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
Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter
17.08.2017 | Swansea University
Climate change: In their old age, trees still accumulate large quantities of carbon
17.08.2017 | Universität Hamburg
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences