News That Matters

Tag: largest

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...
Extinct Madagascan species named 'world's largest bird'

Extinct Madagascan species named 'world's largest bird'

Science
Sept. 26 (UPI) -- After decades of disagreement and debate, scientists have agreed to name Vorombe titan, an extinct Madagascan species, the "world's largest bird." Some 12,000 years ago, Madagascar was home to several colossal, flightless bird species, dubbed elephant birds. The birds belong to the family Aepyornithidae, but disagreements over the structure of the family tree has led to confusion over which of the species deserved the title of world's largest bird. Through the years, various studies have described the existence of 15 different species of elephant birds belonging to two different genera. The latest research -- published this week in the journal Royal Society Open Science -- suggests there are only four distinct elephant bird species. The four species belonging to three ge...
The Latest: Progress made on California's largest wildfire

The Latest: Progress made on California's largest wildfire

Technology
The Latest on California wildfires (all times local): 8 p.m. Firefighters are making progress against the largest California wildfire ever recorded although thousands of homes and buildings remain under threat. State fire officials Wednesday night say the Mendocino Complex — twin fires that are being fought together — has destroyed 119 homes and 472 square miles (1,222 square kilometers) of brush and timber north of San Francisco. The complex is 47 percent contained. However, the smaller of the two blazes actually is 81 percent surrounded. Fire crews have kept the southern edge from spreading. Authorities lifted mandatory evacuation orders for most communities near the resort of Clear Lake. Meanwhile, a fire that destroyed more than 1,000 homes in and around Redding in Northe...
Lemur losses could threaten Madagascar's largest tree species

Lemur losses could threaten Madagascar's largest tree species

Science
July 2 (UPI) -- Madagascar's largest tree species are under threat. So are the island nation's iconic primates, its lemurs. Healthy forests are essential to Madagascar's lemurs, and new research suggests the trees need healthy lemur populations to survive. They rely on each other. "Forest loss is a huge problem in Madagascar right now, but our study suggests that just saving the trees is not enough," Amy Dunham, associate professor of biosciences at Rice University, said in a news release. Lemurs disperse the seeds of Madagascar's largest hardwood species. And as the new research showed, lemurs are the only animals on the island large enough to ingest the seeds found inside the fruits of Madagascar's largest tree species. During a previous survey, scientists tracked the diets of 24 group...
Satellite image shows rain puddles in the world's largest contiguous sand desert

Satellite image shows rain puddles in the world's largest contiguous sand desert

Science
June 15 (UPI) -- An image shared by NASA this week features a rare sight, rain puddles in Rub' al-Khali, the world's largest contiguous sand desert. At the end of May, the tropical cyclone Mekunu passed across the Arabian Peninsula. The port of Salalah, in Oman, received 11 inches of rain in just 24 hours -- two times the city's average annual precipitation total. The storm slowed and dissipated as it traveled inland across the desert, but still had plenty of moisture left to drop. On May 29, three days after the storm, Landsat 8's Operational Land Imager snapped a picture of the dunes of Rub' al-Khali as the satellite passed 435 miles overhead. The basins between the sand dunes can be seen filled with standing water. NASA shared the remarkable image online this week. The portion of the ...