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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 9, 1997
Re "Down to the Bone," Aug. 18: For many decades Orange County paleontologists and archeologists have spent countless hours recovering what amounts to one of the richest collections of fossils and ancient artifacts in the nation. It is very disturbing to hear that these collections are being stored away in some county warehouse. Like the counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and San Diego, it is time for the county of Orange to provide a centralized natural history museum that can catalog, store , study and display the ancient relics.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2014 | By Larry Gordon
Pitzer College, a liberal arts school in Claremont, has joined the vanguard of U.S. campuses deciding to sell off its investments in fossil fuel companies as a statement of concern about global warming. Pitzer's board of trustees recently voted to approve a divestment plan to sell off about $4.4 million in fossil-fuel related investments, mainly in oil and gas companies, by the end of this year from the school's $125-million endowment. The remaining $1 million or so in fossil fuels investments, mainly those in large multi-industry funds, will be sold off soon after, officials said.
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SCIENCE
July 1, 2010 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
An international team of paleontologists has uncovered the earliest known multicellular fossils, pushing back the fossil record for such life forms to 2.1 billion years ago and suggesting that they lived 200 million years earlier than scientists had thought. Since most fossils in that period were microscopic and single-celled, finding fossils that stretched as long as 4.75 inches was "like ordering an hors d'oeuvre and some gigantic thick-crust pizza turning up," said Philip Donoghue, a paleontologist at the University of Bristol, who co-wrote a commentary on the finding.
SCIENCE
April 9, 2014 | By Amina Khan
Scientists have uncovered the oldest cardiovascular system they've ever found in a fossil, in the form of a shrimp-like animal that once roamed the turbulent ancient seas. The finding, described in the journal Nature Communications, shows that the internal systems in the ancestors of modern crustaceans may have been much more complicated than scientists might have thought. The 520-million-year-old fossil of an ancient arthropod (the group that today includes crustaceans, insects and arachnids)
SCIENCE
October 1, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Australia handed over to the Chinese government 10,000 fossils that had been illegally exported, including dinosaur eggs, ancient turtles and a saber-toothed cat, an official said. Australian police and customs officials netted representing an "extraordinary" range of pieces valued at $3.8 million, including early elephant and rhinoceros bones and rare fossils of fish and reptiles, Environment and Heritage Minister Ian Campbell said.
SCIENCE
February 4, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
In the northeast of China, at the Yixian and Jiufotang formations, scientists have discovered thousands of exquisitely preserved fossils of plants and birds, dinosaurs and mammals. Together they make up the Jehol Biota -- an ecosystem, preserved in ash, that dates back nearly 130 million years. Some of these fossils are so complete that researchers can determine what a dinosaur had for breakfast on the day it died. Others include impressions of an animal's muscles and skin, as well as hair, feathers and scales.  The fossils tell us that back in the lower Cretaceous period this land was humid, and dotted with conifer forests and lakes.
SCIENCE
May 21, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
Paleontologists from Utah and North Carolina have uncovered the 130-million-year-old fossilized remains of a coyote-sized raptor in Utah's Arches National Park. The raptor is the latest in a rapidly growing family of sharp-toothed, clawed carnivores that roamed the Earth during the Cretaceous period, feasting on smaller prey. The new raptor, called Yurgovuchia doellingi , is a member of the family of dinosaurs known as Dromaeosauridae. The characteristic feature of Dromaeosauridae is a large curved claw on the second toe. The claw may have served as a weapon for killing prey, a climbing aid, a digging tool or a combination of functions.  Body sizes in the family range from the size of a hummingbird (the four-winged Microraptor )
SCIENCE
May 8, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A pair of fossils from the world's oldest known hummingbird of a modern type, which flew more than 30 million years ago, have been found in Germany, upending the assumption that the birds lived only in the Americas, Science magazine reported. The extinct species was named Eurotrochilus inexpectatus, or "an unexpected European Trochilus," the classification of the current species. The birds, measuring about 1.6 inches long, had elongated, narrow beaks.
SCIENCE
September 21, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II and Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
It happened more than a million years ago, but the fossilized evidence preserved the scene. A horse not much different from modern horses was enjoying a cool drink at a watering hole in what is now San Timoteo Canyon when a saber-toothed cat sneaked up and grabbed it by the haunch. After finishing its meal, the cat left the skeleton to be buried in mud from flash floods. That cat, or one very like it, eventually also ended up dead and its skeleton joined the horse's in the accumulating sediment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 25, 1997 | KIMBERLY BROWER
Students sang and waved banners Monday to welcome Richard Henry Dana Elementary School's new mascot: a 10,000-pound fossilized baleen whale named Splash. Encased in soil and plaster, the whale bones arrived by truck and were placed at the school's new Paleontology Center near the athletic field, which overlooks the ocean. "It'll be a very good learning experience for all the students," fifth-grader Lauren Thomson said. "I feel pretty lucky that we were chosen to have Splash."
OPINION
March 25, 2014
Re "Energy boom may augur a new export era," March 23 Every dollar invested to expand the use of fossil fuels here or abroad is a bad investment. Spending a single penny or drilling any new wells to find more dirty energy is wrongheaded. We have more fossil fuels in the ground than we can afford to burn. To avoid a climate catastrophe, most of that dirty energy must remain where it is. Talking about gas as if it were the 1970s is not productive. We must go green by passing a revenue-neutral carbon tax. Our country can be off fossil fuels within the next few decades - or even sooner once entrepreneurs and innovators understand that the days of dirty energy are over.
SCIENCE
February 28, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
Scientists have discovered the DNA of millions of tiny organisms entombed in the ancient dental plaque of four medieval skeletons.  The findings, published in the journal Nature Genetics, have implications for research into what our ancestors ate, how they interacted, and what diseases they fought, the authors write. "I feel like we discovered a time capsule that has been right under our noses this whole time," said Christina Warinner, a molecular anthropologist at the University of Oklahoma and the lead author of the study.
SCIENCE
February 26, 2014 | By Geoffrey Mohan
Scientists have uncloaked the mystery of an ancient fossilized graveyard of dozens of whales lying side by side with bizarre, walrus-faced dolphins and swimming sloths. The fossils, unearthed about three years ago during a road-widening project in Chile's Atacama Desert, probably record a series of mass strandings about 6 million to 9 million years ago that were caused by blooms of algae fed by the iron-rich sediments of the Andes Mountains, according to a study published online Wednesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The international team of researchers believes about four waves of carcasses washed into what once was a placid tidal basin within a period of weeks, then were buried in sediments that accumulated over 10,000 to 16,000 years, said the study's lead author, Nicholas D. Pyenson, curator of fossil marine mammals at the Smithsonian Institution.
BUSINESS
February 20, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACARAMENTO - Californians, who already pay some of the highest gasoline prices in the nation, could soon be asked to pay more. Pump prices are likely to climb more than 12 cents per gallon starting Jan. 1, both the oil industry and environmental experts agree. That's when the state's complex cap-and-trade system for pollution credits expands to cover vehicle fuels and their emissions. As a result, gasoline producers would need to buy pollution credits, and they are expected to pass the cost along at the pump.
SCIENCE
February 14, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
Scientists have discovered the fossil remains of an ancient marine reptile in the act of being born. As you can see in the image above, the little icthyosaur was just starting to swim headfirst out of its mother's body at the time of its death. Two other icthyosaur embryos, whose bones are rendered in orange and yellow in the graphic above, were still awaiting their own birth experience. The rare fossil was discovered in what was once an inland sea that split China in two. Today, the site lies 150 miles east of Shanghai near the city of Chaohu in the Anhui province.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 6, 2014 | Alicia Banks
Martin Byhower has trekked across Chadwick School's Palos Verdes Peninsula campus for 30 years. Fossils scattered across the hilltop grounds often caught the eye of the seventh-grade life sciences teacher. Two years ago, he spotted one that particularly interested him. And on Wednesday, staff from the Natural History Museum excavated it and carefully loaded it onto the bed of a truck. Soon, researchers will begin cleaning it to learn more. This much is known: It appears to be the skull of a juvenile sperm whale, and it is 12 million to 15 million years old. Byhower contacted different groups to ask them to identify the fossil; he got a response from the county museum.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 13, 1995 | HOPE HAMASHIGE and LEN HALL, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A valuable collection of fossils thousands of years old, including newly identified species of sea lions and dolphins plus ancient horses and bison, was thrown out with the trash at a Newport Beach school, officials revealed Tuesday. The fossils had been collected during the excavation of a reservoir in the east part of Costa Mesa and had been stored temporarily at the closed Lindbergh Elementary School, said Karl Kemp, general manager of the Mesa Consolidated Water District. On Aug.
SCIENCE
January 22, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Paleontologists working in Ethiopia have discovered the remains of at least nine primitive human ancestors up to 4.5 million years old. The specimens are Ardipithecus ramidus, a transitional creature with significant ape characteristics. The fossils are mostly teeth and jaw fragments, with some hand and foot bones, the team reported this week in the journal Nature.
SCIENCE
February 4, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
In the northeast of China, at the Yixian and Jiufotang formations, scientists have discovered thousands of exquisitely preserved fossils of plants and birds, dinosaurs and mammals. Together they make up the Jehol Biota -- an ecosystem, preserved in ash, that dates back nearly 130 million years. Some of these fossils are so complete that researchers can determine what a dinosaur had for breakfast on the day it died. Others include impressions of an animal's muscles and skin, as well as hair, feathers and scales.  The fossils tell us that back in the lower Cretaceous period this land was humid, and dotted with conifer forests and lakes.
BUSINESS
January 27, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
An astonishing article in the latest issue of Science (purchase required) documents how America's scientific patrimony--specifically, its fossil record--has come under the control of commercial interests. They're now marketing what are often scientifically significant finds to the highest bidder, often for use as home and office decor. The website of one firm cited by author Heather Pringle, Tucson-based GeoDecor , lists an inventory of fossil fish, "dinosauria," mammals, and plants.  The article quotes one commercial fossil hawker as defending his business on traditional American cash-on-the-barrelhead terms: "If they don't like the free enterprise system," he says of the museums and researchers fuming about the trade in prehistoric artifacts, "don't participate in it, but don't demonize those that do. " Large fossils can go for millions of dollars.
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