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:2/13/2019)... ... February 13, 2019 , ... MMJ International Holdings, the ... through patient clinical trials and research, announced that it is seeking fast track ... to help expedite the review and approval of drugs in development that treat ...
(Date:2/11/2019)... ... February 11, 2019 , ... Allotrope Foundation announces ... phased release of the Allotrope™ Framework for standardizing scientific data and its context. ... Allotrope™ Data Format (ADF) and application programming interfaces (APIs), and the Allotrope Foundation© ...
(Date:2/2/2019)... ... 31, 2019 , ... Through its Microbiome Grant Initiative ... study design, planning, sample collection, and analysis to researchers at Stanford University led ... Sara Vaughn, MD, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Fellow, to study the role of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/30/2019)... ... January 29, 2019 , ... ... is frustrated over something like a tricky math problem on an online tutoring ... by Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) computer science assistant professor Erin Solovey ...
(Date:1/24/2019)... ... January 22, 2019 , ... Controlled Contamination Services is pleased to announce three ... of these valuable new team members will support its growing operation across the US ... CCS scales its business. This addition will enable CCS to widen its reach and ...
(Date:1/20/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... January 16, 2019 , ... On January ... an invited news article by Asymmetrex director James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D. ... cell therapy resources like the PGCB and CellTrials.org. Now in its 21st year ...
(Date:1/15/2019)... ... January 15, 2019 , ... Personalized treatment plans may extend life expectancy ... to a new study published in the journal Radiology. , Kidney, or renal, ... nephrectomy, a surgical procedure in which the tumor and part of the kidney are ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: