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Thick-shelled turtle egg with embryo still inside from the Cretaceous period found in China – Phys.org

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Fossil turtle hatching. Credit: Artwork copyright Masato Mattori

A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in China and Canada has identified a turtle egg fossil from the Cretaceous period that contains an embryo. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the group describes where the egg was found and what they learned about it during their examination.

Finding the of dinosaurs or turtles from the Cretaceous period is extremely rare—their fragile nature makes it difficult for them to survive to the present, even in prime conditions. Finding a fossilized embryo still inside such an egg is even more rare. But that is just what the team in China discovered when they visited a farmer in China’s Henan Province. He had inadvertently dug up what he had described as several strange-looking rocks. One of those rocks turned out to be a turtle egg that the team dated to a time during the Cretaceous period, somewhere between 66 and 145 million years ago.

In studying the egg using a variety of techniques, including micro-computed tomography, the researchers were able to see that the egg was from a turtle that had belonged to a group known as nanhsiungchelyids—a land-dwelling species wiped out by the same impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. Prior research has shown that they were all quite large. The specimen that had laid the egg found by the farmer likely had a shell diameter of up to a meter and a half. To learn more about its characteristics, the researchers recreated the embryo with a 3D software application. In so doing, they found flat ribs that are characteristic of modern baby turtles. As the turtle grows, they form the basis of the shell. The researchers suggest that the ancient turtle likely was not much different from modern turtles, with one exception—an extremely thick eggshell.

Thick-shelled turtle egg with embryo still inside from the Cretaceous period found in China
A Nanhsiungchelyid turtle egg containing an embryo. Credit: Yuzheng Ke

As a rule, eggshells are pretty thin, whether from birds or . This is because the little creature growing inside must at some point break its way out. With a nearly two millimeters thick, the baby inside the ancient egg would have required some special abilities to make its way into the world.


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More information:
Yuzheng Ke et al, A large and unusually thick-shelled turtle egg with embryonic remains from the Upper Cretaceous of China, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2021). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2021.1239

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Thick-shelled turtle egg with embryo still inside from the Cretaceous period found in China (2021, August 18)
retrieved 18 August 2021
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Space telescopes capture asteroid strike – CTV News

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. –

The world now has stunning new photos of this week’s asteroid strike, the first planetary defence test of its kind.

NASA on Thursday released pictures of the dramatic event taken by the Hubble and Webb space telescopes.

Telescopes on all seven continents also watched as NASA’s Dart spacecraft slammed Monday into the harmless space rock, 7 million miles (11 million kilometres) from Earth, in hopes of altering its orbit.

Scientists won’t know the precise change until November; the demo results are expected to instill confidence in using the technique against a killer asteroid headed our way one day.

“This is an unprecedented view of an unprecedented event,” Johns Hopkins University planetary astronomer and mission leader Andy Rivkin said in a statement.

All these pictures will help scientists learn more about the little asteroid Dimorphos, which took the punch and ended up with a sizable crater. The impact sent streams of rock and dirt hurling into space, appearing as bright emanating rays in the latest photos.

The brightness of this double asteroid system — the 525-foot (160-metre) Dimorphos is actually the moonlet around a bigger asteroid — tripled after the impact as seen in the Hubble images, according to NASA.

Hubble and Webb will keep observing Dimorphos and its large companion Didymos over the next several weeks.

The US$325 million Dart mission was launched last year. The spacecraft was built and managed by Johns Hopkins’ Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland.

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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3 Russian cosmonauts return safely from Intl Space Station – Lethbridge News Now

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By Canadian Press

Sep 29, 2022 | 1:32 PM

MOSCOW (AP) — Three Russian cosmonauts returned safely Thursday from a mission to the International Space Station.

The Soyuz MS-21 spacecraft carrying Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveyev and Sergey Korsakov touched down softly at 4:57 p.m. at a designated site in the steppes of Kazakhstan, 150 kilometers (90 miles) southeast of the city of Zhezkazgan.

The trio had arrived at the space station in March. For Artemyev, the mission marked a third space flight, bringing his total time spent in orbit to 561 days. Matveyev and Korsakov each logged 195 days on their first missions.

As the Soyuz capsule was descending, using a big striped red-and-white parachute under clear skies, Artemyev reported to Mission Control that all members of the crew were feeling fine.

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Mary Vaux Walcott – The Canadian Encyclopedia

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Mary Vaux Walcott | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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