Tunisian dinosaur age mammal tracks discovery


This June 2016 video is called Mammals began their takeover long before the death of the dinosaurs.

Another video from the USA used to say about itself:

During Demise Of Dinosaurs, Early Mammals Had Reason To Smile

Although humans never walked with dinosaurs, some of our earliest ancestors seem to have done so. Dr. Gregory P. Wilson, an Adjunct Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology and Assistant Professor of Biology at the Burke Museum of the University of Washington, is the lead author of a study that was published in Nature, titled Adaptive Radiation of Multituberculate Mammals Before the Extinction of Dinosaurs. Wilson’s findings challenge a long-held notion that the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) extinction event was the launchpad for mammalian evolution into a diverse and proliferative group.

From Cretaceous Research:

First report of mammal-like tracks from the Cretaceous of North Africa (Tunisia)

Michela Contessi

Abstract

This paper describes Cretaceous mammal-like tracks from southern Tunisia. The tracks, referred to the Cenomanian Kerker Member of the Zebbag Formation, are the first mammal-like footprints reported from the Cretaceous of North Africa. The good preservation of the two tracks and their distinctive morphology support their attribution to a mammalian trackmaker, although the limited available data prevents attribution to a specific ichnotaxon. Morphologically, the Tunisian tracks resemble those of modern Mustelidae, however, based on mammalian faunas in the Cretaceous of Africa, they probably have affinity with members of Multituberculate family. Theropod dinosaur and bird tracks occur on the same track-bearing layer. The sediments are interpreted as an arid tidal flat environment, suggesting that African mammals might have shared their environment with a diverse fauna of larger animals.

Highlights

► Two mammal-like tracks from the Cenomanian of North Africa are described here. ► Footprints described here represent the oldest evidence of mammals in Tunisia. ► Available data suggest affinities of the trackmaker with a multituberculate mammal.

Dinosaur eggs discovery in Spain


This video says about itself:

Hundreds of Dinosaur Egg Fossils Found in Spain

17 March 2013

Four new species of eggs were discovered amongst the hundreds of eggs and researchers say they are related to sauropods.

From the Universidad de Barcelona in Spain:

Four dinosaur eggs identified in Coll de Nargó in Catalonia

04 April 2013

The journal Cretaceous Research publishes this month an article which recognizes four different dinosaur eggs (oospecies) in the Coll de Nargó area (Lleida Province, south-central Pyrenees). The research proves the coexistence of different dinosaur species in this nesting area. The professors Xavier Delclòs, Ferran Colombo and Jaume Ortega, from the Department of Stratigraphy, Paleontology and Marine Geosciences of the University of Barcelona, and some experts from the Catalan Institute of Paleontology (ICP) and the Spanish Geological and Mining Institute (IGME) participated in the research.

The Coll de Nargó area, located to the west of this town of Lleida Pyrenees, is considered to be one of the most important dinosaur nesting areas in Europe. It has yielded thousands of dinosaur eggs of Upper Cretaceous, eggshells and clutches attributed to sauropods which lived in this area about seventy millions years ago, little time before their extinction (65.5 million years ago). The research, whose main author is the expert Albert Garcia Sellés (ICP), who holds a PhD from the UB, also reports the first evidence of the oogenus Cairanoolithus outside of France. This discovery means a new connection between dinosaur species in France and the Iberian Peninsula in Upper Cretaceous. Up to now, only one specimen of dinosaur egg had been recognized in the Coll de Nargó area, Megaloolithus siruguei.

After having anlysed more than 30 levels across 370 m of Upper Cretaceous Tremp Formation deposits, the scientific research team identified four different oospecies: Cairanoolithus cf. roussetensis, Megaloolithus aureliensis, Megaloolithus siruguei and Megaloolithus cf. baghensis. Further, the co-occurrence of different ootaxa in the same level suggests that the nesting area was shared by different dinosaur taxa for a long time.

One of the main difficulties in Paleontology is to date accurately the fossils found. In the case of the different types of eggs, it is evident that they date from specific periods of time, so biochronological scales can be determined as a potential tool for dating. Thanks to the results of this research and its findings, it can be suggested that the age of Coll de Nargó rocks ranges from 71 to 67 million years ago.

Baby Dinosaurs Flexed Muscles Inside Their Eggs: here.

See fossilized dinosaur eggs, babies: here.

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Amsterdam Rijksmuseum re-opening, video


This video from the Netherlands, featuring author Sophie van der Stap, is about the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum re-opening, on 13 April.

‘Extinct’ Seychelles turtle did not exist


West African mud turtle Pelusios castaneus (credit: © Mark-Oliver Rödel)

From the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum in Germany:

One Extinct Turtle Less: Turtle Species in the Seychelles Never Existed

Apr. 4, 2013 — The turtle species Pelusios seychellensis regarded hitherto as extinct never existed. Scientists at the Senckenberg Research Institute in Dresden discovered this based on genetic evidence. The relevant study was published today in the journal PLOS ONE.

Turtles are the vertebrates under the greatest threat. Among the approximately 320 turtle species, the species confined to islands have been especially hard hit — humans have caused the extinction of a whole number of species. One of them — or at least it was thought so — is the Seychelles mud turtle Pelusios seychellensis. Just three specimens were collected at the end of the 19th century; they are still kept at the Natural History Museum in Vienna and the Zoological Museum in Hamburg.

Despite an intensive search for this species, which was declared as “extinct” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), no further specimens have been found since those in the 19th century. “Consequently, it was assumed the species had been exterminated,” says Professor Uwe Fritz, director of the Museum of Zoology at the Senckenberg Natural History Collections in Dresden. The Dresden biologist states quite clearly that this is not true. “We have examined the DNA of the original specimen from the museum in Vienna and discovered that these turtles are not a separate species.”

The genetic analyses have shown that this supposed Seychellois species is in reality another species, Pelusios castaneus, that is widespread in West Africa. “The species Pelusios seychellensis has therefore never existed,” adds Fritz. “In fact, for a long time researchers were amazed that the supposed Seychelles turtles looked so deceptively similar to the West African turtles. But due to the great geographic distance, it was thought this had to be a different species, which is why the assumed Seychelles turtles were also described as a new species in 1906.”

Another species classified as native therefore disappears from the list of Seychelles species. Last year, Fritz and his team had already proved that another mud turtle species, Pelusios subniger, was not endemic to the Seychelles but had been introduced by man.

“In the Seychelles there is therefore at most one mud turtle species that could be native. And even with this species we are still uncertain whether it really is endemic,” says Fritz. So far, the biologists from Dresden have not been able to explore this possibility due to the incomplete sampling available, however.

“But what is certain even now is that the protection programmes for turtles in the Seychelles will have to be revised, so that truly endemic animal species are protected and the scarce funds available for species protection are put to good use,” says Fritz in conclusion.

Black spotted turtles are becoming ever-more sought after, TRAFFIC have discovered, with illegal international trade escalating in Asia over recent years: here.

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American bird photo contest


This video from the USA says about itself:

Audubon’s Birds of America book

Jan 9, 2012

As part of my research for the Lost Bird Project, I was graciously given access to the Audubon double folio housed in the rare books library at Cornell University. I arrived at the library with high expectations supported by a long interest in Audubon’s work and what I felt was a solid understanding of its significance. As the book was laid out and opened, I realized that I was not at all prepared for its profound beauty.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

Vote for the Grand Prize Winner in Birdspotter Photo Contest

Visit our Facebook page to vote for the grand prize winner in our Birdspotter photo contest. The voting brings together the 16 weekly winners from our winterlong contest. The grand prize winner will visit the Oregon headquarters of contest sponsor Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods and go on a birding trip with Bob. We’re ready to celebrate—with the help of the contest, we had the biggest year ever for Project FeederWatch participation. See the photos and vote.