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Complete Skull of the Smallest Known Dinosaur Found Preserved in Amber – IGN India

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Scientists have discovered the complete skull of a previously unknown species of dinosaur, believed to be the smallest on record, in a new study that has raised questions about the ecosystem of the dinosaurs.

As detailed in a recent Nature journal, the skeletal fossil, found trapped in a chunk of 99-million-year-old amber, appears to represent the smallest known dinosaur of the Mesozoic era, rivalling the bee hummingbird in size.

The skull of the new species, dubbed Oculudentavis khaungraae, measures 7.1 millimetres in length and features an enlarged and well-defined eye socket, comparable to lizards, together with a jaw packed full of serrated teeth.

Pictures and scans of the preserved skull. Image credit: Nature

“When I first saw this specimen, it really blew my mind. I literally have never seen anything like this,” said Professor Jingmai O’Connor from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, per CNN. “There’s over 100 teeth present in the jaws. These weird eyes sticking off looking to the side. There’s nothing like this alive today.”

O’Connor explained how discoveries of skeletal fossils encased in amber had “completely transformed” palaeontology, as she admitted that we’re prone to thinking of “huge skeletons” when we think of dinosaurs. Professor Lars Schmitz from Scripps College in California said the study indicates that “we are probably missing a big chunk of the ecosystem of the dinosaurs.”

The events of Jurassic Park were set into motion after the discovery of fossilized mosquitoes found in amber, but unfortunately, Xu Xing, a Chinese palaeontologist, who wasn’t involved in this particular study, said scientists are unlikely to find this to be a source of genetic material in reality.

“Previously people thought amber will be a great source for DNA or proteins, but recent studies demonstrate that it is probably not the case,” Xing explained to the outlet. “But, anyway, it often preserves skin, feathers and other non-skeletal tissues, and… we can get lots of information [from this].”

This certainly isn’t the first time scientists have discovered elements in ancient fossils. A few years ago scientists at Imperial College London found blood cells in a fossilized dinosaur claw. In other discoveries, the oldest meat-eating dinosaur was recently discovered in Brazil and an amber-preserved beetle was also recently found, showing signs of ancient insect pollination.


Adele Ankers is a Freelance Entertainment Journalist. You can reach her on Twitter.

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Rangers' Panarin, others donate N95 masks to hospitals – National Post

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New York Rangers forward Artemi Panarin provided quite the assist by aiding frontline health care workers in the battle against the coronavirus.

Panarin purchased and arranged the delivery of 1,500 N95 masks to Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

“We are so grateful for Artemi Panarin’s incredibly generous gift of N95 masks to HSS,” said Dr. Bryan Kelly, the surgeon-in-chief at Hospital for Special Surgery, per NHL.com.

“Along with his teammates, Panarin also created a video thanking HSS for our commitment to helping NYC during this pandemic. On behalf of every clinical staff member at HSS, we would like to offer our heartfelt thanks to Panarin for his generosity during this time. Additionally, we’d like to thank Jim Ramsay, head athletic trainer for the Rangers, for his help coordinating their efforts.”

The masks were delivered on Friday.

Panarin is not alone, as Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and New York Islanders netminder Semyon Varlamov also purchased and arranged delivery of the N95 masks to hospitals in their respective markets.

Per NHL.com, Bobrovsky reportedly donated thousands of masks to multiple hospitals in the area of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Varlamov joined his teammates in donating 3,000 masks to Northwell Health system on Long Island.

“A heartfelt thanks to the @NYIslanders for supporting our Northwell Health #healthcareheroes with your delivery of N95 masks this week!” Northwell Health Foundation tweeted from the @GiveToNorthwell account.

N95 masks are in demand among medical providers because they help prevent a person from inhaling small, airborne infectious particles — a primary means of transmitting the coronavirus.

As of Sunday morning, more than 1.2 million people around the world had been diagnosed with the disease, with more than 67,000 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

–Field Level Media

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Earth's crust is shaking less as people stay home – MENAFN.COM

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(MENAFN – IANS)

London, April 5 (IANS) The COVID-19 lockdowns globally have not only made air breathable or rivers clean but have also resulted in the way our Earth moves, as researchers now report a drop in seismic noise (the hum of vibrations in the planets crust) because transport networks, real estate and other human activities have been shut down.

According an article in the journal Nature, efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus mean that the planet itself is moving a little less, which could “allow detectors to spot smaller earthquakes and boost efforts to monitor volcanic activity and other seismic events”.

Vibrations caused by moving vehicles and industrial machinery produce background noise, which reduces seismologists’ ability to detect other signals occurring at the same frequency.

“A noise reduction of this magnitude is usually only experienced briefly around Christmas,” said Thomas Lecocq, a seismologist with the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Brussels which has observed the drop in seismic noise.

Data from a seismometer at the observatory show that measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Brussels caused human-induced seismic noise to fall by about one-third.

In Belgium, scientists report at least a 30 per cent reduction in that amount of ambient human noise since lockdown began there.

The current drop has boosted the sensitivity of the observatory’s equipment, improving its ability to detect waves in the same high frequency range as the noise, said the Nature article.

However, not all seismic monitoring stations will see an effect as pronounced as the one observed in Brussels.

According to Emily Wolin, a geologist at the US Geological Survey in Albuquerque, New Mexico, many stations are purposefully located in remote areas to avoid human noise.

“These should see a smaller decrease, or no change at all, in the level of high-frequency noise they record,” she was quoted as saying.

The fall in noise could also benefit seismologists who use naturally occurring background vibrations, such as those from crashing ocean waves, to probe Earth’s crust.

A fall in human-induced noise could boost the sensitivity of detectors to natural waves at similar frequencies

“There’s a big chance indeed it could lead to better measurements,” said Lecocq.

The reduction in seismic activity, like reduction in air pollution, also show that people are adhering to social distancing guidelines.

“From the seismological point of view, we can motivate people to say, ‘OK look, people. You feel like you’re alone at home, but we can tell you that everyone is home. Everyone is doing the same. Everyone is respecting the rules,'” Lecocq told CNN.

–IANS

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Earth's crust is shaking less as people stay home – International Business Times, Singapore Edition

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The COVID-19 lockdowns globally have not only made air breathable or rivers clean but have also resulted in the way our Earth moves, as researchers now report a drop in seismic noise (the hum of vibrations in the planets crust) because transport networks, real estate and other human activities have been shut down.

According an article in the journal Nature, efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus mean that the planet itself is moving a little less, which could “allow detectors to spot smaller earthquakes and boost efforts to monitor volcanic activity and other seismic events”.

Vibrations caused by moving vehicles and industrial machinery produce background noise, which reduces seismologists’ ability to detect other signals occurring at the same frequency.

“A noise reduction of this magnitude is usually only experienced briefly around Christmas,” said Thomas Lecocq, a seismologist with the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Brussels which has observed the drop in seismic noise.

Image for Representational purpose only

Data from seismometer

Data from a seismometer at the observatory show that measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Brussels caused human-induced seismic noise to fall by about one-third.

In Belgium, scientists report at least a 30 per cent reduction in that amount of ambient human noise since lockdown began there.

The current drop has boosted the sensitivity of the observatory’s equipment, improving its ability to detect waves in the same high frequency range as the noise, said the Nature article.

However, not all seismic monitoring stations will see an effect as pronounced as the one observed in Brussels.

According to Emily Wolin, a geologist at the US Geological Survey in Albuquerque, New Mexico, many stations are purposefully located in remote areas to avoid human noise.

“These should see a smaller decrease, or no change at all, in the level of high-frequency noise they record,” she was quoted as saying.

The fall in noise could also benefit seismologists who use naturally occurring background vibrations, such as those from crashing ocean waves, to probe Earth’s crust.

A fall in human-induced noise could boost the sensitivity of detectors to natural waves at similar frequencies

“There’s a big chance indeed it could lead to better measurements,” said Lecocq.

The reduction in seismic activity, like reduction in air pollution, also show that people are adhering to social distancing guidelines.

“From the seismological point of view, we can motivate people to say, ‘OK look, people. You feel like you’re alone at home, but we can tell you that everyone is home. Everyone is doing the same. Everyone is respecting the rules,'” Lecocq told CNN.

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