North Carolina

Showing 4 posts tagged North Carolina

Meet Siats (pronounced SEE-otts) Meekerorum, the first giant mega-predator to be discovered in North America — specifically in the Utah desert — in over 60 years. In this Untamed Science video, we hear from Dr. Lindsay Zanno, Director of the Paleontology & Geology Research Laboratory at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, who explains how this 30 foot long, 4-ton, carnivorous creature flourished in the tens of millions of years before T-Rex ruled.

Untamed Science has visited Dr. Zanno before: Paleontology 101, a must-watch for anyone who loves dinosaurs.

via Scientific American.

From Untamed Science, a tour with Dr. Lindsay Zanno, Director of the Paleontology & Geology Research Laboratory at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. 

The key things she emphasized were that a) it’s a lot of work b) it’s not glamorous c) rarely to they find complete skeletons d) they don’t excavate it with little brushes out in the field and e) they spend close to 50 times the effort on a skeleton, in the lab, once it’s been pulled out of the earth.

There’s also a field trip to Crystal Geyser Quarry, “the largest feathered dinosaur graveyard” in the world… so far, at least! From the team’s site

We are living through the most exciting period in the history of dinosaur paleontology.  More than half of all known dinosaur species were discovered within the past 25 years, including nearly all of the remarkable feathered dinosaur specimens.  One of the hottest areas for dinosaur discovery in North America is the Cedar Mountain Formation of eastern Utah, where new dinosaurs are being discovered and described at a phenomenal rate.  These fossil beds span the last 25-30 million years of the Early Cretaceous, a time when North America was undergoing a period of climate change that resulted in localized extinction events and invasive dinosaur species.

Our team returns to Utah every year to hunt for new dinosaurs. This year we began excavations at an unprecedented dinosaur burial ground in the Cedar Mountain Formation known as the Crystal Geyser Quarry (CGQ).  The CGQ is a mass mortality site entombing a rare and remarkable dinosaur dubbed Falcarius utahensis. One hundred and twenty-five million years ago an estimated 300 Falcarius individuals ranging in age from hatchlings to 4-meter long adults died and were buried here under mysterious conditions.

Ben Sproul was standing on a shallow sandbar offshore near Kill Devil Hills, NC when a huge school of Jumping Mullet raced by. He managed to catch the short, exciting moment on video. 

And why are they jumping? They could be avoiding predators, but there are a few theories (and old answers) as to why and one includes their need to absorb more oxygen. From australianmuseum.net.au

The research of Hoese (1985) suggests that Sea Mullet use this second category of movements to fill the pharyngobranchial organ (an area at the back of the throat) with air.

The trapped air is believed to allow the fish to remain active in water of low oxygen concentration for about five minutes.

Several interesting lines of evidence support this theory. The number of jumps is correlated with the concentration of oxygen in the water. The less oxygen, the more jumps.

Secondly, Sea Mullet feed during the day often in bottom sediments that have low oxygen concentrations. Jumping occurs much more commonly during the day. Sea Mullet rarely jump at night.

via Science Dump.