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Here’s what Scotland’s dogs looked like 4,500 years ago

The re-created, three-dimensional face of a dog that lived 4,500 years ago in Scotland is so realistic, you almost want to reach out and pet its thick fur.

Besides melting the hearts of animal lovers, this dog — whose skull was found in an elaborate Neolithic burial at Cuween Hill in the Orkney islands, an archipelago off Scotland’s northeastern coast — has surprised scientists. That’s because this furball looks remarkably like a wolf, even though it was likely domesticated.

The dog was the size of a large collie and resembled, in some of its features, a European gray wolf, Alison Sheridan, principal archaeological research curator in the Department of Scottish History and Archaeology at National Museums Scotland, where the skull is stored, said in a statement.

Sheridan added that the skull and reconstruction could reveal details not only “about ceremonial practices and the symbolic significance of the dog in late Neolithic Orkney, but also about the appearance of domestic dogs in the third millennium B.C.” [Gallery: Brand-New Baby Wolves]

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These days, domesticated dogs tend to have more prominent, raised foreheads than wolves do, Jack Tseng, a functional anatomist at the University at Buffalo, previously told Live Science. Moreover, domestic dogs tend to have shorter faces and more crowded teeth as a result of that, he said. Other research has shown that domesticated dogs tend to have floppier ears, smaller brains, shorter curly tails and lighter and blotchy coats than wild wolves do.

Researchers have known about the Neolithic dog since 1901, when 24 dog skulls were discovered at the Cuween Hill burial. However, this is the first time one of the skulls has been “brought to life” with forensic reconstruction.

Previous research on the Cuween Hill site revealed that the dog remains were placed in the burial chamber there more than 500 years after the original tomb was constructed, indicating that these dogs were buried for ritualistic purposes, the archaeologists said.

To create an accurate 3D model of this particular dog, staff members put the skull in a CT scanner at Edinburgh University’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. This scan, in turn, gave them enough data to print a 3D model, which forensic artist Amy Thornton used to shape Fido’s head.

Just as she would a human facial re-creation, Thornton created the dog’s likeness by building up muscle, skin and hair on top of the 3D-printed skull. “This brought its own set of challenges, as there is much less existing data relating to average tissue depths in canine skulls compared to humans,” Thornton said in the statement. Even so, “the resulting model gives us a fascinating glimpse at this ancient animal,” she said.

Dogs were clearly important in Neolithic Orkney. These ancient people likely kept them as trained pets and guard dogs, and may have even taught them how to herd sheep, said Steve Farrar, an interpretation manager at Historic Environment Scotland.

“Maybe dogs were their symbol or totem; perhaps, they thought of themselves as the ‘dog people,'” Farrar said in the statement.

Visitors can see the Neolithic dog’s reconstructed, furry head in Orkney later this year.

Originally published on Live Science.

Westlake Legal Group Neolithic-dog Here's what Scotland's dogs looked like 4,500 years ago LiveScience Laura Geggel Associate Editor fox-news/science fnc/science fnc article 0aea6ca0-46f4-5a59-ae6b-806d16882014   Westlake Legal Group Neolithic-dog Here's what Scotland's dogs looked like 4,500 years ago LiveScience Laura Geggel Associate Editor fox-news/science fnc/science fnc article 0aea6ca0-46f4-5a59-ae6b-806d16882014

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‘Giant lion’ fossils discovered in museum drawer

Westlake Legal Group giant-lion-fossils-discovered-in-museum-drawer 'Giant lion' fossils discovered in museum drawer fox-news/science/archaeology/fossils fox news fnc/science fnc e9a6ab69-bb90-544c-8a39-f528bb44188d Chris Ciaccia article

Some people lose their car keys, others lose socks in the dryer. But have you ever lost a 22 million-year-old fossil?

An extinct species of giant mammal has been identified after its bones were discovered in a Kenyan museum drawer decades after being unearthed.

Known as “Simbakubwa kutokaafrika,” the “big African lion” was likely at the top of the food chain in Africa, researchers said in a statement. However, it was not “closely related” to any big cats and was a member of an extinct group of mammals called hyaenodonts.

FOSSILIZED REMAINS OF 430 MILLION-YEAR-OLD SEA MONSTER FOUND

“Opening a museum drawer, we saw a row of gigantic meat-eating teeth, clearly belonging to a species new to science,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Matthew Borths, said in a statement.

The findings have been published in the scientific journal Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

It’s likely that the fossils found belong to “a relatively young adult” according to the study’s abstract, which adds that Simbakubwa differs from “Hyainailouros in exhibiting lingually oriented molar protocones, gracile metastyles, and buccolingually compressed, shearing canines.”

Westlake Legal Group giant-tiger 'Giant lion' fossils discovered in museum drawer fox-news/science/archaeology/fossils fox news fnc/science fnc e9a6ab69-bb90-544c-8a39-f528bb44188d Chris Ciaccia article

Simbakubwa kutokaafrika, a gigantic carnivore known from most of its jaw, portions of its skull, and parts of its skeleton, was a hyaenodont that was larger than a polar bear. (Credit: Mauricio Anton)

The teeth were used to estimate the size of the creature, Borths added, noting the mammal was likely bigger than a polar bear (with a body mass approaching 3,000 pounds) and had a skull larger than a rhinoceros. For comparison purposes, rhinoceros can reach up to 10 feet in length.

It’s unclear what caused Simbakubwa to go extinct, as Hyainailourines (part of the hyaenodont group which is unrelated to hyenas) “were some of the largest mammalian carnivores to ever walk the Earth,” Borths said in comments obtained by SWNS.

WOOLLY MAMMOTH MYSTERY SOLVED?

Despite it being lost for decades, sitting in a drawer, the fossils are likely to shed new light on an unknown species, as well as what life was like on the African continent before global ecosystems changed significantly between 18 and 15 million years ago.

“This is a pivotal fossil, demonstrating the significance of museum collections for understanding evolutionary history,” the study’s co-author, Dr. Nancy Stevens, added in the statement.

“Simbakubwa is a window into a bygone era,” Stevens continued. “As ecosystems shifted, a key predator disappeared, heralding Cenozoic faunal transitions that eventually led to the evolution of the modern African fauna.”

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Westlake Legal Group giant-tiger 'Giant lion' fossils discovered in museum drawer fox-news/science/archaeology/fossils fox news fnc/science fnc e9a6ab69-bb90-544c-8a39-f528bb44188d Chris Ciaccia article   Westlake Legal Group giant-tiger 'Giant lion' fossils discovered in museum drawer fox-news/science/archaeology/fossils fox news fnc/science fnc e9a6ab69-bb90-544c-8a39-f528bb44188d Chris Ciaccia article

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Great white shark weighing 1,668 pounds spotted off Florida Panhandle, researchers say

Westlake Legal Group great-white-shark-weighing-1668-pounds-spotted-off-florida-panhandle-researchers-say Great white shark weighing 1,668 pounds spotted off Florida Panhandle, researchers say Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/science/wild-nature/sharks fox news fnc/science fnc article 89f8b62c-50a4-5785-83d8-4cb844aac4f0
Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6024837003001_6024837275001-vs Great white shark weighing 1,668 pounds spotted off Florida Panhandle, researchers say Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/science/wild-nature/sharks fox news fnc/science fnc article 89f8b62c-50a4-5785-83d8-4cb844aac4f0

A 1,688-pound female great white shark called Miss Costa was spotted this week swimming in the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida panhandle, according to researchers

A transmitter on the sub-adult shark “pinged” south of Panama City, Fla., according to OCEARCH, an international great white shark research organization. A “ping” occurs when a tagged shark’s dorsal fin breaks the surface of the water, transmitting a signal to a satellite, the organization told the Pensacola News Journal.

GREAT WHITE SHARKS ARE AFRAID OF ORCAS, STUDY FINDS

While it isn’t unusual for great whites to swim through the Gulf of Mexico, Miss Costa’s cruise through the Florida Panhandle is significant because a ping from a large female that far north into the Gulf is rare, OCEARCH said in a news release Tuesday.

The organization said it hopes that tracking Miss Costa and other great white sharks will help to understand the movement patterns of sharks in the Gulf.

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Miss Costa measured 12-feet 6-inches when she was first tagged by researchers on Sept. 23, 2016, in Nantucket, Mass., OCEARCH said. Researchers estimated the great white could be between 14-15 feet long today.

The most recent great white sharks to visit the Gulf Coast include a 1,326-pound male named Hilton and an 8-foot 6-inch, 460-pound female named Savannah, the News Journal reported.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6024837003001_6024837275001-vs Great white shark weighing 1,668 pounds spotted off Florida Panhandle, researchers say Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/science/wild-nature/sharks fox news fnc/science fnc article 89f8b62c-50a4-5785-83d8-4cb844aac4f0   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6024837003001_6024837275001-vs Great white shark weighing 1,668 pounds spotted off Florida Panhandle, researchers say Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/science/wild-nature/sharks fox news fnc/science fnc article 89f8b62c-50a4-5785-83d8-4cb844aac4f0

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Scientists revive cellular activity in brain of dead pigs: report

A team of Yale scientists managed to revive cellular activity in the brains of dead pigs that had been slaughtered hours before, challenging previous assumptions that brain cells irreversibly die off once the blood flow stops.

According to the researchers, the pigs had been dead for four hours when the brain cells were revived. The researchers used a special device that circulated a “blood-like chemical solution” through the pig’s brain maintained cellular activity six hours later. The study was funded mostly through the National Institutes of Health.

This does not mean the pigs were “living,” in the sense that they exhibited electrical activity associated with “consciousness,” senior researcher Dr. Nenad Sestan said. It merely meant that their brains were “cellularly active” and their brains showed no large-scale electrical activity that would indicate awareness.

NASA SCIENTISTS SEND MICE INTO SPACE TO STUDY EFFECTS OF MICROGRAVITY ON HUMANS

Sestan said the findings have profound implications for stroke therapies and other disorders that cause brain cells to die. Co-researcher Stephen Latham, director of the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, said the same process could be used to preserve organs harvested for donations.

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But the experiment has also raised some ethical concerns. Bioethicist Nita Farahany, who has urged ethics guidelines for similar experiments in the future, said the study leaves a “gaping gray zone, with almost no guidance of how to proceed ethically.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 724e23ee-1024-preview-1 Scientists revive cellular activity in brain of dead pigs: report fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc f2ae9f0a-f345-5edc-b0fc-3135125ecb5e Bradford Betz article   Westlake Legal Group 724e23ee-1024-preview-1 Scientists revive cellular activity in brain of dead pigs: report fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc f2ae9f0a-f345-5edc-b0fc-3135125ecb5e Bradford Betz article

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Great white sharks are afraid of orcas, study finds

Westlake Legal Group great-white-sharks-are-afraid-of-orcas-study-finds Great white sharks are afraid of orcas, study finds Madeline Farber fox-news/science/wild-nature/sharks fox-news/science/planet-earth/oceans fox news fnc/science fnc article 01512cb4-b945-5b26-b0b5-1283dede45ec
Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6024837003001_6024837275001-vs Great white sharks are afraid of orcas, study finds Madeline Farber fox-news/science/wild-nature/sharks fox-news/science/planet-earth/oceans fox news fnc/science fnc article 01512cb4-b945-5b26-b0b5-1283dede45ec

It appears one of the most fear-inducing predators in the ocean may have a fear of its own.

A new study led by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and published Tuesday in Nature found great white sharks leave their “preferred hunting ground” when orcas — also known as killer whales — enter it. In fact, researchers found the sharks won’t return to those areas for roughly a year — even if the orcas don’t stay that long.

To come to this conclusion, researchers “documented four encounters between the top predators at Southeast Farallon Island in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary off San Francisco, California,” per the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s news release on the findings. The scientists then “analyzed the interactions using data from 165 white sharks tagged between 2006 and 2013, and compiled 27 years of seal, orca and shark surveys at the Farallones.”

 GREAT WHITE SHARKS HAVE ‘TOXIC’ HEAVY METALS IN THEIR BLOOD, STUDY FINDS

More specifically, researchers determined when both sharks and orcas were present at the Farallon Islands by comparing data from the electronic shark tags with “field observations of orca sightings.”

“This made it possible to demonstrate the outcome on the rare instances when the predators encountered each other,” per the study.

The “robust data sources” helped scientists to “conclusively show how white sharks clear out of the area when the orcas show up,” Jim Tietz, a study co-author, said in an online statement.

The sharks fled the island when the orcas arrived — and did not return until the following season — in all of the cases studied. Data from the electronic tags even showed all the great white sharks left the area just minutes after orcas arrived. This was true even when the killer whales were present for less than an hour.

“It turns out these risk effects are very strong even for large predators like white sharks — strong enough to redirect their hunting activity to less preferred but safer areas.”

— Salvador Jorgensen

“On average we document around 40 elephant seal predation events by white sharks at Southeast Farallon Island each season,” Monterey Bay Aquarium scientist Scot Anderson said in a statement. “After orcas show up, we don’t see a single shark and there are no more kills.”

“These are huge white sharks. Some are over 18 feet long and they usually rule the roost here,” Anderson continued.

It’s unclear why exactly the sharks leave. Researchers suspect it could be because the sharks are prey for the orcas, or possibly because they are bullied over food and ultimately forced out.

Sharks hightailing out of the area had an indirect benefit for elephant seals — which are often the preferred meal of both sharks and killer whales — in the Farallones. Researchers found there were “four to seven times fewer predation events on elephant seals in the years white sharks left,” per the study.

GREAT WHITE SHARK CHARGES AT DIVER IN TERRIFYING MOMENT CAPTURED ON FILM

“We don’t typically think about how fear and risk aversion might play a role in shaping where large predators hunt and how that influences ocean ecosystems,” added Salvador Jorgensen, the study’s lead author. “It turns out these risk effects are very strong even for large predators like white sharks — strong enough to redirect their hunting activity to less preferred but safer areas.”

Jorgensen explained the study is important because it is one of the few that “demonstrates how food chains are not always linear,” especially in the ocean. Interactions between predators are more difficult to document and analyze due to their infrequency.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6024837003001_6024837275001-vs Great white sharks are afraid of orcas, study finds Madeline Farber fox-news/science/wild-nature/sharks fox-news/science/planet-earth/oceans fox news fnc/science fnc article 01512cb4-b945-5b26-b0b5-1283dede45ec   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6024837003001_6024837275001-vs Great white sharks are afraid of orcas, study finds Madeline Farber fox-news/science/wild-nature/sharks fox-news/science/planet-earth/oceans fox news fnc/science fnc article 01512cb4-b945-5b26-b0b5-1283dede45ec

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Liquid blood taken from 42,000-year-old frozen horse that scientists hope to clone

Westlake Legal Group liquid-blood-taken-from-42000-year-old-frozen-horse-that-scientists-hope-to-clone Liquid blood taken from 42,000-year-old frozen horse that scientists hope to clone fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science/archaeology fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article Ann Schmidt 96bccff6-c4bd-5067-8a0d-78fa7f85d527

Scientists were able to extract liquid blood from the heart of a 42,000-year-old foal that had been frozen and preserved in permafrost in Siberia.

The scientists are hoping to clone the prehistoric horse — which was discovered in the Siberian region of Yakutia last summer — and bring it back to life, according to The Siberian Times.

“We can now claim that this is the best-preserved Ice Age animal ever found in the world,” Semyon Grigoryev, the head of the Mammoth Museum in the regional capital of Yakutsk, told the outlet.

DISCOVERY OF ANCIENT EGYPTIAN DIGNITARY’S 4,000-YEAR-OLD COLORFUL TOMB STUNS ARCHAEOLOGISTS

The foal, which is believed to be from the extinct species Equus lenensis, or Lena horse, was discovered with its skin, hair, hooves and tail all preserved. The foal was believed to be just weeks old when it likely drowned in the mud which later froze and turned to permafrost.

Grigoryev told Russian news agency TASS that finding a preserved horse’s hair was almost unheard of.

Westlake Legal Group foalsiberia2 Liquid blood taken from 42,000-year-old frozen horse that scientists hope to clone fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science/archaeology fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article Ann Schmidt 96bccff6-c4bd-5067-8a0d-78fa7f85d527

In this image made from video, scientists examine the foal carcass that was found last summer in the Siberian region of Yakutia. (AP Photo)

“Having preserved hair is another scientific sensation as all previous ancient horses were found without hair,” he said.

He attributed the preservation of the liquid blood to the favorable burial conditions and permafrost, adding that the internal organs were “beautifully preserved.” Even the muscle tissue maintained its natural reddish color, he said.

‘HUMAN SACRIFICE’ VICTIMS DISCOVERED AT GRUESOME ANCIENT SITE

Scientists with the North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk (NEFU) and Sooam Biotech in South Korea are collaborating to extract cells in order to clone the horse. According to The Siberian Times, they are “confident of success.”

They are even reportedly trying to find a surrogate to give birth to the horse.

According to Gizmodo, scientists began a detailed analysis of the foal last month that is predicted to last until the end of April. The scientists have reportedly tried 20 times to extract and grow cells from the animal’s tissue, but those attempts have been unsuccessful.

The foal was discovered in the Batagaika crater, a huge 328-foot deep depression in the East Siberian taiga. The giant crater is known locally as the “doorway to the underworld.”

Fox News’ James Rogers contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5831738190001_5831731553001-vs Liquid blood taken from 42,000-year-old frozen horse that scientists hope to clone fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science/archaeology fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article Ann Schmidt 96bccff6-c4bd-5067-8a0d-78fa7f85d527   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5831738190001_5831731553001-vs Liquid blood taken from 42,000-year-old frozen horse that scientists hope to clone fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science/archaeology fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article Ann Schmidt 96bccff6-c4bd-5067-8a0d-78fa7f85d527

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829-year-old ‘Viking-style’ shipwreck reveals its secrets

Westlake Legal Group 829-year-old-viking-style-shipwreck-reveals-its-secrets 829-year-old 'Viking-style' shipwreck reveals its secrets James Rogers fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science/archaeology/culture fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article a5ad9489-2b70-5bf4-9321-8068fc546495

The wreck of a 12th-century ‘Viking-style’ ship discovered in a German port is revealing its secrets thanks to high-tech 3D-scanning technology.

The shipwreck was found in just 10 feet of water when workers were extending the Baltic Sea port of Wismar. Thanks to the seawater and harbor silt, the ship’s timbers are perfectly preserved, according to archaeologists.

Measuring almost 80 feet by 13 feet, the ship’s remains have been dated to around 1188. Experts used 3D scanner technology to reveal that the open-decked ship was constructed entirely with axes and adzes.

FEMALE VIKING WARRIOR’S REMARKABLE GRAVE SHEDS NEW LIGHT ON ANCIENT SOCIETY

Analysis of the ship’s timbers revealed that they were from Western Sweden. Maritime Archaeologist Dr. Jens Auer, who led the project, described the ship as a descendant of Viking vessels. “It was a heavy, load-bearing cargo ship, of Nordic design, built with great care and durability…with overlapping pine planks, clinker-style, with a beautiful curved construction…made during a relatively peaceful period of time,” he explained, in a statement.

Westlake Legal Group VikingWreckGermany 829-year-old 'Viking-style' shipwreck reveals its secrets James Rogers fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science/archaeology/culture fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article a5ad9489-2b70-5bf4-9321-8068fc546495

A diver examines the wreck. (Landesamt für Kultur und Denkmalpflege Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)

The ship likely carried cargoes such as timber, stones, or even beer, Auer added.

Experts estimate that the ship had a crew of 8 to 12 men.

DNA SHOWS VIKING REMAINS BELONG TO WOMAN

“The Wismar wreck is of great importance because it tells us about the type of vessels that were crossing the seas of Northern Europe during the high medieval period,” Massimiliano Ditta, maritime archaeologist at the Stavanger Maritime Museum told Fox News, via email. “Historically we were in a period of transition and a shift of economic power. This is reflected in the construction of the ship, and due to its incredible state of preservation, it is a treasure trove of information not otherwise accessible.”

Westlake Legal Group VikingWreckGermany2 829-year-old 'Viking-style' shipwreck reveals its secrets James Rogers fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science/archaeology/culture fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article a5ad9489-2b70-5bf4-9321-8068fc546495

A diagram of the shipwreck. (Massimiliano Ditta)

After lifting the wreck out of the Baltic waters, experts used an Artec handheld 3D scanner technology to scan the timbers at a warehouse in the German city of Schwerin. The scanning process took one month, with the scans used to create a 3D-printed small scale model of the ship.

Ditta, who oversaw the 3D scanning of the wreck, says that the ship offers a glimpse into Baltic trade before towns in the region formed a powerful trading group known as the Hanseatic League.

VIKING LONGSHIP DISCOVERY THRILLS ARCHAEOLOGISTS

“The ‘Big Ship of Wismar’ not only shows us how bulk trade was carried out between Scandinavia and the Baltic shores prior to the rise of the Hanseatic League but also sheds light on the early history of Wismar as a maritime town,” he said.

Westlake Legal Group VikingWreckGermany3 829-year-old 'Viking-style' shipwreck reveals its secrets James Rogers fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science/archaeology/culture fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article a5ad9489-2b70-5bf4-9321-8068fc546495

One of the ship’s timbers recovered from wrecksite. (Landesamt für Kultur und Denkmalpflege Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)

Viking-era discoveries have thrilled archaeologists across Scandinavia and the Baltic in recent years. An incredible Swedish grave containing the skeleton of a Viking warrior, long thought to be male, was recently confirmed as female.

Last year, a Viking “Thor’s hammer” was discovered in Iceland and archaeologists in Norway used ground-penetrating radar technology to reveal an extremely rare Viking longship.

VIKING ‘THOR’S HAMMER’ DISCOVERED IN ICELAND

Also in 2018, an 8-year-old girl discovered a 1,500-year-old sword in a Swedish lake and an incredible trove of silver treasure linked to the era of a famous Viking king was discovered on an island in the Baltic Sea. Hundreds of 1,000-year-old silver coins, rings, pearls, and bracelets were found on the German island of Ruegen.

Westlake Legal Group VikingWreckGermany4 829-year-old 'Viking-style' shipwreck reveals its secrets James Rogers fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science/archaeology/culture fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article a5ad9489-2b70-5bf4-9321-8068fc546495

The ship’s timbers were perfectly preserved, according to archaeologists. (Landesamt für Kultur und Denkmalpflege Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)

In 2017, an incredibly well-preserved Viking sword was found by a reindeer hunter on a remote mountain in Southern Norway. In 2016, archaeologists in Trondheim, Norway, unearthed the church where Viking King Olaf Haraldsson was first enshrined as a saint.

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Westlake Legal Group VikingWreckGermany6 829-year-old 'Viking-style' shipwreck reveals its secrets James Rogers fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science/archaeology/culture fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article a5ad9489-2b70-5bf4-9321-8068fc546495

A 3D scan of one of the ship’s timbers. (Landesamt für Kultur und Denkmalpflege Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)

Separately in 2016, a tiny Viking crucifix was found in Denmark.

Fox News’ Bradford Betz and The Associated Press contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

Westlake Legal Group VikingWreckGermany 829-year-old 'Viking-style' shipwreck reveals its secrets James Rogers fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science/archaeology/culture fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article a5ad9489-2b70-5bf4-9321-8068fc546495   Westlake Legal Group VikingWreckGermany 829-year-old 'Viking-style' shipwreck reveals its secrets James Rogers fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science/archaeology/culture fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article a5ad9489-2b70-5bf4-9321-8068fc546495

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NASA mission finds its first Earth-sized alien planet

Westlake Legal Group nasa-mission-finds-its-first-earth-sized-alien-planet NASA mission finds its first Earth-sized alien planet fox-news/science/air-and-space/planets fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox news fnc/science fnc f0db841f-371d-586a-a406-1744af5d7e07 Chris Ciaccia article

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) was launched to much fanfare in April 2018, as the $200 million spacecraft took over planet-hunting duties from its predecessor, the Kepler space telescope.

Seven months after finding its first exoplanet, TESS has found its first Earth-sized planet.

“It’s so exciting that TESS, which launched just about a year ago, is already a game-changer in the planet-hunting business,” the study’s co-author, Johanna Teske, of the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) at the Carnegie Institution for Science, said in a statement. “The spacecraft surveys the sky and we collaborate with the TESS follow-up community to flag potentially interesting targets for additional observations using ground-based telescopes and instruments.”

PLANET NINE MAY EXIST, BUT IT MIGHT BE HIDING BEHIND NEPTUNE

Unfortunately, the newly found Earth-size world, known as HD 21749c, does not appear to be a candidate to host life. It orbits its star approximately once every eight days, likely making it too hot to support life. The star, HD 21749, has approximately “80 percent of the mass of our Sun and is found about 53 light-years distant from Earth,” researchers added in the statement.

Westlake Legal Group TESS-Planet-Illustration-Draft-6_0-700x393 NASA mission finds its first Earth-sized alien planet fox-news/science/air-and-space/planets fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox news fnc/science fnc f0db841f-371d-586a-a406-1744af5d7e07 Chris Ciaccia article

Artist’s conception of HD 21749c, the first Earth-sized planet found by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanets Survey Satellite (TESS), as well as its sibling, HD 21749b, a warm sub-Neptune-sized world. (Credit: Robin Dienel, courtesy of the Carnegie Institution for Science.)

“Measuring the exact mass and composition of such a small planet will be challenging, but important for comparing HD 21749c to Earth,” said Wang. “Carnegie’s PFS team is continuing to collect data on this object with this goal in mind.”

Even though HD 21749c does not appear to be a candidate to host life, there is hope that TESS will find planets that may have conditions to support life, said the study’s lead author, Diana Dragomir.

“For stars that are very close by and very bright, we expected to find up to a couple dozen Earth-sized planets,” Dragomir said in the statement. “And here we are — this would be our first one, and it’s a milestone for TESS. It sets the path for finding smaller planets around even smaller stars, and those planets may potentially be habitable.”

NASA IS HEIGHTENING THE SEARCH FOR ALIEN LIFE USING ‘TECHNOSIGNATURES’

The findings were published in the scientific journal The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

A “warm sub-Neptune-sized world,” known as HD 21749b, which takes 36 days to orbit HD 21749 and was previously discovered in January, was also mentioned in the study.

TESS revealed its first images in September, becoming the next-generation craft to look for exoplanets, following Kepler, which discovered more than 2,600 confirmed planets during its lifespan, according to Space.com.

TESS’ background

NASA’s astrophysics director, Paul Hertz, said missions like TESS will help answer whether we’re alone — or just lucky enough to have “the best prime real estate in the galaxy.”

The exoplanet count, from all observatories in space and on Earth over the past couple of decades, stands at more than 3,700 confirmed with 4,500 on the strong contender list.

About 50 are believed to potentially habitable. They have the right size and the right orbit of their star to support surface water and, at least theoretically, to support life.

Scientists speculate that the habitable or so-called Goldilocks zone — the distance from a star where it’s neither too hot nor too cold to support life, but just right with the potential for liquid water at the surface — should be much closer to red dwarfs than it is in our own solar system. The orbits of any planets in these systems should be fairly short.

NASA and others stress that TESS will not look for atmospheric or other signs of life; it can’t do that.

That all-important job will be left to the James Webb Telescope, the next-generation successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that’s grounded until at least 2020.

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Fox News’ James Rogers and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group TESS-Planet-Illustration-Draft-6_0-700x393 NASA mission finds its first Earth-sized alien planet fox-news/science/air-and-space/planets fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox news fnc/science fnc f0db841f-371d-586a-a406-1744af5d7e07 Chris Ciaccia article   Westlake Legal Group TESS-Planet-Illustration-Draft-6_0-700x393 NASA mission finds its first Earth-sized alien planet fox-news/science/air-and-space/planets fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox news fnc/science fnc f0db841f-371d-586a-a406-1744af5d7e07 Chris Ciaccia article

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Rare baby T-Rex skeleton listed on eBay for $3M infuriates paleontologists

Westlake Legal Group rare-baby-t-rex-skeleton-listed-on-ebay-for-3m-infuriates-paleontologists Rare baby T-Rex skeleton listed on eBay for $3M infuriates paleontologists Jennifer Earl fox-news/science/archaeology/dinosaurs fox news fnc/science fnc c14e1000-e57d-56d4-98c5-48dbf3233a57 article

A fossil hunter is being blasted for putting the skeleton of a baby Tyrannosaurus rex — claimed to be “the only one in the world” — on eBay for a whopping $3 million.

It’s unclear why archaeologist Alan Detrich, who discovered the 15-foot-long baby T. rex near Jordan, Montana, about six years ago, suddenly decided to put skeleton up for auction earlier this month.

The 68-million-year-old dinosaur was still on exhibit at the University of Kansas Natural History Museum in Lawrence when it was first listed on the e-commerce site. Detrich, a Kansas native, donated the fossil to the museum in 2017. The museum said it has since cut ties with Dietrich and confirmed it was not connected to the sale following backlash from patrons.

DISCOVERY OF EGYPTIAN DIGNITARY’S 4,000-YEAR-OLD COLORFUL TOMB STUNS ARCHAEOLOGISTS

“The KU Natural History Museum does not sell or mediate the sale of specimens to private individuals,” museum director Leonard Krishtalka said in a statement. “Accordingly, the specimen on exhibit-loan to us has been removed from exhibit and is being returned to the owner. We have asked that the owner remove any association with us from his sale listing.”

On eBay, Detrich describes the baby T. rex as one of a kind.

“This Rex was very a very dangerous meat eater.  It’s a RARE opportunity indeed to ever see a baby REX, if they did not grow quickly they could not catch prey and would die. Histology shows the specimen to be approximately 4 years old upon death,” he explained in a description of the listing, crediting Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology from Florida’s Natural History Museum for reconstructing the 21-inch skull. “Many of the bones are waiting to be identified, but every day more and more are being tagged.”

On average, 30 people view the post every hour and hundreds more have been documented “watching” the sale at the same time. According to the listing, worldwide expedited shipping would cost an additional $65,555.

Westlake Legal Group T-rex Rare baby T-Rex skeleton listed on eBay for $3M infuriates paleontologists Jennifer Earl fox-news/science/archaeology/dinosaurs fox news fnc/science fnc c14e1000-e57d-56d4-98c5-48dbf3233a57 article

Alan Detrich listed the 68-million-year-old T-Rex on eBay for nearly $3 million. (eBay/Screenshot)

NEW HORNED DINOSAUR SPECIES DISCOVERED IN ARIZONA WOWS PALEONTOLOGISTS

Despite the interest, paleontologists are not pleased with the idea that the skeleton could remain in a private collection indefinitely.

The Society of Vertebrate Palaeontology (SVP), a professional organization of scientists that advocate for the preservation of vertebrate fossils, wrote an open letter to Dietrich last week criticizing his decision to sell the priceless skeleton.

“The [SVP] is concerned because the fossil, which represents a unique part of life’s past, may be lost from the public trust, and because its owner used the specimen’s scientific importance, including its exhibition status at KU, as part of his advertising strategy,” the organization wrote. “These events undermine the scientific process for studying past life as well as the prospect for future generations to share the natural heritage of our planet.”

The group then argued that if the fossil is removed from public access then it hinders the opportunity to study it further, potentially drawing vital conclusions about history from its bones.

“Scientific practice demands that conclusions drawn from the fossils should be verifiable: scientists must be able to reexamine, re-measure, and reinterpret them (such reexamination can happen decades or even centuries after the fact),” SVP added, in part. “Furthermore, technological advances, new scientific questions, and opportunities for synthetic research mean that new research often utilizes fossils that were originally collected with other purposes in mind.”

Earlier this month, in an interview with The Wichita Eagle, Dietrich, too, marveled at the idea paleontologists might learn more about the life of the fascinating creature.

“Science and paleontology is live fast, die young, make a pretty corpse. That’s what this baby T. rex did — died young and made a pretty corpse,” Dietrich told the newspaper. “But because he did, we’ll learn things that we didn’t know before.”

As of Wednesday morning, the baby dinosaur was still listed on eBay, but had not received any bids.

Westlake Legal Group T-rex Rare baby T-Rex skeleton listed on eBay for $3M infuriates paleontologists Jennifer Earl fox-news/science/archaeology/dinosaurs fox news fnc/science fnc c14e1000-e57d-56d4-98c5-48dbf3233a57 article   Westlake Legal Group T-rex Rare baby T-Rex skeleton listed on eBay for $3M infuriates paleontologists Jennifer Earl fox-news/science/archaeology/dinosaurs fox news fnc/science fnc c14e1000-e57d-56d4-98c5-48dbf3233a57 article

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The Moon loses water when meteoroids smack the lunar surface

Westlake Legal Group the-moon-loses-water-when-meteoroids-smack-the-lunar-surface The Moon loses water when meteoroids smack the lunar surface Space.com fox-news/science/air-and-space/moon fnc/science fnc Charles Q. Choi article 3db05749-8dc8-5af7-8b15-998dc6542bce

Meteoroid impacts regularly liberate puffs of water vapor from the moon, suggesting that minuscule amounts of water may lurk just under the entire lunar surface, a new study finds.

When the Apollo missions brought lunar rocks to Earth, scientists found evidence that the moon was devoid of water. However, in the past decade, data from a bevy of spacecraft — including NASA’s Cassini, Deep Impact and Lunar Prospector missions, and India’s Chandrayaan-1 probe — revealed trace amounts of water on the surface of the moon. Even more intriguingly, they found water across the moon’s surface, not only at the poles, as was previously expected.

But scientists still have many questions about the source and extent of lunar water. To learn more, researchers analyzed data from NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), which orbited the moon from October 2013 to April 2014.

Related: Watch Two Meteorites Hit the Moon!

The scientists behind the newly published research found that the moon released numerous puffs of water vapor from near its surface into its exosphere, the very tenuous layer of molecules comprising the closest thing that the moon has to an atmosphere. These outbursts coincided with 29 known meteoroid streams that passed near Earth during that eight-month span of time, including the Leonids, Geminids and Quadrantids.

“Most of the geological processes we deal with in planetary science are very slow — we almost never get to see something respond dynamically over the scale of hours like we did here,” lead author Mehdi Benna, a planetary scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, told Space.com.

The researchers suggested that meteoroid impacts kicked up these puffs of water from the moon, and said that four of these puffs were apparently caused by previously undetected meteoroid streams.

“One would think we know all of the meteoroid streams that are out there, but apparently we don’t,” Benna said.

By analyzing the amount of water released by meteoroid streams of different sizes, the scientists estimated that the uppermost 3.15 inches (8 centimeters) of lunar soil is dehydrated — any less, and smaller meteoroids would have excavated more water. Below this desiccated layer, the researchers suggest, water comprises up to about 0.05% of the weight of the rock up to at least 10 feet (3 meters) deep.

“With our measurements, we could see exactly the water extracted from the moon in a very dynamic way by micrometeroid impacts, and by analyzing the data, see how much water was stored in the lunar reservoir and where it was going,” Benna said.

The researchers estimated that meteoroid impacts cause the moon to lose as much as 220 tons (200 metric tons) of water annually. To sustain this amount of loss over time, they suggested that this water either was present when the moon formed, about 4.5 billion years ago, or was delivered by cosmic impacts from water-laden rocks soon after the moon was born.

The lunar samples from the Apollo missions may have appeared devoid of water because the water on those rocks was likely not incorporated into the rocks themselves, but only weakly coated them. As such, any water on the rocks was likely fragile and difficult to hold onto during the return trips, Benna said.

Future research can examine how deep water actually extends on the moon, Benna said. He and his colleagues detailed their findings online today (April 15) in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Original article on Space.com.

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