Plants and Animals

From Dinosaur Arms To Bird Wings: It's All In The Wrists

Photo credit: Since early dinosaurs, birds have reduced the number of bones in their wrist, but the origins and identity of those remaining are hard to trace / 2014 Robin Meadows, adapted from 2014 Botelho et al., PLoS Biology

Wrist bones became heavily remodeled somewhere along the way between early dinosaurs and modern birds. Researchers combining new analyses of modern bird embryos and fossils reveal how wrists were modernized, if you will, over millions of years. These previously undetected processes of loss, fusion, and even the “re-evolution” of a lost bone are described in a PLOS Biology study this week. 


Twin Stars Hosting Two Jupiter-Sized Exoplanets Discovered

Photo credit: ESO/L. Calçada/Nick Risinger.

A team of European astronomers has stumbled upon a family gathering in space: twin stars in a binary system, each hosting Jupiter-sized exoplanet “cousins.” The exciting discovery was made while a team of British, Swiss and Belgian scientists were studying a star called WASP-94A. They first found evidence for the presence of a “hot Jupiter” exoplanet around this host, and then while continuing to probe this system, they accidentally discovered another star.

Plants and Animals

Dramatic Battle Between Great White Sharks Caught On Camera

Photo credit: Adam Malski/Nick Johnson/Kyle Waters. Two great white sharks do battle off Australia's coast

Diver Adam Malski filmed a battle between two great white sharks 50 kilometers off the coast of South Australia's Neptune Islands. The islands are a popular destination for tourists interested in great white sharks. The attacker was a 4.8 meter Carcharodon carcharias known as Gilbert. The unnamed smaller shark has not been seen since the fight, so Malski does not know if he survived.



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