Tag Archives: new mexico

Ancient reptile fossils claw for more attention

Newly recovered fossils confirm that Drepanosaurus, a prehistoric cross between a chameleon and an anteater, was a small reptile with a fearsome finger. The second digit of its forelimb sported a massive claw. (more…)

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Frühe Nordamerikaner machten Jagd auf elefantenartige Rüsseltiere

Über eine Ausgrabungsstätte in Mexiko bringt ein Forscherteam unter Beteiligung der Universität Tübingen Menschen der Clovis-Kultur und ausgestorbene Gomphotherien in Verbindung

Sie hatten gerade Stoßzähne, ungefähr die Größe heutiger Elefanten und sind auch mit ihnen verwandt: Die Gomphotherien bezeichnen eine ausgestorbene Art von Rüsseltieren, die einst in Nord- und Südamerika weit verbreitet waren. Bisher glaubte man, dass die großen Säugetiere in Nordamerika nicht mehr existierten, als die ersten Menschen das Gebiet erreichten. Nun hat ein Forscherteam aus den USA, Mexiko und Deutschland, zu dem auch Dr. Susan Mentzer vom Institut für Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie der Universität Tübingen gehört, an einer neuen Ausgrabungsstätte in Nordmexiko Überreste dieser Tiere gefunden. Sie ließen sich auf ein Alter von 13.400 Jahren datieren. Das macht sie zu den letzten bekannten Gomphotherien in Nordamerika. Zudem entdeckten die Forscher im Zusammenhang mit den Tierknochen Steinwerkzeuge, die sie der Clovis-Kultur zuordnen konnten. Die Funde legen nahe, dass die ersten menschlichen Bewohner des Gebiets zum Ende der letzten Kaltzeit in Nordamerika Gomphotherien jagten und verzehrten. (more…)

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Were Dinosaurs Cold-Blooded or Warm-Blooded? Neither, Study Finds

A study that originated in the lab of UA biologist Brian J. Enquist with UA alum John Grady suggests dinosaurs had a metabolism that was neither warm- nor cold-blooded, but somewhere in between.

Dinosaurs dominated the Earth for more than 100 million years, but all that remains today are bones. This has made it difficult to solve a long-standing and contentious puzzle: Were dinosaurs cold-blooded animals that lumbered along or swift warm-blooded creatures like those depicted in “Jurassic Park”?  (more…)

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Brain’s response to sexual images linked to number of sexual partners

UCLA researchers say finding could lead to strategies to reduce risky sex

Like most things, sex requires motivation. An attractive face, a pleasant fragrance, perhaps a sexy image. Yet people differ in their response to sex cues, some react strongly; some don’t. A greater responsiveness to sexual cues might provide greater motivation for a person to act sexually, and risky sexual behaviors typically occur when a person is motivated by particularly potent, sexual reward cues. (more…)

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Student Spotlight: Internship in D.C. will prepare Dinée Dorame to advocate for Indigenous women

Yale junior Dinée Dorame, a member of the Navajo Nation and Tábaahá (Edge of Water clan) born for Naakaii Dine’é (Mexican people), hopes one day to help improve the lives of Indigenous women through a career in law or as a policy maker.

As one of 12 students in the nation selected by the Udall Foundation to be a 2014 Native American Congressional Intern, Dorame will get a first-hand look at federal decision-making this summer. Only three other undergraduates were selected for the competitive internship, which places American Indian and Alaska Native students in positions in Senate and House offices, Cabinet departments, the White House, or on federal committees, so they can get an insider’s view of the federal government at work. (more…)

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A Few Winners, But Many More Losers

Southwestern Bird and Reptile Distributions to Shift as Climate Changes

Dramatic distribution losses and a few major distribution gains are forecasted for southwestern bird and reptile species as the climate changes, according to just-published research by scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of New Mexico, and Northern Arizona University.

Overall, the study forecasted species distribution losses – that is, where species are able to live – of nearly half for all but one of the 5 reptile species they examined, including for the iconic chuckwalla. The threatened Sonoran (Morafka’s) desert tortoise, however, is projected to experience little to no habitat losses from climate change.  (more…)

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Laser Instrument on NASA Mars Rover Tops 100,000 Zaps

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has passed the milestone of 100,000 shots fired by its laser. It uses the laser as one way to check which chemical elements are in rocks and soils.

The 100,000th shot was one of a series of 300 to investigate 10 locations on a rock called “Ithaca” in late October, at a distance of 13 feet, 3 inches (4.04 meters) from the laser and telescope on rover’s mast. The Chemistry and Camera instrument (ChemCam) uses the infrared laser to excite material in a pinhead-size spot on the target into a glowing, ionized gas, called plasma. ChemCam observes that spark with the telescope and analyzes the spectrum of light to identify elements in the target. (more…)

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Southwest Regional Warming Likely Cause of Pinyon Pine Cone Decline, Says CU Study

Creeping climate change in the Southwest appears to be having a negative effect on pinyon pine reproduction, a finding with implications for wildlife species sharing the same woodland ecosystems, says a University of Colorado Boulder-led study.

The new study showed that pinyon pine seed cone production declined by an average of about 40 percent at nine study sites in New Mexico and northwestern Oklahoma over the past four decades, said CU-Boulder doctoral student Miranda Redmond, who led the study. The biggest declines in pinyon pine seed cone reproduction were at the higher elevation research sites experiencing more dramatic warming relative to lower elevations, said Redmond of CU’s ecology and evolutionary biology department.  (more…)

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