Tag Archives: montana

Thick-skinned dinosaur gets the last laugh

In life, Tyrannosaurus rex usually got the best of the less fearsome duck-billed dinosaurs, or hadrosaurs: T. rex ate them.

But in death, the plant-eating hadrosaurs have proved more resilient than their carnivorous predators — and apparently all other dinosaurs — at least by the measure of their skin. (more…)

Read More

Fracking-Verbot für ganz Deutschland?

Regierungsvorschlag nur ein fauler Kompromiss

Der NABU fordert von der Bundesregierung ein Fracking-Verbot für ganz Deutschland. „Die Einigung zwischen Bundesumweltministerin Barbara Hendricks und Bundeswirtschaftminister Sigmar Gabriel ist ein fauler Kompromiss zu Lasten des Schutzes von Mensch, Natur und Trinkwasser“, sagte NABU-Präsident Olaf Tschimpke. „Statt eines Fracking-Moratoriums auf Zeit brauchen wir ein dauerhaftes Fracking-Verbot, und zwar in allen Lagerstätten, ob konventionell oder unkonventionell.“ Aus NABU-Sicht müssten auch die Förderung von Erdgas, aus ehemals porösen und nun versiegelten Gesteinsformationen, so genanntes Tight-Gas, sowie der Einsatz der Fracking-Technologie in konventionellen Lagerstätten verboten werden. Die Bundesregierung plant lediglich ein Fracking-Moratorium für Schiefer- und Kohleflözgasvorkommen aus unkonventionellen Lagerstätten bis 3.000 Meter Tiefe bis 2021/2022. Allerdings mit einer weiteren Einschränkung: Forschungs- und Entwicklungsvorhaben sollen zulässig bleiben. Das Moratorium soll 2021 überprüft werden. (more…)

Read More

USGS Estimates 162 Billion Short Tons of Recoverable Coal in the Powder River Basin

New basin-wide assessment of recoverable resources and reserves

The Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana contains about 162 billion short tons (BST) of recoverable coal from a total of 1.07 trillion short tons of in-place resources according to a new USGS assessment. This assessment also estimates that 25 BST of those resources are currently economical to recover, the first such estimate released by the USGS for coal for an entire basin.

The Powder River Basin—a large geologic feature located in northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Montana—contains the largest deposits of low-sulfur subbituminous coal in the world. This study is significant because it illustrates that only a relatively small percentage of in-place coal resources are technically and economically recoverable. (more…)

Read More

Asteroid that Killed the Dinosaurs also Wiped out the ‘Obamadon’

The asteroid collision widely thought to have killed the dinosaurs also led to extreme devastation among snake and lizard species, according to new research — including the extinction of a newly identified lizard Yale and Harvard scientists have named Obamadon gracilis.

“The asteroid event is typically thought of as affecting the dinosaurs primarily,” said Nicholas R. Longrich, a postdoctoral associate with Yale’s Department of Geology and Geophysics and lead author of the study. “But it basically cut this broad swath across the entire ecosystem, taking out everything. Snakes and lizards were hit extremely hard.” (more…)

Read More

Barley getting by

Sequencing the barley genome will sow many benefits

Some 10,000 years ago, people found they didn’t have to live as nomads, hunting and gathering all their food. In the Fertile Crescent, they started planting crops.

The Fertile Crescent extended from the Nile Valley and along the eastern Mediterranean Coast, through the Tigris and Euphrates valleys of Mesopotamia and down to the Persian Gulf. There, the foundation crops of the Western World were first domesticated. (more…)

Read More

Dinosaur Die Out Might Have Been Second of Two Closely Timed Extinctions

The most-studied mass extinction in Earth history happened 65 million years ago and is widely thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs. New University of Washington research indicates that a separate extinction came shortly before that, triggered by volcanic eruptions that warmed the planet and killed life on the ocean floor.

The well-known second event is believed to have been triggered by an asteroid at least 6 miles in diameter slamming into Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. But new evidence shows that by the time of the asteroid impact, life on the seafloor – mostly species of clams and snails – was already perishing because of the effects of huge volcanic eruptions on the Deccan Plateau in what is now India. (more…)

Read More

From a Few Bones, the Most Primitive Snake Emerges

Researchers at Yale have identified an ancient slithering creature from the time of T. rex as the most primitive known snake, a finding with implications for the debate over snake origins.

“It’s the missing-link snake,” said Nicholas Longrich, a postdoctoral fellow in Yale’s Department of Geology & Geophysics and the lead author of a paper about the lizard-like snake published July 25 online in the journal Nature. “It’s the ‘Lucy’ of snakes.”

The paper argues that snakes descend from terrestrial rather than marine ancestors, as recently proposed by others, and that snakes emerged once lizards developed long, limbless bodies for burrowing. (more…)

Read More

New UF Study Shows Early North Americans Lived With Extinct Giant Beasts

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A new University of Florida study that determined the age of skeletal remains provides evidence humans reached the Western Hemisphere during the last ice age and lived alongside giant extinct mammals.

The study published online today (May 3, 2012) in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology addresses the century-long debate among scientists about whether human and mammal remains found at Vero Beach in the early 1900s date to the same time period. Using rare earth element analysis to measure the concentration of naturally occurring metals absorbed during fossilization, researchers show modern humans in North America co-existed with large extinct mammals about 13,000 years ago, including mammoths, mastodons and giant ground sloths. (more…)

Read More