Fossil feces point to a shark attack 15 million years ago

first_img Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — Paleontologists Stephen Godfrey and Joshua Smith have been studying marine fossils in the Maryland area of Calvert Cliffs for many years, and Godfrey has catalogued over 26,000 items found on the local beaches. Many of these items are fossilized shark teeth belonging to several genera, but they have also found fossils of a wide range of other creatures, including fish, birds, sea cows, crocodiles, and seals. Jaws — 4 million BC Now, in a new paper, they report on coprolites (fossilized feces) found on the beach, that probably came from a crocodile, and which bear characteristic tooth marks of a prehistoric shark. The coprolites are examples of extremely rare trace fossils, which are fossils that provide evidence of animal behaviors that cannot be determined from body fossils. Analysis of the two coprolites bearing teeth marks, and a third found nearby, suggested they came from a vertebrate predator that was not a shark, and while it is not certain, Professor Godfrey believes they were most likely produced by a crocodile. One of the coprolites had been severed by teeth, while the other bore a row of impressions of teeth. The fossils were dated to around 15 million years ago. Coprolites are fairly common at Calvert Cliffs, an area that was underwater at the time, but no coprolites had ever been found bearing teeth marks. The researchers made silicone casts of the tooth impressions to help them identify the creature that made them. There are eight shark genera bearing the characteristic asymmetrical teeth, but the best fit for the tooth marks were the Miocene ancestors of the tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier).Godfrey and Smith reasoned that the positions of the marks and their curvature suggested the bulk of the fecal masses were in the sharks’ mouths. There are several possible explanations: the shark may have bitten into the feces and then spat them out, or it could have bitten into the feces during an attack on the crocodile. Tiger sharks are indiscriminate eaters and do tentatively bite into objects to see if they are palatable, but Godfrey said if the shark had bitten into the feces after they were expelled from the body, there should have been bite marks on both sides, and they should have been deeper. He said the pattern is more consistent with the shark biting into the feces while they were still in the body, or after the animal had been disemboweled. Godfrey and Smith’s paper is published in Naturwissenschaften. The fossils will be displayed in the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, Maryland, where Professor Godfrey is Curator of Paleontology. Image credit: Calvert Marine Museum. More information: Shark-bitten vertebrate coprolites from the Miocene of Maryland, Naturwissenschaften, March 10, 2010. DOI:10.1007/s00114-010-0659-x © 2010 PhysOrg.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Fossil feces point to a shark attack 15 million years ago (2010, March 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-03-fossil-feces-shark-million-years.htmllast_img read more

TouchCast introduces its interactive video iPad app

first_img Citation: TouchCast introduces its interactive video iPad app (2013, June 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-06-touchcast-interactive-video-ipad-app.html © 2013 Phys.org Schonfeld suggests the system would be useful for journalists, YouTube video creators, educators, students, and video enthusiasts generally. According to Segal, the new system differs from YouTube’s current ability to insert interactive elements in fully immersing HTML inside the video instead of them being an annotation.The basic iPad TouchCast app is free for videos up to five minutes long, but the company expects to make money through subscriptions for storage of video content longer than one hour, and for additional features, advertising, and licensing fees. They are not expecting to be a competitor to YouTube, and at present, videos created with the system can be uploaded to YouTube but none of the interactive features function.TouchCast employs over 20 people and is funded by its founders, Segal, Schonfeld, and Charley Miller, who was previously a designer of video games. Segal’s history includes being vice president of emerging platforms at AOL and developing Relegance, a real-time search engine.The TouchCast app for iPad can be downloaded free from the Apple iTunes App Store. Videos using the technology can be viewed on the iPad, or at Touchcast.com using either Safari or Chrome. The ultimate aim is to have the videos watchable with all interactive features on a wide range of devices. (Phys.org) —A company founded in New York in 2010 is aiming to lift the online video experience to a new level. Erick Schonfeld, a co-founder of the startup company TouchCast, said that the problems with video today are that it doesn’t interface well with the Internet and that it hasn’t yet achieved its full capabilities of interacting with other web content. More information: itunes.apple.com/us/app/touchcast/id603258418?mt=8 YouTube adds online video editing tool Explore further Schonfeld and TouchCast CEO Edo Segal set out to reinvent online video content so that it feels like web content while looking like television. Their product, the free TouchCast app for iPad, is a stepping-stone to their final goal, and allows users to create video needing no post-production editing, and that can be enriched using its video applications, or vApps.The iPad app uses an HTML5 standard web media player, which interacts with vApps that enable users to incorporate elements such as Flickr photos, Google Maps, stockmarket charts, YouTube videos, or Twitter and Facebook streams directly into their content. The vApps are interactive and update in real-time. The company has already created over 20 vApps, but plans to allow other developers to add their own vApps on the TouchCast platform. The video creator opens the vApps before shooting, and then simply taps on the icons while recording to bring the vApps into the video. Once the vApps are inside the video the users can interact with them in the same way as they can with any other online content, using the iPad’s touch interface. The videos will be watchable on TouchCast’s own website, and eventually on all websites. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Flying saucer NASA livestreamed LowDensity Supersonic Decelerator test

first_img NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project will be flying a rocket-powered, saucer-shaped test vehicle into near-space from the Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility this June from Kauai, Hawaii. To prepare for the flight, a “spin” test was conducted from the gallery above a clean room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where this near-space experimental test vehicle is being prepared for shipment to Hawaii. During the broadcast, the 15-foot-wide, 7,000-pound vehicle underwent a “spin-table” test. The LDSD crosscutting demonstration mission will test breakthrough technologies that will enable large payloads to be safely landed on the surface of Mars, or other planetary bodies with atmospheres, including Earth. The balance test, conducted at NASA’s JPL Laboratory near Los Angeles CA, was done to ensure the craft would spin without wobbling once sent aloft—it was live-streamed to allow space enthusiasts to watch and chat amongst themselves as a real test was conducted. NASA and project reps were on hand to answer questions posed by journalists invited to view the test and those by users online. The test consisted of spinning the craft on a central point, similar to that done to balance tires on a car. Citation: ‘Flying saucer’: NASA live-streamed Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator test (2015, April 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-04-saucer-nasa-live-streamed-low-density-supersonic.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. This artist’s concept shows the test vehicle for NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD), designed to test landing technologies for future Mars missions. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech (Phys.org)—NASA live-streamed a balance test conducted on the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) spacecraft yesterday (after a two hour delay) to ensure the 15 foot diameter flying saucer-looking craft will be balanced when it is sent aloft over Hawaii in just a few weeks. The LDSD is a new space exploration craft that is part of NASA’s mission to build a much larger vehicle for landing on the surface of Mars than those that carried probes such as the Rover missions—large enough to carry people. More information: — www.nasa.gov/jpl/ldsd/take-a-s … echnology/index.html— www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/tdm/ldsd/ Explore further Members of the media got an up-close look at LDSD flight-test vehicles currently in preparation in the clean room at NASA-JPL on March 31. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech © 2015 Phys.org NASA’s ‘flying saucer’ readies for first test flight NASA has conducted one launch test thus far of the current LDSD design, also over Hawaii—in that test the parachute was torn apart shortly after it was deployed, preventing the craft from landing softly. The research team believes they have solved that problem and are now preparing to conduct another launch test. The launch tests involve carrying the 7000 pound craft to an altitude of 160,000 feet by a balloon—once deployed rockets carry it to an altitude of 200,000 feet at which point it attempts to fall back and land—spinning as it does so, to help keep it aligned correctly. The new saucer shape is meant to help increase drag, thus slowing the craft—it has bags on its edge that inflate very rapidly that serve to increase the surface area of the craft, further increasing drag. Engineers on the project expect the craft to slow to Mach 2, due to drag—once that point is reached, a long parachute opens, slowing the craft enough for a soft landing. At 200,000 feet the air is thin enough to simulate the thin atmosphere on Mars.last_img read more

Evidence of selfforming waterfalls reported

first_imgCredit: CC0 Public Domain Waterfalls offer insights into how rivers shape their surrounds A trio of researchers with the University of Nevada, Reno, the California Institute of Technology and GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences reports evidence that suggests some waterfalls self-form in the absence of external influences. In their paper published in the journal Nature, Joel Scheingross, Michael Lamb and Brian Fuller describe experiments they carried out in their lab with artificial streams and what they learned from them. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Evidence of self-forming waterfalls reported (2019, March 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-evidence-self-forming-waterfalls.htmlcenter_img More information: Joel S. Scheingross et al. Self-formed bedrock waterfalls, Nature (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-0991-z © 2019 Science X Network Up until now, most scientists have believed that waterfalls originate via external influences on existing rivers or streams. Some may result from an earthquake changing the elevation of part of a river, for example, and others may come about due to glacial movement. And some may be result from differences in the land beneath the flowing water—if a stretch is more easily eroded, it would wear down faster, allowing water to fall into it. In this new effort, the researchers suggest another way it could happen that does not involve such external influences.To learn more about waterfall formation, the researchers built a small stream bed in their lab out of polyurethane foam and then poured water through it to simulate natural water flow. But they also added small pebbles to the stream. By monitoring the water flowing down the artificial stream, the researchers were able to see that the pebbles could actually dig out enough of the bed to form a waterfall. They noted that as the pebbles dropped down into the deepest parts of the bottom of the stream, they dislodged bits of the polyurethane foam, allowing them to break free. Over time, they dug out enough of the stream bottom to form sites where the water fell to a lower elevation as it moved downstream—a self-forming waterfall.The researchers note their findings could have implications for studying the history of the planet—many theories about current geology are built on the idea that rivers and streams were created by glaciers, for example. If some or all of such rivers and streams were actually self-formed, scientists would have to reconsider whether glaciers had even been present in these areas. Journal information: Naturelast_img read more

Saluting the legends

first_imgVeteran theater person Rudraprasad Sengupta, who has enriched Indian theater with decades of relentless pursuit of his passion, was today honored for life-long achievement in the field at the Chaman Lal Memorial Awards that also feted two other backstage artists.  The awards conferred by the Chaman Lal Memorial Society were given out by Hon’ble Minister of Culture, Chandresh Kumari Katoch at Sirifort Auditorium on a dazzling evening. The 19th edition of the prestigious awards honoured Mr. Sengupta from Kolkata for life-long Achievement to the theatre world, Kriti V Sharma from Haryana for Excellence in Costume Designing and Dinesh Poddar from Kolkata for excellence in Stage Light Design. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Sengupta, 78, is a veteran actor-director, who has also worked in Bengali films, and has been awarded the Banga Bibhushan in 2012 for his contribution to theater. The awards are aimed at giving a prominent space to technicians and back-stage theater artists who form a vital lifeline of any stage production.  Instated in memory of Late Chaman Lal, who was a pioneer in the field of inventing Stage Lighting Equipment, the awards have earlier honored the likes of Alyque Padamsee, Bansi Kaul, M.S. Sathyu, Ebrahim Alkazi, Sushma Seth, Zohra Sehgal and many other prominent theatre personalities all over India. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix’This society is perhaps the first in India to acknowledge the contribution of back stage artists and honoring them with these annual awards. Through these awards we want to encourage these unsung artists who follow their passion selflessly,’ said R.K. DHINGRA, General Secretary of Chaman Lal Memorial Society. The society intends to keep the memory of Chaman Lal alive by giving awards to artists who have contributed to the world of theatre for their services such as Stage Light Design, Costume Design, Stage Craft & Make-Up.  For a theater artist, the stage is the essence of life. The award ceremony was followed by a 40 minute multimedia presentation, Ek Shaam that brought alive the magic of the stage for the audience. The concept, light, design & direction of the show is conceived by R.K. Dhingra, a veteran in this field.last_img read more

One arrested for alleged involvement in kidney racket

first_imgKolkata: The city police have arrested a youth for his alleged involvement in a kidney racket.The accused Suman Sinha, alias Samir, was aimlessly loitering around at a private hospital in Mukundapur area on Tuesday night when he was caught by the police from Purva Jadavpur police station. The accused was later arrested after prolonged interrogation. Police have gathered important information from the accused related to the case.During interrogation, police came to know that the accused had received money from various patients with an assurance that he would arrange kidneys for them. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe accused said he collected money from Md Ismail, Sanjit Roy and Sarmistha Ghosh and had asked them to wait for a few days. All of them were suffering from kidney related ailments and required transplants. According to preliminary investigation, police came to know that the accused, a resident of Khardah in North 24-Parganas has been involved in this business for the past few years. Police are not ruling out the possibility of the accused being involved in an interstate kidney racket. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAfter interrogating the accused, police came to know about another person, Kaustav Dasgupta who may also be involved in the incident. The accused has been booked under section 503, 406, 419, 420 and 120 B of the IPC. Police are also investigating why the accused visited the private hospital where he was found. They are conducting a probe to know if anybody from the private hospital is involved in the incident. Senior officials of the hospital may be interrogated by the police in this connection. It may be mentioned that there was an allegation that a kidney racket had been operating from a private hospital in the city. In November last year, the city police also arrested four persons for their alleged involvement in a kidney racket operated from a private hospital in the city.last_img read more

UGC defers NAAC regulation for Bengal varsities

first_imgKolkata: In a relief to Bengal universities, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has deferred its new regulation that only institutions with NAAC grade A plus (score of 3.26 or above on a scale of 4) would be permitted to offer programmes through distance mode. The regulation will not come into effect for the state till the academic year 2019-20. The UGC’s new regulation in the month of February had put the universities in the state in a spot of bother as most of the varsities did not have NAAC rating. State Higher Education minister Partha Chatterjee wrote a letter to HRD minister Prakash Javadekar on February 23 urging him to reconsider the tough stand taken by the UGC and sought time so that the varsities can prepare themselves for the NAAC rating. The HRD minister has recently communicated to Chatterjee that the new regulations of UGC’s Distance Education Bureau will not come into effect for Bengal before the academic session 2019-20. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsJavadekar’s letter to Chatterjee read: “….You would kindly appreciate that the above Regulation notified meets the twin objective of ensuring quality in imparting distance education yet provides a saving clause of two years for attaining the NAAC score of 3.26 on a 4 point scale to the current universities imparting distance education.” It is learnt that the top brass of the universities in the state that offer education in distance mode was planning to meet UGC chairman in this month. However, the visit is not required with the decision being deferred now. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAccording to sources in the Higher Education department as per the last ratings of NAAC in 2016, Rabindra Bharati University (RBU) had Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) 3.10, Kalyani University 3.12, Vidyasagar University 2.86 while Netaji Subhas Open University did not have NAAC rating. Under the grading system, institutions that are awarded CGPA 3.01 to 3.25 get A grade, CGPA 3.26 to 3.50 (A+grade) and 3.50 and above receive A++ grade.RBU, which has more than 43,000 students studying in distance mode will be soon applying for the NAAC rating this year, Vice-Chancellor Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury said.”We are hopeful that we will be able to elevate our ratings. Once we get the new rating which we are applying for, we will definitely work out a comprehensive plan for our future course,” he added.last_img read more

Forest dept to bring out publication on census of animals inhabiting N

first_imgKolkata: For the first time, the state Forest department, in coordination with the Union department of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, is coming out with a publication on the census of the wide variety of animals that inhabit the forests of North Bengal.The exercise, that had started sometime in the middle of 2017, has already come to an end and the process of compilation of data is going on in full swing. “The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) will come out with a publication on the animal census, following which the state Forest department will also release a book on the findings,” said Ravi Kant Sinha, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Wildlife and Chief Wildlife Warden, Bengal. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsCensus for animals like rhinoceros and elephants are conducted almost every year in the forest areas of North Bengal. Earlier, tiger census had been held in the Buxa forest. However, there has hardly been any attempt to have a comprehensive survey and subsequent release of data of the rich variety of animals that inhabit the forests of North Bengal that cover Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar districts.The state Forest department had planned to cover the forests of Darjeeling Hills in the survey. However, they were compelled to shelve the plans, owing to the shutdown in the Hills that lasted for more than 100 days, thanks to the movement of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, who had demanded a separate state. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”We had very little time, in which we have done a prey based survey of the animals in the Darjeeling Hills. Next year when we take up the survey, we will do it in a comprehensive manner,” a senior official of the state Forest department said.Some of the animals that have been spotted, include the Asian Golden Cat – also called the Asiatic Golden Cat and Temminck’s cat, Marbled Cat – which has been listed as a Near Threatened species on the IUCN Red List and Asiatic Wild Dog – popularly known as Dhol, which has been categorised as Endangered in the IUCN Red List. “It is for the first time ever that we have got evidence of the Crab Eating Mongoose, which also features in the Endangered list of IUCN,” the senior official said. Various types of deer and Yellow Throated Marten have also been spotted.The Forest department has also started organising bio-diversity camps in North Bengal, for arousing interest among researchers in wildlife. A camp has already been held at Neora Valley. “After the monsoon, similar camps will be held at Singalila and Sinchan Wildlife Sanctuaries,” Sinha said.last_img read more

Cancellation of coal bid JSPL says it is puzzled

first_img“We had followed a consistent and prudent bidding strategy throughout the coal block auction process, with a serious long-term business perspective. We are puzzled with the decision and would make our best efforts to engage in a dialogue with the Coal Ministry and Government Authorities to present the facts,” it said in a statement.The government had late last night announced cancelling three bids — two bids of Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) for three blocks (Gare Palma IV/2, IV/3 and Tara) and one bid by aluminium maker Balco for Gare Palma IV/1 and said it would take a final decision on these mines after deliberations. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashAccording to sources, the government is looking at options of giving the mines whose bids have been cancelled to either Coal India or states.Coal Minister Piyush Goyal, however said, “The Department (Coal ministry) will take the final decision on the rejected bids, it will deliberate and then decide.” A Sesa Sterlite spokesperson Roma Balwani, however, refused to comment on the issue saying, “No comments.” Balco is a subsidiary of Sesa Sterlite. The government was re-examining the bids for nine coal blocks, including those where JSPL and Balco emerged top bidders in the recently held auction. “Bids for Gare Palma IV/1, IV/2, IV/3 and Tara coal blocks not accepted,” Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said. However, bids for five other blocks have been accepted, he added. JSPL had emerged as successful bidder for Gare IV/2, Gare Palma IV/3 and Tara coal blocks, while Bharat Aluminium Company (Balco) had successfully bid for Gare Palma IV/1 coal block.last_img read more

How attractive you look depends on your company

first_imgYour beauty may depend on the person who is standing next to you and how good he or she is looking in comparison, researchers say. The study showed that a person can be ranked higher on a scale of attractiveness only when he or she is compared alongside a less attractive person, and not when being judged alone.The company we keep can have an effect on how attractive we appear to others, the researchers said. An averagely attractive face surrounded by undesirable faces will become more appealing than it would on its own. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf“The presence of a less attractive face does not just increase the attractiveness of a single person, but in a crowd could actually make us even more choosey,” said Nicholas Furl from Royal Holloway, University of London. For the study, the team asked the participants to rate pictures of different faces for attractiveness, one by one.They were then asked to assess the same faces, placed alongside ones perceived to be undesirable. When adding these “distractor faces”, the attractiveness of the same faces increased from the first round of ranking. Participants were then shown two attractive faces, alongside a “distractor” face and asked to judge between them.The presence of the less attractive face was found to make the viewers more critical between the attractive face, the researchers explained.last_img read more