We discuss and comment on the role agriculture will play in the containment of the CO2 problem and address protocols for terraforming the planet Earth.
A model farm template is imagined as the central methodology. A broad range of timely science news and other topics of interest are commented on.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Ancient Microraptors Adapted to Fish
It is also pretty clear that larger pterosaurs were likely eating
fish by the expedient of diving into the water and going after the
fish. They also appeared to be nocturnal. This explains why some
apparent extant creatures are rarely seen.
The microrapter may have used similar methods.
The take home is that fish were hunted during the age of dinosaurs by
flying creatures as almost a preferred strategy. Such hunters would
generally be immune to most attackers themselves.
University of Alberta
led research reveals that Microraptor, a small flying dinosaur was a
complete hunter, able to swoop down and pickup fish as well as its
previously known prey of birds and tree dwelling mammals.
U of A paleontology
graduate student Scott Persons says new evidence of Microrpator's
hunting ability came from fossilized remains in China. "We were
very fortunate that this Microraptor was found in volcanic ash and
its stomach content of fish was easily identified."
Prior to this,
paleontologists believed microraptors which were about the size of a
modern day hawk, lived in trees where they preyed exclusively on
small birds and mammals about the size of squirrels.
"Now we know that
Microraptor operated in varied terrain and had a varied diet,"
said Persons. "It took advantage of a variety of prey in the
wet, forested environment that was China during the early Cretaceous
period, 120 million years ago."
Further analysis of
the fossil revealed that its teeth were adapted to catching slippery,
wiggling prey like fish. Dinosaur researchers have established
that most meat eaters had teeth with serrations on both sides which
like a steak knife helped the predator saw through meat.
But the Microraptor's
teeth are serrated on just one side and its teeth are angled
seems adapted to impale fish on its teeth. With reduced serrations
the prey wouldn't tear itself apart while it struggled," said
Persons. "Microraptor could simply raise its head back, the fish
would slip off the teeth and be swallowed whole, no fuss no muss."
Persons likens the
Microraptor's wing configuration to a bi-plane. "It had long
feathers on its forearms, hind legs and tail," said Persons. "It
was capable of short, controlled flights."
This is the first
evidence of a flying raptor, a member of the Dromaeosaur family of
dinosaurs to successfully prey on fish.
The research was
published April 22 in the journal Evolution. For artwork and
photographs associated with this research please contact Brian