HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Tiny bones rewrite textbooks

Small but remarkable fossils found in New Zealand will prompt a major rewrite of prehistory textbooks, showing for the first time that the so-called "land of birds" was once home to mammals as well.

The tiny fossilised bones - part of a jaw and a leg - belonged to a unique, mouse-sized land animal unlike any other mammal known. They were unearthed from the rich St Bathans fossil bed, in the Central Otago region of South Island.

But the real shock to scientists was that it was there at all: until now, decades of searching had shown no hint that furry, warm-blooded animals had ever trodden on New Zealand soil, despite them having thrived so widely in other lands.

The fact that even one land mammal lived there, at least 16 million years ago, has put paid to the theory that New Zealand's diverse prehistoric bird fauna had evolved there because they had no competition from land mammals.

An international team led by Trevor Worthy, of the University of Adelaide, Alan Tennyson, of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and Mike Archer, of the University of New South Wales, note that New Zealand separated from the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana more than 80 million years ago. The research has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"This amazing find suggests that other mammals are waiting to be found there, and that New Zealand belonged to the birds only in more recent times," says Mr Worthy.

"It also suggests that New Zealand was not completely submerged, as some scientists thought, when sea levels were high about 25 to 30 million years ago."

The team believes that more mammal specimens may emerge, perhaps even species that pre-date the split between pouched marsupials and live-bearing placental mammals.

The St Bathans fossil field - which has also produced many other species of animals, including fish and birds - also promises to shed new light on climate change in the Australasia
'"/>

Contact: Bob Beale
bbeale@unsw.edu.au
61-411-705-435
University of New South Wales
12-Dec-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. MIT researchers probe bones tiny building blocks
2. Fused nasal bones helped tyrannosaurids dismember prey
3. Making no bones about it -- digestion in Burmese pythons
4. You (especially your bones) are what you eat
5. Orange, grapefruit juice for breakfast builds bones in rats
6. No bones about it: FDG PET successful in difficult-to-detect chronic osteomyelitis
7. Nanotubes inspire new technique for healing broken bones
8. Whale bones and farm soil: Sequencing biodiversity
9. NC State scientist finds soft tissue in T. rex bones
10. Signaling protein builds bigger, better bones in mice
11. Old bones unearth new date for giant deers last stand

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


(Date:10/1/2018)... , ... October 01, 2018 , ... ... targeted antibody drug conjugate (ADC) like, lipid based therapeutics, today announced the ... Program had confirmed the award of first year funding for two separate grants. ...
(Date:10/1/2018)... SAN JOSE, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... October 01, ... ... Station, Trinity, Ascension, MDLIVE and 1200+ customers and InteloMed, the leading patient monitoring ... providers to capture vital signs and other indications of patient health during a ...
(Date:9/29/2018)... ... September 29, 2018 , ... ... of Life Science companies. The in-person briefings are expected to transform Medical Affairs, ... is bringing to the U.S. healthcare market—especially to individuals, employers, and other healthcare ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/27/2018)... EWING, N.J. (PRWEB) , ... September 26, 2018 ... ... and DNA testing are way ahead of their primary care physicians, according to ... , For this study, patients and doctors were asked about consumer adoption of ...
(Date:9/24/2018)... ... September 24, 2018 , ... ReGrow Helmet , the most ... and most affordable option for hair regrowth in the comfort of one’s home. Early ... 2, 2018. , The sophisticated design and advanced technology of the ReGrow Helmet ...
(Date:9/15/2018)... ... 14, 2018 , ... Nationally recognized public accounting and consulting firm Cherry ... of the Firm’s Nashville practice, on her appointment to Launch Tennessee’s Board ... named Managing Partner of the Firm’s Nashville practice in December 2017 . In this ...
(Date:9/12/2018)... ... September 12, 2018 , ... ... quality management professional and former Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Systems ... As Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Systems at WellDoc, Inc., she ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: