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Jurassic-era piranha is world's earliest flesh-eating fish

Jurassic-era piranha is world's earliest flesh-eating fish

Science
Scientists have unearthed the fossilised remains of a piranha-like species that they say is the earliest known example of a flesh-eating fish.This bony creature, found in South Germany, lived about 150 million years ago and had the distinctive sharp teeth of modern-day piranhas. These Jurassic marauders used their razor teeth to tear chunks of flesh and fins off other fish.Other fish were found nearby which had been attacked by the ancient piranhas."We have other fish from the same locality with chunks missing from their fins," said Dr David Bellwood of James Cook University, Australia, who is one of the authors of the study."Feed on a fish and it is dead; nibble its fins and you have food for the future." ...
MUSE data reveals hydrogen reservoirs around earliest galaxies

MUSE data reveals hydrogen reservoirs around earliest galaxies

Science
Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Astronomers have discovered an abundance of Lyman-alpha radiation in Hubble Ultra-Deep Field. The data -- collected by the MUSE spectrograph on ESO's Very Large Telescope -- suggests the universe's earliest galaxies were surrounded by large reservoirs of hydrogen. The Hubble Ultra-Deep Field is a small, dark region of the night sky home to a large concentration of ancient galaxies. The field is home to thousands of the cosmos' earliest galaxies, as they appeared just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. The field's light spent 12 billion years traveling to Hubble's lens. Lyman-alpha emission, or radiation, is the spectral line of hydrogen. As revealed by the spectrographic data collected by MUSE, the early universe was saturated by Lyman-alpha emission. "Realiz...
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...
Earliest evidence of cheese-making in the Mediterranean found along Croatian coast

Earliest evidence of cheese-making in the Mediterranean found along Croatian coast

Science
Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Scientists have discovered the earliest evidence of cheese-making in the Mediterranean along Croatia's Dalmatian Coast. Fatty residue left on the insides of ancient pottery suggests the people of the Middle Neolithic were making cheese as early as 7,200 years ago. "This pushes back cheese-making by 4,000 years," Sarah B. McClure, an associate professor of anthropology at Penn State University, said in a news release. As confirmed by the new analysis, the emergence of cheese-making corresponded with a shift in pottery technology. "Cheese production is important enough that people are making new types of kitchenware," said McClure. "We are seeing that cultural shift." During the Early Neolithic, populations along the Dalmatian Coast produced "impressed ware" pottery. But d...
Earth's earliest animals were strange frond-like sea creatures from the Ediacaran period

Earth's earliest animals were strange frond-like sea creatures from the Ediacaran period

Science
Aug. 20 (UPI) -- New fossil analysis suggests the planet's earliest known animals emerged at least 571 million years ago. The new study -- published this month in the journal Paleontology -- proves members of the Ediacaran biota are indeed animals and were diversifying for several million years before the acceleration of speciation known as the Cambrian explosion. Scientists recovered the first Stromatoveris psygmoglena fossil in the mid-20th century. The frond-like sea creature baffled paleontologists for decades. Stromatoveris psygmoglena hails from the Cambrian period, but dozens of similar blob-like fossil imprints have been found among older strata -- rocks from the Ediacaran period, which lasted from 635 to 542 million years ago. Until now, scientists have struggled to understand t...