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Latest Lauren Sallan Stories

Scientists Study Emergence Of Ray-Finned Fish
2013-07-22 17:47:50

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online Just like the rapper Drake, ray-finned fish started from the bottom – now they’re here. The vertebrate class of fish, which comprises 99 percent of all fish species, arose from a small, shell-crushing predatory fish called Fouldenia that survived a massive extinction event 359 million years ago, according to a new report in Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. "This event 359 million years ago is called...

Aquatic Eel Fossil Has Human-like Spine Morphology
2012-05-23 04:48:16

Surprise discovery contradicts theories about anatomy exclusive to land animals For decades, scientists believed that a spine with multiple segments was an exclusive feature of land-dwelling animals. But the discovery of the same anatomical feature in a 345-million-year-old eel suggests that this complex anatomy arose separately from — and perhaps before — the first species to walk on land. Tarrasius problematicus was an eel-like fish that lived in shallow bodies of water in...

'Head-first' Diversity Drove Vertebrate Evolution
2011-12-21 09:32:25

New study of fish fossil records near extinction events contradicts previous models The history of evolution is periodically marked by explosions in biodiversity, as groups of species try out a wide range of shapes and sizes. With a new analysis of two such adaptive radiations in the fossil record, researchers have discovered that these diversifications proceeded head-first. By analyzing the physical features of fossil fish that diversified around the time of two separate extinction...

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2011-05-03 08:17:47

Extinction of fishes 360 million years ago created natural ecology experiment In modern ecology, the removal or addition of a predator to an ecosystem can produce dramatic changes in the population of prey species. For the first time, scientists have observed the same dynamics in the fossil record, thanks to a mass extinction that decimated ocean life 360 million years ago. What was bad for fish was good for the fish's food, according to a paper published May 2 in Proceedings of the National...

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2010-05-18 07:23:07

Event of unknown origin occurred as first vertebrates tested land A mass extinction of fish 360 million years ago hit the reset button on Earth's life, setting the stage for modern vertebrate biodiversity. The mass extinction scrambled the species pool near the time at which the first vertebrates crawled from water towards land. Those few species that survived the bottleneck were the evolutionary starting point for all vertebrates--including humans--that exist today, according to results of a...


Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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