Interesting Science Picture XVII

Evidence of a crocodyliform feeding on a juvenile ‘hypsilophodontid’ dinosaur:

Croc Trauma(Source) Figure 2. Feeding traces on juvenile ‘hypsilophodontid’ bones (Kaiparowits Formation) compared to those derived via actualistic experiments. A. Skeletal reconstruction of the undescribed ‘hypsilophodontid’ from the Kaiparowits Formation with known material shown in white (modified from [65]). B. Partial left scapula (UMNH VP 21104) with feeding traces collected from UMNH locality 303. C. Outline drawing of left scapula (UMNH VP 21104) with feeding traces highlighted and colored boxes showing the locations of figure parts D, F, and G (colors match the respective figure parts). D. Bisected pit on the left scapula (UMNH VP 21104). E. Bisected pit on a modern cow femur produced by Alligator mississippiensis during actualistic experiments [20]. F. Small pit (highlighted by white arrow) on the proximal portion of the left scapula (UMNH VP 21104). G. Series of small scores present along the ventral margin of the neck of the left scapula (UMNH VP 21104). H. Distal portion of a right femur (UMNH VP 21107) with feeding traces collected from UMNH locality 303. I. Outline of right femur (UMNH VP 21107) with feeding traces highlighted and colored box showing the location of figure part J. J. Puncture containing an embedded tooth present on the right femur (UMNH VP 21107) and a small pit (highlighted by white arrow) just ventral to the puncture. K. Puncture present on a modern cow femur produced by A. mississippiensis during actualistic experiments [20]. L. Reconstruction of the hypothesized impact of the crocodyliform tooth with the right femur, creating the puncture observed in UMNH VP 21107. M. Reconstruction of the hypothesized fracturing of the damaged crocodyliform tooth crown, resulting in the embedded tooth observed in UMNH VP 21107. Scale bar equals one meter in A, 10 mm in B, E, H, and K, 2 mm in D, F, G, and J. Abbreviations: cort, cortical bone; dis, distal; dor, dorsal; f, tooth fragment; lat, lateral; med, medial; pr, proximal; t, tooth crown. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057605.g002

I put hypsilophodontid in quotes for several reasons. First, there is good evidence to indicate the taxon is paraphyletic. Second, the authors of the paper the picture was taken indicate the specimens are from a previously undescribed taxon and refer to the specimen as the ‘Kaiparowits hypsilophodontid.’


Boyd et al (2013) Crocodyliform Feeding Traces on Juvenile Ornithischian Dinosaurs from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian)
Kaiparowits Formation, Utah. PLoS ONE 8(2): e57605. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057605

Interesting Science Picture XVI

The story:

“Scientists have collected tens of thousands of fossils at this site in recent decades,” notes co-author Dr. Stephan Schaal of the Senckenberg Naturmuseum in Frankfurt, “but only these turtles are known to occur in pairs, a total of nine so far.” Detailed analysis of the fossil material revealed that each pair consists of a female and male individual. More importantly, even though the males typically face away from the females, the tail of some male individuals can be found wrapped under the shell of the female. “There is no doubt in my mind,” says Dr. Joyce, “These animals died some 47 million years ago in the act of mating. No other vertebrates are known to have died during this important biological process and then been fossilized.”

Source: W. G. Joyce, N. Micklich, S. F. K. Schaal, T. M. Scheyer. Caught in the act: the first record of copulating fossil vertebrates. Biology Letters, 2012; DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2012.0361

Do Chimpanzees Mourn For Their Dead?

Note: The next addition of the Four Stone hearth will at This is Serious Monkey Business on February 2nd. Pleas get your submissions in!

That seems to be the way the press is portraying the video below. The video was released in conjunction with an article published in the American Journal of Primatology (the article can also be found here) Continue reading

Interesting Science Picture: Part XV

The picture below comes from an interesting article on a case of mutalism between pitcher plants and bats.

Service benefit provided by N. r. elongata to K. h. hardwickii. (a) Aerial pitcher of N. rafflesiana var. elongata. (b) The same pitcher with the front tissue removed to reveal a roosting Hardwick’s woolly bat. (c) The shorter aerial pitcher of N. rafflesiana variety typica.

The original picture and the article it comes from can be found here.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams: A Film By Werner Herzog

Apparently Werner Herzog has made a 3-D movie about Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc. A trailer for the film is below the fold. Continue reading

Interesting Science Picture: Part XIV

A bug with bifocals:

Figure 1. Illustration of the Third-Instar Larvae of Thermonectus marmoratus and Its Principal Eyes (A) Picture of the entire animal. (B) Scanning electron micrograph of the larval head, showing the two large lenses of the principal eyes (E1 and E2) on each side of the head. (C) The gross optical and neural organization of E2. Inserts a and b schematically illustrate the eye organization of the two sections indicated in the scanning-electron-micrograph image. White lines show the approximate visual fields of the retinas. Abbreviations are as follows: PR, proximal retina; DR, distal retina; P, pit of distal retina.

Source Continue reading

Interesting Science Pictures: Part XIII

Picture Source: Concealed Neuroanatomy in Michelangelo’s Separation of Light From Darkness in the Sistine Chapel
Suk, Ian BSc, BMC; Tamargo, Rafael J. MD, FACS
Neurosurgery: May 2010 – Volume 66 – Issue 5 – p 851–861
doi: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000368101.34523.E1

Interesting Science Pictures: Part XII

This is from an article in PaleoAnthropology. The map, of the find locations for the Ngangdong specimens, hasn’t been seen in 75 years.

Picture source: Huffman et al (2010) Provenience Reassessment of the 1931–1933 Ngandong Homo erectus (Java), Confirmation of the Bone-Bed Origin Reported by the Discoverers. PaleoAnthropology 2010:1-60 doi:10.4207/PA.2010.ART34

Interesting Science Pictures: Part XI

Figure 3. Comparison of the femur (a, anterior view; b, posterior view) and ulna (c, lateral; d, medial) of Antillothrix bernensis (top) and a male Cebus apella with unfused epiphyses (bottom). Scale bar, 1 cm. See electronic supplementary material, figures S5 and S6.

From: Rosenberger et al (2010) First skull of Antillothrix bernensis, an extinct relict monkey from the Dominican Republic. Proc. R. Soc. B.

doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.1249

Interesting Science Picture: Part VIII

Fig. S3. (A) Detector count maps for all elements of the feather region clipped so that white corresponds to the 95th percentile of the overall count distribution.

Two calcium maps are shown, one measured in low-Z configuration and one in high-Z configuration as discussed in the text. (B) Full set of elemental

images corresponding to region presented in Fig. 2 with intensity scale included at right.

(Note: this is a picture of three elements only) From PNAS