Researchers from the University of the West of England have found the fish trails in rocks that were once a riverbed, but are now in the heart of the Brecon Beacons. The site of the sandstone quarry was once a river, and the landscape would have been very different from today – instead of moors and hills, there would have been semi-desert around a wide, shallow water course.
A new Research-TV film called Follow that Fish! shows the researchers investigating the fossils in the sandstone. One group of fish, the cephalaspids, looks unlike any freshwater fish known today, with a unique, horseshoe-shaped head shield and a very different arrangement of fins. Dr Susan Marriott, a floodplain specialist from UWE’s Faculty of the Built Environment, believes the fossilised trails, in what was once river sediment, could unlock the mystery of how these fish moved.
She said: “One of the most important things at this time in geological history was the emergence of life from a watery environment into a land environment. We have found fossils and the traces of the animals that made them, from which we can make inferences about the environment the animals lived in and link it to the evolution of life on land.”
For the film, UWE researcher Lance Morrissey from the School of Geography and Environmental Management suggested that animators from UWE’s School of Animation draw moving sequences, based on the trails left behind and preserved in stone, to show how these early vertebrates may have behaved. The fish making the trails appear to have used their pectoral fins to rest on the sediment before taking off – this could be the start of rudimentary limbs that would one day walk on land.
He said: “The Old Red Sandstone was well known for preserving the fossils of the fish. But the fish trails and their significance have never been recorded before.”
Lesley Drake | alfa
NASA examines newly formed Tropical Depression 3W in 3-D
26.04.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Early organic carbon got deep burial in mantle
25.04.2017 | Rice University
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy