Latest University of Portsmouth Stories

2009-06-04 15:10:00

When researchers set out to study the origins of human laughter, some gorillas and chimps were literally tickled to assist. The scientists tickled 22 young orangutans, chimpanzees, gorillas, and bonobos, as well as three human infants, then acoustically analyzed the laughing sounds they produced.  The results led researchers to conclude that people and great apes inherited laughter from a common ancestor that lived more than 10 million years ago. Although the vocalizations varied, the...

2009-05-27 10:34:04

Paleontologists reported new evidence that suggests 150 million years ago the diplodocus dinosaur may have held its impressive neck and head higher than originally thought, BBC News reported. Mike Taylor from the University of Portsmouth and his team reshaped the dinosaur's resting pose by studying the skeletons of living vertebrates. However, more than one theory on the sauropods' stance exists, as there is more than one way to assemble a dino-skeleton. Dr. Taylor said he is not...

2009-04-21 14:38:46

A new study finds that tsunami waves, brought about by the collapse of a volatile volcano in Dominica known as Devil's Peak, would hit the densely populated coast of neighboring Guadeloupe within minutes. "It's not a case of 'if' this landslide and tsunami will happen, but 'when'," said University of Portsmouth geologist Richard Teeuw, the study's lead researcher, in a statement on Tuesday. "The trigger will probably be a major earthquake, occurring after the heavy rain and coastal erosion of...

2009-02-09 09:45:00

In just four years, a University of Portsmouth paleontologist has discovered 48 new species from the age of the dinosaurs, while other scientists took 180 years to identify the same number. Dr Steve Sweetman's discoveries, found hidden in mud on the Isle of Wight, are around 130 million years old and shed valuable light on the poorly understood world in which well known dinosaurs roamed. Steve, a research associate with the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, has found in ancient...

2008-12-04 11:45:00

Scientist have uncovered a new fossil species of flying reptile with the wingspan the size of a family car.The fossil has been identified as a new type of pterosaur, by a researcher at the University of Portsmouth, and it's the largest of its kind to ever be discovered.Scientists suggest that it would have flown in the skies above Brazil 115 million years ago.The wingspan is estimated by Mark Witton to be 16.4ft and would have been more than 39in tall at the shoulder.The partial skull fossil,...

Word of the Day
  • In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.
This word is Italian in origin, coming from the feminine past participle of 'toccare,' to touch.