HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Pregnant prehistoric fossil offers clues to past

University of Alberta scientists have named a new species of ancient marine reptile, fondly called the Ping Pong Ichthyosaur for the spot the prehistoric creature called home for the last 25 years. Embryos found within the body of a pregnant fossil also mark the most recent record of a live birth and the physically smallest known ichthyosaur embryos.

"It was pretty amazing to realize this valuable discovery had sat under a ping pong table for 25 years," said Dr. Michael Caldwell, paleontologist at the U of A. "But I suppose that after 100 millions of years in the dirt, it's all relative."

A few decades ago graduate students and a technician from the Faculty of Science collected several ichthyosaur specimens--the marine animals resembled dolphins and fish--from the Loon River Formation at Hay River, NWT. Somehow the bones ended up in several boxes underneath a ping pong table in the science undergraduate lab. When Caldwell arrived in 2000, he started renovations, found the boxes and immediately started inquiring about the fossils. Allan Lindoe, the technician part of the original dig, was still in the faculty and explained the history.

Working with Erin Maxwell, an undergraduate student at the U of A at the time, Caldwell soon learned the bones were from the Lower Cretaceous period, or about 100 million years old. This finding was significant since it bridged a huge gap--the previous set of pregnant ichthyosaur specimens was dated 80 millions earlier. The Loon Lake collection was also the most northern record of ichthyosaur remains from Canada.

"What was really interesting was that at this point in history the Ichthyosaur goes extinct," said Caldwell. "So anything from this time is going to be really important. When we opened it up, we found material in three-dimensions and very finely preserved. Then, it turned out that one was pregnant with two embryos. It was amazing.

"What it shows is that the Canadian versio
'"/>

Contact: Phoebe Dey
phoebe.dey@ualberta.ca
780-492-0437
University of Alberta
21-Sep-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Pregnant mothers join search for causes of autism
2. Pregnant moms exposure to flu vaccine kick-starts fetal immune system
3. Pregnant drivers, football players safer thanks to a top Virginia Tech researcher
4. Pregnant protein-coding genes carry RNA babies
5. Pregnant women at higher risk for HIV, Uganda study finds
6. Envisat radar surveillance protects endangered prehistoric fish
7. Climate model links higher temperatures to prehistoric extinction
8. Alligator egg development at prehistoric oxygen levels
9. Coelacanth fossil sheds light on fin-to-limb evolution
10. Agonized death throes probable cause of open-mouthed, head-back pose of many dino fossils
11. Brain, size and gender surprises in latest fossil tying humans, apes and monkeys

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


(Date:8/12/2020)... ... August 11, 2020 , ... Both Roche, based ... entered into license agreements with Housey Pharma’s HMI subsidiary to gain access to ... have annual Research and Development spending in excess of US $10 billion. , ...
(Date:8/7/2020)... FRANCISCO (PRWEB) , ... August 06, 2020 , ... ... life sciences industry, is pleased to announce that Eric Chen and Jessica Wong ... President of Product Management & Strategy, respectively. , Eric Chen heads development efforts ...
(Date:8/5/2020)... ... August 05, 2020 , ... Regenative Labs has received approval ... CoreText™ and ProText™, making them the first Wharton’s jelly allografts to be assigned a ... The company’s solutions are the first Wharton’s jelly allograft product to be recognized as ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/22/2020)... ... 22, 2020 , ... Join experts from Reed Tech , Gary Saner, ... a one hour live webinar on Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 11am ... and medical devices. Specifically, for medical devices, the NMPA has departments dealing with medical ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... July 08, 2020 , ... ... services and products, announces a significant expansion of laboratory operations through its ... for agencies implementing testing programs. , Bode-CARES provides a turnkey ...
(Date:7/7/2020)... , ... July 06, 2020 , ... ... Awards. Entries from Roche, Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb, the University of Chicago, Massachusetts ... Bio-IT World has hosted an elite awards program, highlighting outstanding examples of how ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 25, 2020 , ... With the COVID-19 ... or drug treatment. In an effort to better understand the cellular responses to ... largest imaging dataset portraying therapeutic compound effects from over 1,600 approved and referenced ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: