Talk about the discovery of a lifetime. When then-high schooler Kevin Terris stumbled on a fossil in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah — one missed by two professional paleontologists — he hit the jackpot. It was the “youngest, smallest and most complete fossil skeleton yet known from the iconic tube-crested dinosaur Parasaurolophus,” notes a release from the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology in Claremont, Calif., where the fossil now lives.
Terris made the discovery in 2009, but the dino’s identity wasn’t published until yesterday in PeerJ, an open-access peer-reviewed journal.
“Joe,” as the specimen was called after a long-time Alf Museum supporter, was a duck-billed herbivore that lived in North America some 75 million years ago. It was less than 6 feet in length when it died, about one-quarter the maximum size of an adult, and probably about a year old, according to the PeerJ paper.
The finding offers scientists the chance to learn about the dinosaur’s life cycles. For example, they learned that Parasaurolophusgrew significantly and quickly during its first year of life. (It takes us 15 to 20 years to grow the same amount.) The fossil also revealed that the ornamental crest that becomes very large on an adult was just a bump on Joe, yet more developed than other similar species would have had at his age. “This shows that the shape of the crest morphed drastically through the life of a single animal,” states a site dedicated to all-things Joe.
For Terris, it was a thrilling moment. “At first I was interested in seeing what the initial piece of bone sticking out of the rock was,” he stated in a news release. “When we exposed the skull, I was ecstatic!”
For dinosaur lovers, it’s a sign to keep on looking. “There are more dinosaurs hiding just under the surface than we’ll ever know,” writes Brian Switek for National Geographic. “Every single skeleton, every single bone or tooth, is a time capsule that still contains traces of life that we can sadly never witness firsthand. That we can understand Joe’s life in such detail is a testament to how much the fossil record can tell us, and how much we may yet learn about lost worlds.”
Residents of Mexico's Baja Peninsula are picking up the pieces after devastating Hurricane Odile smashed ashore at Cabo San Lucas near 12:45 am EDT Monday as a Category 3 storm with 125 mph winds. The San Jose del Cabo airport (7th busiest in Mexico) is closed until September 22, and the Cabo San Lucas airport may be closed until October. Fortunately, no deaths are being attributed to the hurricane--a tribute to the excellence of Mexico's civil defense system for hurricanes.
August featured a record heat wave in the Baltics and Belarus, record cold in Northern Ireland, extreme rainfall events along the U.S. East Coast and in Michigan. Deadly flooding in Nepal and India killed at least 200 and Typhoon Halong hit Japan. A rare tropical storm struck the Big Island of Hawaii. Perth, Australia had its warmest August on record while Darwin measured its coldest August temperature on record.
This is a live blog set up to provide the latest coverage on Hurricane Arthur as it threatens the North Carolina Coast. Check back often to see what the latest is with Arthur. The most recent updates are at the top.
Here is some basic, fundamental terminology related to tropical cyclones. Rather than a comprehensive and/or technical glossary, this represents the essence of the meaning & importance of some key, frequently used terms.
Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.