An exceptionally-preserved fossil bird could be mistaken for a modern agile flyer—except it’s dated early Cretaceous.This will put new stress on theories of bird evolution. Science Daily just published this bombshell headline: “Tiny ancient fossil from Spain shows birds flew over the heads of dinosaurs: Exceptional 125-million-year-old bird discovered.” That’s right: despite what we’ve heard for years about birds evolving from dinosaurs, this fossil proves that modern-looking birds “capable of aerodynamic prowess like many present-day birds” were flying overhead at least 59 million years before dinosaurs are thought to have gone extinct.The exceptionally-preserved fossil is described in Nature’s new open-access journal Scientific Reports so anyone can read all about it. “Soft-tissue and dermal arrangement in the wing of an Early Cretaceous bird: Implications for the evolution of avian flight” is the title. One of the co-authors is Luis Chiappe, curator at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History.“The anatomical match between the muscle network preserved in the fossil and those that characterize the wings of living birds strongly indicates that some of the earliest birds were capable of aerodynamic prowess like many present-day birds,” said Chiappe, the investigation’s senior scientist.“It is very surprising that despite being skeletally quite different from their modern counterparts, these primitive birds show striking similarities in their soft anatomy,” said Guillermo Navalón, a doctorate candidate at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom and lead author of the report.Who’s calling what primitive? The press release says “at least some of the most ancient birds performed aerodynamic feats in a fashion similar to those of many living birds.”But isn’t there 25 million years between Archaeopteryx (150 million years) and this agile little bird? Actually, the paper points to Protopteryx from China, dated 131 million years in the evolutionary scheme, and says this:Although still showing a suite of primitive skeletal traits, even the earliest enantiornithines (i.e., Protopteryx fengningensis) had already developed forelimb elements of modern proportions, a carinate sternum, and an advanced pectoral girdle including a triosseal canal for the passage of flight muscles, all of which suggest active flapping flight and a wing stroke similar to that of present-day birds. Integumentary similarities with modern birds, such as wings with identical feather arrangement and a well-developed alula (i.e., bastard wing), also point to the same functional conclusions. The preservation of three important patagia—propatagium, alular patagium, and postpatagium—together with the above-mentioned dermal system in the wing of MCCMLH31444 [the fossil under consideration], an Early Cretaceous enantiornithine, lends strong support to the notion that these primitive avians had achieved aerodynamic competence comparable to those of many modern birds.That shortens the distance to 19 million years from Archaeopteryx, but there are still paleontologists who think Archaeopteryx was capable of powered flight, too (7/03/14). At least it had flight feathers and many of the traits for flight. Archaeopteryx might have even devolved from a flying bird, according to one paleontologist (11/12/13), putting the origin of flight even further back than 150 million years.Another astonishing thing about the new fossil from Spain is the exceptional preservation. Clear impressions of muscles, tendons, and follicles and other tissues are seen in the limestone slab that preserves a good section of a wing. “The fossil preserves the anatomy of the wing’s patagia and different connective structures associated with the attachment of the remigial feathers in exceptional detail,” they say. They mention “soft tissue” seven times in the paper. It’s not clear any original material is preserved unmineralized, so one should not assume it is; they do, however, speak of it in this way:The preserved portions of the ulna, radius, and metacarpals, and the complete manual digits, are all surrounded by abundant remains of epidermal and dermal connective tissues in close association with plumage. Eight to nine large and strongly asymmetrical primaries, 10–12 secondaries, and the remains of plumulaceous coverts are preserved as carbonized keratinous structures. A halo of brownish-to-yellowish epidermic and dermic tissue outlines the skeletal elements of the wing except for the ungual phalanges of digits I and II and their keratinous sheaths. The connective tissue associated with the plumage shows the same post-mortem folding of the skeletal elements, indicating that these soft tissues are preserved in anatomical position.An elemental analysis was performed on one portion of the wing, suggesting there really is original material present:Feathers are composed by higher concentrations of K, O, S, C and Fe as well as traces of Ti; connective tissues show a remarkably different composition from both the matrix and the fossil feathers, with a much more flat profile and a higher peak of P and Ca, evidencing the underlying calcium phosphatization process.This fossil shows that a modern-looking, agile bird was flying over the heads of Compsognathus, Iguanodon, Brachiosaurus and other familiar dinosaurs of the Early Cretaceous, if not over other dinosaurs from the Late Jurassic. It also means that its tissues were “exceptionally preserved” for at least 125 million years in the Darwinian scheme. “The remarkably modern anatomy and arrangement of the connective tissues preserved in the wing of MCCMLH31444 implies that Early Cretaceous enantiornithines had already developed forelimbs morphologically well adapted for flight,” the authors state. This conclusion contrasts sharply with the Jurassic Park imagery of a world dominated by reptiles and pterosaurs giving way after the extinction (estimated 66 million years ago) to birds as their modern descendants. Birds had already been there long before.Mary Schweitzer is Back, Confirming Soft TissueSpeaking of original biological material, Mary Schweitzer (the one who broke the story of dinosaur soft tissue in T. rex in 2005) is back with a new paper in PNAS, authored by a team asking whether melanosomes (pigment bodies) in fossils are primordial or bacterial in origin. The summary says,Melanin is a widespread pigment that provides black to reddish brown hues to organisms. Recent evidence has shown that melanin is retained in exceptionally preserved fossils, including feathered dinosaurs, allowing the reconstruction of ancient color patterns.In order to rule out contamination or replacement, they studied chemical, experimental and morphological evidence from a number of fossils of different organisms in different geological settings. The result of their analysis “allows us to dismiss the alternative suggestion that these structures are microbial in origin.” It’s real, in other words: “melanin is widely responsible for the organic soft tissue outlines in vertebrates found at exceptional fossil localities.” So is the dark material on the bird fossil from Spain original organic melanin? The Nature paper didn’t say, but it appears possible since the bird probably had melanin in its wings when alive, and the fossil was exceptionally well preserved. See also the summary in Science Daily which quotes Schweitzer on how to find melanin:“One way is by looking for keratin. Feathers contain keratin. Melanosomes are buried deep within the feather tissue, not on the surface, and they are covered with keratin, which is a very tough protein that has been shown to persist through time. If they are melanosomes, then that amorphous material should be keratin”The Nature paper did mention keratin associated with the bird fossil in the form of keratin sheaths and carbonized keratin structures. What’s it going to take to get Darwinians to give up on their stories? Their web of belief is as strong as steel. If it were not, the abundant falsifying evidence from the Cambrian explosion would have done it long ago, but here, 156 years after Darwin’s little black book, they still explain it away and almost completely ignore their critics.This means that clear-headed people like CEH readers are going to have to understand this evidence and its implications, and teach a new generation the truth, rescuing as many as possible from the Darwin bigots and their hypnotists in the classroom. Illustra’s new Design of Life Trilogy can be a useful teaching aid for that campaign. (Visited 49 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. This article is only available to GBA Prime Members As the plane descends into the Las Vegas airport, every arriving visitor notices the stark contrast between the desert environment of southern Nevada and the modern city of swimming pools and irrigated shrubbery. After arriving today, I took the shuttle bus to the Bally Hotel, across the street from the Bellagio. The Bellagio overlooks an 8-acre artificial lake — in essence, the largest swimming pool in town, in a town known for its large pools — where a few lonely ducks swim in the chlorinated water.One of the pine trees bordering the concrete-bottomed lake is dessicated and ill, but the entire top of the tree had recently been spray-painted green, to fool tourists who don’t get too close. When I touched the spray-painted needles, they detached themselves in great falling clumps.Vegas is a strange town indeed for anyone interested in green building, but here I am at the International Builders’ Show, an annual convention on a gargantuan scale.On my first afternoon, I had time for only a quick tour of a small portion of the trade show floor, but I still spotted some interesting products. The first booth to catch my eye belonged to Strata International Group of Glendale, AZ (www.strataus.com). Strata has developed a building system using expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam for walls and roofs. Custom-cut foam panels are assembled into the shape of a building, and then both sides of the foam are sprayed with a fiberglass-reinforced cementitious coating. Once the thin concrete layers are cured, the walls and roof become a monolithic mass, resembling a SIP structure in cross-section, but without the OSB, and without the seams. It looks like an excellent way to build a well insulated airtight home without thermal breaks.Tomorrow I’ll be reporting more news from the IBS trade… Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in
Easily create muzzle flashes with built-in tools in Final Cut Pro X.Though overused and often lazily placed into YouTube videos, muzzle flashes are still awesome when used appropriately. Anyone with a hundred dollars and a basic understanding of Final Cut Pro can put VideoCopilot’s Action Essentials into their videos. It’s an awesome product (with loads of action effects)…but in this post we’ll do one better and show you how to create a muzzle flash effect for free!The following FCPX muzzle flash video tutorials cover:Shape LayersDirectional BlursColorizing ShapesCreating Light FalloffCompositing Elements For your next project instead of creating the VFX in post try creating effects on-set. For inspiration try checking out our post on the top 10 practical effects of all time.This video series was first shared on Dan Allen’s Youtube Channel. Thanks for sharing Dan!Have any tips for creating muzzle flashes in FCPX? Share in the comments below.
KUSI Newsroom, Updated: 8:13 PM Posted: January 1, 2019 KUSI Newsroom 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Local attorney Esther Valdes joined KUSI to discuss border security after approximately 150 migrants attempted to illegally enter the United States.California Border Patrol responded to reports of an illegal entry about 1/2 mile inland of the Pacific Ocean around 2 A.M. New Year’s Day.Agents were targeted with a barrage of rocks from south of the border when they arrived in the area where a group of approximately 100 people, including women and children, massed south of the border wall along with members of the media.As agents were deploying less lethal chemical munitions (to include CS gas and inert smoke) in response to the assault, the group pushed women and children over the primary wall and into the concertina wire.A CBP helicopter responded and assisted in dispersing the crowd. Agents observed several individuals throwing rocks who appeared to have prepared themselves for the assault by applying lotion to their faces to counter the effects of chemical munitions.Several arrests were made, all individuals from Central America.No injuries were sustained by either the agents or individuals arrested. Categories: Local San Diego News, National & International News, Politics FacebookTwitter Attorney Esther Valdes discusses border security January 1, 2019
Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. 4 Now playing: Watch this: 3:17 Media Streamers Comments Share your voice How to cut the cord like a pro The Cheapskate Erica Argueta/CNET Everyone wants to cut the pricey cable-TV cord, but most viewers would prefer to keep local and live-TV channels. There are lots of ways to do that, but your best option is to try different services and see which one best suits your viewing habits.Read more: The best live TV streaming services for cord-cutters If you think you might like Sling TV, here’s your chance to get a kind of extended discount trial: 40 percent off three months of Sling TV service. This is pretty good timing, what with March Madness just around the corner.See it at Sling TVThis offer is for new customers only, and it applies only to Sling’s three base tiers of service. (In other words, add-ons don’t get the same 40 percent off.)That means you’ll pay $15 per month for Sling Orange, $15 per month for Sling Blue or $25 per month for the two combined. After your first three months, regular rates apply. But there’s no contract, so you can cancel if you’re not feeling it.Read CNET’s Sling TV review to learn more about the service, keeping in mind it was published a couple years ago.Read more: Hulu’s $5.99 plan is now available Sling TV service Tags CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter!
Election CommissionThe second election to Rangpur City Corporation will be held on 21 December, according to UNB. The Election Commission (EC) took the decision at a meeting on Tuesday, EC acting secretary Helaluddin Ahmed said, adding that the schedule for the polls will be announced on 5 November. He said closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras will be installed in important (vulnerable) polling stations and electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be used in a polling centre on a trial basis in the local body election. Helaluddin said the commission will take the decision about the CCTV cameras after receiving a list of important polling stations from intelligence agencies, local administration, and the returning officer. About national identity (NID) cards, the EC acting secretary said the fresh voters will be given laminated NID cards first. Some 11.8 million people became new voters after 2012, he said, adding that the Commission decided to provide them with laminated NID cards. The meeting was held with chief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda in the chair. The maiden election to Rangpur City Corporation was held on 20 December, 2012.
Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal. File PhotoHome minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Wednesday requested two factions of Tablig Jamaat not to make any provocative comment against each other while delivering sermons or speaking at the Ijtema ground, reports UNB.”Huge plain clothes police will remain deployed at the Ijtema ground. If anyone makes any such comment, they will take action,” said the minister while attending a meeting at the regional office of Tongi City Corporation at noon on overall preparations of 54th Biswa Ijtema.Presided over by Gazipur deputy commissioner Dewan Mohammad Humayun Kabir, the programme was attended by state minister for religious affairs lawyer Sheikh Abdullah, state minister for youth and sports Jahid Ahsan Rasel, Gazipur city mayor Jahangir Alam, IGP Javed Patwary, RAB DG Benazir Ahmed, and Gazipur Metropolitan Police commissioner YM Belalur Rahman .Representatives from two disputing groups Tablig Jamaat, one led by Maulana Wasekh and the other by Moulana Zubair and Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, attended the meeting.As part of the security, separate control rooms of RAB and police have been opened.Besides, 16,000 members of law enforcing agencies have been deployed and several layers security will be arranged on the occasion.Biswa Ijtema, one of the largest congregations of Muslims, will be held for four days in a single phase from 15 February this time.
Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. 2 min read Pop-up ads are, at best, a nuisance or, at worst, delivery systems for corrupting viruses that have signaled many a hard drive’s demise. In reflecting on the Internet’s 25th anniversary, Ethan Zuckerman, the creator of the code behind the very first pop-up ad, wants to say that he’s sorry. Zuckerman, the director of MIT’s Center for Civic Media penned an essay for The Atlantic on how advertising became the web’s predominant business model, and what that means for internet users today, especially when it comes to privacy.Related: OkCupid Founder: ‘If You Use the Internet, You’re the Subject of Hundreds of Experiments’Zuckerman writes the idea for the pop-up ad came about while he was working for the web-hosting service Tripod.com in the mid-90s. “The model that got us acquired was analyzing users’ personal homepages so we could better target ads to them. Along the way, we ended up creating one of the most hated tools in the advertiser’s toolkit: the pop-up ad.””It was a way to associate an ad with a user’s page without putting it directly on the page, which advertisers worried would imply an association between their brand and the page’s content. Specifically, we came up with it when a major car company freaked out that they’d bought a banner ad on a page that celebrated anal sex. I wrote the code to launch the window and run an ad in it. I’m sorry. Our intentions were good.”Related: How to Stop Google From Using Your Name and Face in AdsZuckerman argues that while an ad-supported Internet lowers financial barrier to entry, making it possible for platforms like Facebook and Twitter to build the sizable communities they have now, he sees the model as inherently broken. His suggestion is to move more widely towards a subscription model that would encourage people to pay to use the sites they love, while taking targeted data collection and surveillance out of the equation.Tell us: Do you think Zuckerman is on the right track? How do you feel about online advertising? August 15, 2014 How Success Happens Listen Now