highs:

On January 7, the thermometer In Beijing dropped to -20 degrees Celsius, breaking the 1966 record. In other regions of China, the temperature is also not sugar, and you can only move around in special uniforms:

The cold even reached Taiwan, where the temperature in some areas dropped below freezing point, snow poured down and people realized that rice terraces can be used as a ski jump:

Even more snow went to Spain, where on January 6, 2021, a temperature of -34.1 ° C was recorded – the lowest on record. After that, a snow storm hit the country, which has not been seen for 80 years:

https://youtu.be/pHU533Krs5M

The same thing happens in Canada and in the northern states of the United States:

It seems that after a stratospheric warming, the subpolar vortex began to split:

The vortex itself is a standard phenomenon. However, this time experts were surprised at his movement. It is possible that in the near future it will be divided into two parts. 

Scientists associate the strange behavior with the changed climate in the Arctic, which has become warmer. From September to December, the amount of ice cover decreased significantly.

The polar vortex is a low-pressure region located in the stratosphere and filled with cold air. When the jet stream of air that holds the vortex weakens, the low pressure area moves south. 

As the ice shrinks, more moisture will move inland. It will turn to snow, so snowfalls are expected. Snow, in turn, reflects heat, leading to a cold snap.

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Hospital in Naples was evacuated after a new, huge sinkhole appeared

Hospital in Naples was evacuated after a new, huge sinkhole appeared 95

Eyewitnesses said they heard a loud crash at dawn when a huge hole in the ground formed outside the Ponticelli Ospedale del Mare hospital in eastern Naples.

Early in the morning of January 8, 2021, a sinkhole occurred in the parking lot of a clinic in Naples. The depth of the formed cavity is about 20 meters, the total area of ​​the hole is about 2,000 square meters.

No casualties were found at the scene; firefighters say the sinkhole “affected an area of ​​about 500 square meters” and engulfed several cars parked near the hospital.

As the press writes and as a little can be seen from the videos, rescuers and firefighters were running around the pit together with the governor of the area.  But who should be there in the forefront are Italian geologists, since Naples stands in the very center of the volcanic system known as the Phlegrean Fields.

If the surface collapsed, moreover – the surface reinforced with concrete and reinforced from below with some kind of communications, then we are talking about serious soil deformations caused by the activity of magma.

Italy has been in doubt since the summer of 2020, because swarms were observed there in very atypical places in May, and according to the forecasts of old Italian seismologists, who had witnessed many strong earthquakes, it should have boomed in the August region.

Fortunately, nothing bad happened to Italy and there was no big earthquake. But, since there are swarms, it means that something is being prepared, the magma is gathering strength. 

Following this particular sinkhole event – an obvious sign that a major earthquake in Italy is already very close.

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A new great pandemic cycle has begun (again) in China

A new great pandemic cycle has begun (again) in China 96

In the first months of 2020, the whole world with a certain fright followed the events unfolding in China, where people fell on the streets during the day and astronauts wandered, and in the evening crematoria began to smoke. And now, with the onset of December, the cycle seems to be repeating itself.

Shunyi area in Beijing, where the authorities announced “wartime status” the day before. As you can see in the videos, thousands of people are lined up in the queue for mandatory testing:

Dalian city, where “wartime” is also declared. Neighborhoods are blockaded, people are walled up in entrances, familiar characters of George Lucas roam the streets:

https://twitter.com/UndergroundSilk/status/1341741036297723905?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Chinese ‘rescuers’, before performing a combat mission:

Chengdu City:

Daluo Port, Yunnan – tourists came for adventure and they received the ‘time of their life’ after leaving the ramp:

If something happens in Beijing, it does not mean that tomorrow the same will happen everywhere. However, the trend towards such dynamics is observed and, as the practice of the first wave of the pandemic has shown, all countries and people, to one degree or another, have taken into account the ‘Chinese experience’. 

Therefore, one must think that everything will now be in peace, as in spring – a new global round of the fight against the Covid has begun in China, a new great pandemic cycle!

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