Navigation Links
Tiny bones rewrite textbooks

Small but remarkable fossils found in New Zealand will prompt a major rewrite of prehistory textbooks, showing for the first time that the so-called "land of birds" was once home to mammals as well.

The tiny fossilised bones - part of a jaw and a leg - belonged to a unique, mouse-sized land animal unlike any other mammal known. They were unearthed from the rich St Bathans fossil bed, in the Central Otago region of South Island.

But the real shock to scientists was that it was there at all: until now, decades of searching had shown no hint that furry, warm-blooded animals had ever trodden on New Zealand soil, despite them having thrived so widely in other lands.

The fact that even one land mammal lived there, at least 16 million years ago, has put paid to the theory that New Zealand's diverse prehistoric bird fauna had evolved there because they had no competition from land mammals.

An international team led by Trevor Worthy, of the University of Adelaide, Alan Tennyson, of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and Mike Archer, of the University of New South Wales, note that New Zealand separated from the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana more than 80 million years ago. The research has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"This amazing find suggests that other mammals are waiting to be found there, and that New Zealand belonged to the birds only in more recent times," says Mr Worthy.

"It also suggests that New Zealand was not completely submerged, as some scientists thought, when sea levels were high about 25 to 30 million years ago."

The team believes that more mammal specimens may emerge, perhaps even species that pre-date the split between pouched marsupials and live-bearing placental mammals.

The St Bathans fossil field - which has also produced many other species of animals, including fish and birds - also promises to shed new light on climat e change in the Australasian region, recording a massive shift from a warm, wet phase to a much cooler and drier period.

"This promises to be a richly rewarding fossil field and the heraldic discovery of New Zealand's first non-flying mammal represents just the first page of a fascinating new chapter in the history of the world's mammals," says Professor Archer.

The Australian Research Council recently awarded the team a $500,000 grant over the three years to further explore the St Bathans site.
'"/>

Source:University of New South Wales


Related biology news :

1. University of Manchester makes made-to-measure skin and bones a reality using inkjet printers
2. Signaling protein builds bigger, better bones in mice
3. Weizmann Institute scientists develop a new approach for directing treatment to metastasized prostate cancer in the bones.
4. NC State scientist finds soft tissue in T. rex bones
5. Beauty queens urge girls not to sacrifice their bones
6. Nanotubes inspire new technique for healing broken bones
7. Orange, grapefruit juice for breakfast builds bones in rats
8. Smashing the time it takes to repair our bones
9. Fused nasal bones helped tyrannosaurids dismember prey
10. Finding rewrites the evolutionary history of the origin of potatoes
11. West Australian fossil find rewrites land mammal evolution

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/6/2017)... , May 5, 2017 RAM ... announced a new breakthrough in biometric authentication based ... quantum mechanical properties to perform biometric authentication. These new ... semiconductor material created by Ram Group and its ... entertainment, transportation, supply chains and security. Ram Group ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... SUNNYVALE, Calif. , April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a ... prototype of a media edge server, the M820, which features the ... face recognition software provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased ... and at the NAB show at the Las Vegas ... ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... 2017 According to a new market research report ... Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, and Region ... expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to USD 31.75 ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... July 20, 2017 , ... Dr. Asher Kimchi, Founder and ... of the 2017 IAC Awards at the 22nd World Congress on Heart Disease held ... four faculty to receive the Distinguished Fellowship Awards. , Dr. Asher Kimchi, together with ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... DENVER and PLYMOUTH, Minn., July 20, 2017 ... LLC , a personalized genetic evaluations company, today ... under their partnership investigating a genetic mutation implicated ... to extend the partnership for a second case ... Last year, the KCNQ2 Cure Alliance and Pairnomix ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... New Jersey (PRWEB) , ... July 18, 2017 , ... ... that aligns with your needs and has the capabilities to properly execute your job ... site customglassparts.com is a sourcing portal designed to showcase the company’s ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... , ... July 18, 2017 , ... ... Framework, and has released the first phase of the Allotrope Framework for commercial ... Practices Awards were created to “not only elevate the critical role of information ...
Breaking Biology Technology: