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
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Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now Dogma is a belief so strongly held that it becomes the truth. It’s an ideology so stubbornly held that it doesn’t allow for any new evidence or ideas to change it. It especially resists conflicting ideas from the outside world.Your dogmatic beliefs might be around your sales process. Or maybe you have a dogmatic attachment to some sales methodology. Maybe you are dogmatic in your belief that you shouldn’t have to prospect in this age of inbound marketing and social media. Or perhaps your dogma is something else.What makes dogma so dangerous is that it doesn’t allow for new and conflicting information. And in a world that is changing ever faster, holding onto to old beliefs—beliefs that may no longer serve you—is a dangerous business.Here’s a quick example. I have a deeply held belief that cold calling is the most effective method for prospecting. But if that belief were so strong that I believed that no other method of prospecting could be effective, that would be unhealthy. It would eliminate other effective methods of prospecting, maybe even my dream client’s preferred method of being approached.Here’s how you avoid dogma.Allow Your Beliefs to Be QuestionedAnything that fails to grow dies. Anything that refuses to take in things from the outside world dies too. If you refuse to allow what you now believe to be questioned, you are refusing to take in information from the outside. Are your beliefs so strong that you bristle when you hear ideas that conflict with them? Does that ever happen to you?The first step in avoiding having your beliefs become dogma is not to judge all ideas by your existing beliefs. Instead, you remain open to new ideas, especially ideas that conflict with your existing beliefs. You hear people out without making any judgments about right or wrong, truth or lie.It’s not easy, but there is power to be found in taking in new ideas, especially ideas that conflict with your existing beliefs.Purposely Seek Conflicting IdeasAn even more powerful way to avoid having your beliefs become dogma is to purposely seek out conflicting ideas. Ideas that are in direct conflict with what you believe can be powerful in improving your results.Instead of reflexively rejecting ideas that conflict with your beliefs, try to find out why others value those ideas. Try to find the truth in the ideas that conflict with what you believe. Try to discover when those ideas could be valuable.Become AgnosticThe more tools you have in your toolkit, the more prepared you are to deal with different circumstances. Being agnostic means being open to using whatever works and whatever the circumstances demand. In a rapidly changing world, you need ideas.Being agnostic doesn’t mean you don’t believe anything. It means you don’t have a religious devotion to something that you adhere to even when something else might work better. You use what works when it’s useful, and you discard what doesn’t work when it isn’t useful.If you are agnostic, you can remain open to new ideas. You judge them by their useful under some set of circumstances.QuestionsWhat beliefs do you hold so deeply that they’ve become dogma?How long has it been since you questioned those beliefs? Have you ever?How do you ensure that you are continually taking in new ideas?How do you react to ideas that conflict with your dogmatic beliefs?How much better would your results be if you were willing to shed some of your dogmas and open up to some new beliefs?
An evaluation report on India’s tiger reserves has put the spotlight on an alleged nexus between some officials of Kaziranga National Park and poachers.Kaziranga, a World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO, is more popular as the world’s best address for the one-horned rhino. It is also been a major tiger reserve covering an area of 1,080 sq km.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier this week released the management effectiveness evaluation reports for tiger reserves across the country, including Kaziranga.The report says that some staff of Kaziranga Tiger Reserve may sometimes get involved in poaching by helping the poachers. To drive home the point, the report cites the poaching of three rhinos in as many days in November 2017 close to the Tunikati anti-poaching camp under the Burapahar Range.Anti-poaching camps “When there are 178 anti-poaching camps in a 911-sq-km area, each camp has to protect 5 sq km. Given the resources at the command of the personnel, it should not be difficult to guard the area effectively. Such poaching close to the camps leads to the suspicion of the involvement of officials,” it says.The report also notes Kaziranga’s management weakness in coordinating with forest officials of Karbi Anglong, which runs along the southern boundary of the tiger reserve. This is because the forest officials of Karbi Anglong, an autonomous tribal council, are not answerable to the heads of Assam’s Forest Department.The hills of Karbi Anglong not only provide shelter to the animals of Kaziranga during high floods but also cover for poachers, the report said.Railway lineAssam Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya had informed the 126-member State Assembly that an expert committee had been formed to study the proposal for laying a second track through Deepor Beel, a wetland on the western edge of Guwahati that was listed in 2002 as a Ramsar Site.“The panel will submit its report to the National Green Tribunal, which will decide on whether or not to go ahead with the project,” Mr. Suklabaidya said.
Cabinet meetTwitter / Karnataka CongressThe state of Karnataka is witnessing a lot of drama after the resignation of 11 MLAs from the Congress-JD(S) coalition. With the party top heads out of the country and the resignation spree looming in the state, the future of the coalition is under threat.While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claims that the Congress-JD(S) coalition in the state will fail due to internal conflicts, the Congress leaders are confident on pacifying the disgruntled MLAs.The Congress strong man and water resources minister DK Shivakumar also tried to pacify the resigned Congress MLAs and loyalists of Siddaramiah, Ramalinga Reddy, ST Somashekhar, Byrathi Basavaraj and Muniratna at his residence in Sadashivanagar. It is alleged that DKS was unsuccessful in pacifying the leaders as the talks had no effects over the rebel MLAs.According to the media reports, DKS also hinted of appointing Mallikarjun Kharge as the next chief minister of Karnataka, if the situation arises. The rebel MLAs reportedly want Kharge to take over as the chief minister of the state. The Intelligence agency had given prior information to the home minister MB Patil about the mass resignation. It is also alleged that the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah had called for an emergency meeting after receiving Patil’s information.Siddaramaiah has reacted on the current events claiming that the coalition government is strong and safe. He said that the party was making efforts to establish contact with disgruntled legislators who have resigned.After the resignation of 11 legislators from the coalition, four more resignations from the parties will lead to the collapse of the present government. The Congress party including the senior leaders G Parameshwara, M B Patil and Priyank Kharge are holding a meeting at an office in Cunningham Road.
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee received a proposal from former Barrackpore MP Tarit Baran Topdar to develop Kanchrapara Airfield into a second airport near Kolkata.Topdar had met the Chief Minister at the state Assembly on August 13 and gave the proposal in this connection.It has been learnt that he will be giving the proposal in further detail to the Chief Minister and a written communiqué in this connection is expected to be sent to the Chief Minister on Wednesday. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that the airfield was constructed during World War II. This comes at the time when there have been discussions between the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the state government, in connection with setting up of a new airport near the city.Sources said that the state government has already taken steps to develop many such airfields to ensure air connectivity in most parts of the state. The state government is also looking into the proposal of developing Kanchrapara Airfield positively. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe decision on carrying out a feasibility test will be taken after the written proposal with more details gets submitted to the Chief Minister.The Kanchrapara Airfield is around 1,500 metres in length. Considering that the location is suitable to develop the same for flight operation, there could be steps to expand it further.According to the experts, the airfield is close to Kalyani Expressway. So, connectivity will not be a major problem and it will not take much time to reach the city from the airfield. At the same time, AIIMs is also coming up at Kalyani. It would also not take much time to reach there from the airfield.
Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailMotorists are being advised to expect delays around the A34 as a wide-load travels through North Staffordshire this weekend. Police say the load will be travelling up from Stafford to Newcastle-under-Lyme, via the A34 Northbound on Sunday December 3. The load’s route will take it from Stafford, through Stone and then onto Newcastle. Staffordshire Police have warned that delays and diversions are likely as the vehicle, and its escort, travel through the region. The load is said to be one of the largest yet – weighing 587 tons, 105 metres long and 5.77 metres wide. The wide-load is due to leave Stafford at 8am. We will be bringing you live updates on the load’s progress through North Staffordshire on Sunday morning. Another wide-load passed through the region yesterday morning. Read MorePolice name lorry driver who died in accident on A500 For the latest traffic and travel news from across the region, you can visit our designated Traffic and Travel channel here. For live travel news for the rest of Monday, visit our Live News Service here.