Our four-legged, five-toed ancestors conquered the land earlier and more independently than expected, say paleontologists studying newfound 345 to 359-million-year-old tracks at an eroding beach in eastern Canada.
At least six different kinds of four-limbed reptile-like animals – a.k.a. tetrapods – with five digits on their feet left their tromping prints in the mud of what was once a tropical swamp at Blue Beach, Nova Scotia. The five-digit tracks range in size from four inches to less than an inch and seem to contradict the prevailing idea that the first tetrapods had wide variety of other-than-five-toed (polydactyl) feet, out of which five-toed (pentadactyl) animals later won out as the most efficient on land. "We’re talking about a fundamental question in the history of life," said paleontologist Spencer Lucas of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque. "We are talking about the origin of terrestriality. It’s from this conquest (of land) that we are here."
It’s also the evolutionary step that set the stage for our ten fingers and toes.
Ann Cairns | EurekAlert!
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
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Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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