HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
New fossil sheds light on old mystery

CHICAGO--The well-preserved fossil of a newly discovered reptile species may explain the function of the extremely long neck for which some protorosaurs are known a feature that has puzzled scientists for decades.

The Protorosauria is an order of diverse predatory reptiles that lived as far back as 280 million years ago. Scientists have never been able to figure out the function of the extremely long neck that characterizes some species of this group, including Tanystropheus longobardicus, which was discovered in the 1850s.

About twice as long as its trunk, Tanystropheus' neck has 12 vertebrae along which extend elongated cervical ribs. Years ago, scientists concluded that the long, stiff neck was more or less a consequence of growth patterns rather than a specific functional adaptation. The new species of protorosaur, however, provides additional clues and suggests that the long neck in these animals may have been part of a unique and very effective method for capturing prey in water.

Dinocephalosaurus orientalis, which means "terrible-headed lizard from the Orient," was recently discovered in southern China. It has a neck made up of 25 vertebrae, again with elongated cervical ribs extending along them. In an embargoed article to be published in Science on September 24, 2004, the authors describe how the neck may have been used to capture prey.

"This is important research because we have finally explained the functional purpose of this strange, long neck," said Olivier Rieppel, PhD, a co-author of the Science paper and chair of geology and curator of fossil amphibians and reptiles at Chicago's Field Museum. "It allowed an almost perfect strike at prey, which usually consisted of elusive fish and squid."

Prey in water is slippery, and any movement toward it not only alerts the prey of an attack but also creates a pressure wave that could push the prey away. Fish and some turtles combat these factors with suction feedin
'"/>


23-Sep-2004


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Evolution of whale hearing unfolds in fossil record
2. A picture is worth a thousand miles not traveled to measure the fossil of an ancient sea creature
3. Dinosaur fossil record compiled, analyzed
4. Scientist challenges interpretation of new find, the oldest primate fossil ever discovered
5. Ghost crab fossils haunt area beaches
6. 160,000-year-old fossilized skulls from Ethiopia are oldest modern humans
7. Scientists debate meaning of 40-million-year-old primate fossils in Nature
8. Dinosaur, crab fossils reveal ecosystem secrets
9. Rutgers Tanzanian fossil reshuffles the deck on early human ancestry
10. Prehistoric tusks point to earliest fossil evidence of differences between sexes
11. Scientists discover ancient protein and DNA sequences in the same fossil

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/14/2019)... LAKE CITY, and MARTINSRIED, Germany (PRWEB) , ... ... ... in high-throughput antibody screening and characterization, announced today that they have opened a ... Carterra’s platform has fueled the need for the new office. , The Munich ...
(Date:8/14/2019)... ... ... Representatives with MyBioGate announced that China Focus@Biotech Week will be held September ... projects connect with Chinese pharma and investors in healthcare innovation,” said Miao Guo, Vice ... as a part of Biotech Week Boston – the annual biotech festival at the ...
(Date:8/14/2019)... TORONTO (PRWEB) , ... August 13, 2019 , ... ... Cancer Medicine Team, Division of Molecular Pathology, Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in ... (5pm BST/UK) to learn about the process of biomarker and companion diagnostic development ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/14/2019)... Pa. (PRWEB) , ... August 13, 2019 , ... ... nuclear receptor and in vitro toxicology testing solutions, announced the appointment of Mark ... industry experience to the Board. , Mark McLoughlin will lend his healthcare expertise ...
(Date:8/7/2019)... ... ... Locus Agricultural Solutions (Locus AG) reports record levels of carbon sequestered in ... ® , which is pulling up to 121% more carbon into the soil than ... from the treatment of almonds, cherries, turf/sod, grapes and citrus across the U.S., as ...
(Date:8/6/2019)... , ... August 05, 2019 , ... ... Casarella has been recognized as a distinguished leader by PharmaVOICE magazine, earning him ... an article in the magazine’s July/August special issue. , As the executive vice ...
(Date:7/30/2019)... ... July 30, 2019 , ... The summer season has ... company. Not only has the company already hosted many of its signature cooking ... to its guests. , With Lajollacooks4u’s Private Cooking Parties, guests prepare and enjoy ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: