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Evidence suggests an animal that roamed with the dinosaurs went into a hibernation-like state to survive – MSN Money

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New evidence suggests the Lystrosaurus species that roamed the Earth with the dinosaurs went into a state of hibernation to survive what is modern day Antarctica.






© Crystal Shin/University of Washington
An artist’s rendition of Lystrosaurus in a state of torpor.

The Lystrosaurus is a mammal-like animal from the early Triassic period that roamed modern day regions such as India, South Africa and Antarctica over 250 million years ago. It has tusks like an elephant and a beak similar to a turtle, and it was roughly the size of a pig.

Scientists at the University of Washington used fossils of the animal’s tusks to test for stress differences between the species living in polar climates and warmer ones, such as in Africa. The tusks are key because they can measure periods of time in the animal’s life, similar to rings on a tree.

They found prolonged stress consistent with animals that experience torpor, or prolonged rest such as hibernation, and it is the oldest instance of torpor known in fossil records.

“These preliminary findings indicate that entering into a hibernation-like state is not a relatively new type of adaptation. It is an ancient one,” lead author Megan Whitney, a doctoral student in biology at the University of Washington, said in a news release.

“To see the specific signs of stress and strain brought on by hibernation, you need to look at something that can fossilize and was growing continuously during the animal’s life,” said co-author Christian Sidor, a biology professor at the University of Washington. “Many animals don’t have that, but luckily Lystrosaurus did.”

The scientists also believe that it may explain why the animal survived the mass extinction at the end of the Permian period, which wiped out 70% of vertebrate species on land.

The researchers said they cannot definitively prove Lystrosaurus went into true hibernation as we know it, but the stress could be caused by another form of short-term torpor.

“What we observed in the Antarctic Lystrosaurus tusks fits a pattern of small metabolic ‘reactivation events’ during a period of stress, which is most similar to what we see in warm-blooded hibernators today,” Whitney said.

The findings were published in a study in the Communications Biology Journal on August 27.

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Student at Huntsville public school tests positive for COVID-19 – Muskoka Region News

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The first school-related COVID-19 case in the Trillium Lakelands District School Board has been confirmed to be a student.

During the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 22, a Huntsville parent posted a letter they received from the board confirming a positive COVID-19 case at Spruce Glen Public School in Huntsville.

“We have been notified by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) that a student or staff member at Spruce Glen Public School has tested positive for COVID-19. Our school is working closely with Trillium Lakelands District School Board and SMDHU and is taking necessary steps to prevent the further spread of the virus both in the school and in the community.”


Follow-up communications confirmed that the person is a female student from Huntsville between the ages of 0 and 17. A parent forwarded this newspaper the letter they received from the school on Wednesday, Sept. 23. Their child is in the same class as the siblings of the student who tested positive for COVID-19.

“The students have all taken their role to keep everyone safe, including themselves safe, very seriously. It is a real blessing! This is such a kind, caring, and amazing group of students. I am deeply moved by their considerate actions,” wrote a teacher at the school.

The school remains open at this time.

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NASA tweaks space station's position to avoid collision with massive debris – National Post

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NASA quickly shifted the position of the International Space Station to avoid a potentially catastrophic encounter with debris that would have passed within less than a mile of the orbital laboratory — a close shave in space terms.

The three-member crew was moved into a Soyuz spacecraft until the station was considered out of danger from the object, which was expected to pass by at about 5:21 p.m. Central time on Tuesday, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said in a statement.

The agency didn’t reveal the size of the debris, which would have passed within 1.39 km (0.86 mile), forcing the 150-second “avoidance maneuver” burn by Mission Control in Houston. Colliding with orbital debris, or space junk, of even a few centimeters in diameter would be potentially catastrophic to the space station given that objects in low-earth orbit can travel at speeds of roughly 17,500 miles per hour (28,000 kilometers an hour) and higher.

The space station’s move occurred about an hour before the closest approach using thrust from the Russian Progress resupply craft that is docked on the ISS Zvezda service module.

Adjustments of the station’s orbit are fairly routine, although having the crew take shelter in the Soyuz spacecraft isn’t.

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New Brunswick reports one new case of COVID-19, has four active cases – Yahoo News Canada

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FREDERICTON — New Brunswick is reporting one new case of COVID-19 today.

Health officials say the new case involves an individual between 60 and 69 years old in the Miramichi region.

They say the case is related to travel from outside of the Atlantic bubble and the person is self-isolating.

There have been 197 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in New Brunswick to date, and 191 people have recovered.

Two people have died, and four cases are still active.

Health officials have conducted a total of 71,585 tests.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 23, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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