September 28, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - No matter who wins the 2012 election, the next president will take office as the United States faces vast new opportunities in energy production and profound challenges to environmental protection. After decades of growing dependence on imported oil, the U.S. is moving to energy self-sufficiency, thanks to greater domestic supplies of oil and natural gas and reduced demand. Coal, which once fired most American power plants, is being edged out by natural gas, renewable energy and stricter efforts to cut pollution - a trend that has touched off bitter political fights.
July 3, 2012 |
A 135-million-year-old fossil of a juvenile dinosaur found in Bavaria suggests that most carnivorous dinosaurs may have been covered in feathers. Paleontologists had already known that many dinosaurs closely related to birds were covered in feathers, but the newly discovered one is from a different family and occurs much earlier in the dinosaur evolutionary tree. Because of the early appearance of feathers, the find indicates "that all predatory dinosaurs had feathers," said paleontologist Oliver Rauhut of the Bayerische Staatssammlung fur Palaontologie und Geologie in Munich, who led the team.
June 15, 2012 |
Are you an armchair dinosaur hunter who will be in Houston? Here's a target-rich opportunity: Carve out at least a couple of hours to prowl the Houston Museum of Natural Science 's dramatic new paleontology hall . Thanks to the latest technological wizardry -- such as computer-generated animation that creates virtual aquariums -- the museum manages to achieve the intimacy of an art gallery with ancient fossils both massive and tiny. A key is the way designers have posed the creatures.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 8, 2012 |
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Phillip Tobias, a renowned South African paleoanthropologist and expert on early man and hominids, died Thursday. He was 86. Tobias died in a Johannesburg hospital after a long illness, according to South Africa's University of the Witwatersrand, where he chaired the anatomy department from 1959 to 1990. He "was one of the greats in human evolutionary studies," Nick Barton, director of Oxford University's Institute of Archaeology, told the Associated Press.
May 29, 2012 |
Modern day birds may simply be dinosaurs that never grew up, researchers say. A comparison of fossilized skulls of juvenile dinosaurs with those of birds shows remarkable similarities, adding further evidence to the growing consensus that birds are evolutionary descendants of dinosaurs. A team from Harvard University reported online in the journal Nature that for some as-yet-unknown reason, some dinosaur infants began to mature much more rapidly than normal. That rapid maturation altered the expression of genes, changing the physical characteristics of the animals and keeping them much smaller in size.
May 21, 2012 |
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 )
May 18, 2012 |
Excavating in a coal mine in Colombia, paleontologists have discovered the fossil of the world's largest turtle, a 60-million-year-old specimen nearly 8 feet long -- the size of a Smart car. Thriving in a lake about 5 million years after the demise of the dinosaurs, the turtle was undoubtedly the largest predator in its environment, researchers say. The creature had powerful jaws that would enable it to eat nearly anything else it encountered, including...
May 4, 2012 |
David H. Koch's deep philanthropic pockets will benefit dinosaurs. The executive vice president of Koch Industries has donated $35 million to the National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Institution announced Thursday. The gift will go to the 30-year-old dinosaur hall, which museum officials say has long been in need of renovations. Koch, a member of the museum's advisory board, previously gave $15 million to the museum's David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins.
April 5, 2012 |
When it comes to dino outerwear, shag might be the new scales. Fossil evidence from a trio of 125-million-year-old dinosaurs that were relatives of Tyrannosaurus rex indicates the giant creatures wore primitive feathers. The three tyrannosauroids -- one adult and two juveniles -- belong to a newly described species discovered in northeastern China. The full-grown Yutyrannus huali weighed 3,000 pounds and stretched about 30 feet from nose to tail. The younger ones were still impressive at about 1,100 and 1,300 pounds.
April 5, 2012 |
Last week, the Senate voted on a proposal by New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez to end some of the billions of dollars in handouts enjoyed by the fossil-fuel industry. The Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act was a curiously skimpy bill that targeted only oil companies, and just the five richest of them at that. Left out were coal and natural gas. Even so, the proposal didn't pass. But that hasn't stopped President Obama from calling for an end to oil subsidies at every stop on his early presidential-campaign-plus-fundraising blitz.