Two new 250 million year-old species of large, meat-eating amphibians have been discovered by researchers, including investigators from McGill University. Their findings published in todays issue of Nature, describe the first and oldest amphibious carnivores from the Republic of Niger in West Africa.
"This the first evidence of carnivores in this area," says McGill paleontologist, and co-author, Hans Larsson. "This find is particularly interesting because the animals we found are not present anywhere else in the world at that time. These animals seemed to be restricted to this one region of Africa that had one of the driest climates on the planet. Animal communities found in other parts of the world are similar to each other, but completely different from those in Niger. We think the shared temperate climates of these other communities may have forced them to evolve independently and in relative isolation from the Niger fauna."
The two species of amphibians discovered are similar to crocodiles in shape. Nigerpeton ricglesi had rounded noses, with small eyes and both small and large fang-like teeth. Saharastega moradiensis had curved horns on the back of its head and an array of small teeth.
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Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
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The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications
Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...
Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.
The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...
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