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Reptile with massive jaws lived in Connecticut 200 million years ago

Reptile with massive jaws lived in Connecticut 200 million years ago

Science
March 23 (UPI) -- Some 200 million years ago, what's now Connecticut was home to a massive-mouthed reptile. According to new research published in the journal Nature Communications, the jaws of Colobops noviportensis were much larger than those of other reptiles from the Triassic.Even compared to today's diversity of reptiles, the ancient lizard-like species boasted an impressively large bite -- especially considering the reptile' small size."Colobops would have been a diminutive but plucky little beast, part of a little-known menagerie of small animals that lived among the first dinosaurs," Bhart-Anjan Bhullar, assistant professor and assistant curator in geology and geophysics at Yale University, said in a news release. "Despite its lizard-like aspect, it is in fact an early branch-off o...
Hamelin Bay: Nearly 150 beached whales die in Australia

Hamelin Bay: Nearly 150 beached whales die in Australia

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceOnly six whales have survived a mass stranding of pilot whales on the coast of Western Australia.About 150 of the animals were found beached at Hamelin Bay, about 300km (180 miles) south of Perth.Their discovery by a local fisherman on Friday prompted a major rescue effort to return them to deeper waters. However, by nightfall, more than 140 of the whales had died, with deteriorating weather conditions and the threat of frenzied sharks impeding efforts.More than 100 volunteers, wildlife personnel and others came to the aid of the beached pilot whales, a species known to strand en masse."I've never seen anything like it, seen so many whales beached like this," one tourist told the Associated Press news agency."Unfortunately, most of the whales be...
Another season, another historic low for Arctic wintertime sea ice

Another season, another historic low for Arctic wintertime sea ice

Science
March 23 (UPI) -- The maximum extent of the Arctic's wintertime sea ice, reached last week, marked another historic low. According to the latest analysis, it was the second lowest since satellites began tracking the phenomenon 39 years ago.Every year, the Arctic's sea ice grows in the winter and shrinks in the summer, reaching two extents, a maximum and a minimum. In recent years, both extents have been increasingly small.Just ahead of the official end of winter, the Arctic sea ice reached its maximum extent on March 17, a grand total of 5.59 million square miles, 448,000 fewer square miles miles than the average maximum extent measured between 1981 and 2001.This year's maximum extent measure just 23,200 more square miles than last year's record low maximum extent.The four smallest maximum...
Mount Etna is 'sliding towards the sea'

Mount Etna is 'sliding towards the sea'

Science
Europe's most active volcano, Mount Etna, is sliding towards the sea. Scientists have established that the whole structure on the Italian island of Sicily is edging in the direction of the Mediterranean at a rate of 14mm per year. The UK-led team says the situation will need careful monitoring because it may lead to increased hazards at Etna in the future. The group has published its findings in the Bulletin of Volcanology. "I would say there is currently no cause for alarm, but it is something we need to keep an eye on, especially to see if there is an acceleration in this motion," lead author Dr John Murray told BBC News. Space project to monitor all volcanoesThe Open University geologist has spent almost half a century studying Europe's premier volcano. In that time, he has placed a net...
How effective are earthquake early warning systems?

How effective are earthquake early warning systems?

Science
Earthquake early warning detection is more effective for minor quakes than major ones.This is according to a new study from the United States Geological Survey.Seismologists modelled ground shaking along California's San Andreas Fault, where an earthquake of magnitude 6.5 or more is expected within 30 years.They found that warning time could be increased for residents if they were willing to tolerate a number of "false alarms" for smaller events.This would mean issuing alerts early in an earthquake's lifespan, before its full magnitude is determined. Those living far from the epicentre would occasionally receive warnings for ground shaking they could not feel."We can get [greater] warning times for weak ground motion levels, but we can't get long warning times for strong shaking," Sarah Mi...