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Tag: Animal

'Oldest animal painting' discovered in Borneo

'Oldest animal painting' discovered in Borneo

Science
The earliest known painting of an animal has been identified in a cave on the island of Borneo.The artwork, which is at least 40,000 years old, is thought to be the oldest example of figurative painting - where real objects are depicted rather than abstract shapes. The researchers aren't certain what animal it represents, but their hunch is that it's a banteng, a type of wild cow that lives in the area today.The work appears in Nature journal.The painting was found in a system of caves in the remote and rugged mountains of East Kalimantan, an Indonesian province on Borneo.The caves contain thousands of other prehistoric paintings, drawings and other imagery, including hand stencils, animals, abstract signs and symbols. ...
Newly named dinosaur species named largest land animal of its time

Newly named dinosaur species named largest land animal of its time

Science
Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Paleontologists have discovered a new giant dinosaur species in South Africa's Free State Province. The plant-eating dinosaur weighed 12 metric tons and stood more than 13 feet tall at the hip, roughly twice the size of an African elephant. Scientists named the species Ledumahadi mafube, Sesotho for "a giant thunderclap at dawn." The Sesotho language is indigenous to the region where the species was discovered. "The name reflects the great size of the animal as well as the fact that its lineage appeared at the origins of sauropod dinosaurs," Jonah Choiniere, a professor of paleontology at South Africa's University of the Witwatersrand, said in a news release. "It honors both the recent and ancient heritage of southern Africa." The proportions of the newly named species r...
558-million-year-old fat molecule reveals world's earliest animal

558-million-year-old fat molecule reveals world's earliest animal

Science
Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Scientists have discovered a fat molecule preserved in a 558-million-year-old fossil. According to a new paper published this week in the journal Science, the discovery confirms Dickinsonia, a strange blob-like sea creature, as the earliest animal in the geologic record. Dickinsonia is a member of the Ediacaran biota, a group of primitive organisms with frond-like patterns. The group emerged during the Ediacaran period, which lasted from 635 to 542 million years ago. Scientists have previously argued whether Ediacaran species were animals. The fat molecule -- a type of cholesterol unique to animals -- found within the Dickinsonia fossil suggests they were. "The fossil fat molecules that we've found prove that animals were large and abundant 558 million years ago, millio...
How an animal ages depends on what early life was like

How an animal ages depends on what early life was like

Science
Aug. 17 (UPI) -- What determines whether a wild animal ages gracefully? New research suggests environmental conditions during an animal's formative years can affect the animal's aging process. To better understand the link between a wild animal's adolescence and twilight years, researchers at the Australian National University gathered data on 14 different bird and mammal species, including swallows, storks and kestrels, as well as deer, sheep, mountain goats, squirrels and banded mongoose. "We investigated the effect in two different types of senescence: reproductive senescence, measured as declines in reproductive output in late life, and survival senescence, measured as the decline in survival probability in late life," Eve Cooper, a Ph.D. student in the biology department at ANU, said...
Scientists try to measure impact of pollution on animal behavior

Scientists try to measure impact of pollution on animal behavior

Science
July 27 (UPI) -- Scientists at the University of Plymouth are developing experiments and standards for quantifying the effects of pollution exposure on animal behavior. Researchers know animals are regularly exposed to toxic chemicals. They also know pollution exposure can alter behaviors related to survivability -- feeding, finding mates and avoiding predators. But measuring changes in behavior isn't easy. In a series of new experiments, scientists at Plymouth revealed potential flaws in traditional ways of measuring animal behavior. In a previous experiment, researchers showed amphipods, small crustaceans, swim away from pulses of light. They also found the animals like to swim near the tank wall in the lab. But as part of their most recent study, scientists showed the shape and size o...