Science News Roundup: NASA's DART spacecraft hits target asteroid in first planetary defense test; Chinese fish fossils take a bite out of mystery of origin of jaws and more

Until now, only scrappy fossils of vertebrates from that critical time in the evolution of animals with backbones had been known, leaving the earliest ones with jaws as something of a mystery. NASA's DART spacecraft hits target asteroid in first planetary defense test NASA's DART spacecraft successfully slammed into a distant asteroid at hypersonic speed on Monday in the world's first test of a planetary defense system, designed to prevent a potential doomsday meteorite collision with Earth.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 29-09-2022 02:34 IST | Created: 29-09-2022 02:29 IST
Science News Roundup: NASA's DART spacecraft hits target asteroid in first planetary defense test; Chinese fish fossils take a bite out of mystery of origin of jaws and more
Representative Image Image Credit: Pixabay

Following is a summary of current science news briefs.

Chinese fish fossils take a bite out of mystery of origin of jaws

For human beings and 99.8% of our fellow vertebrates, having jaws is an integral part of life. Just try eating a taco without them. But, like everything else in our bodies, jaws had to start somewhere. Researchers on Wednesday described the earliest-known vertebrates that possessed jaws as revealed by fossils of four remarkable fish species unearthed in China, two dating from 436 million years ago and two from 439 million years ago. Until now, only scrappy fossils of vertebrates from that critical time in the evolution of animals with backbones had been known, leaving the earliest ones with jaws as something of a mystery.

NASA's DART spacecraft hits target asteroid in first planetary defense test

NASA's DART spacecraft successfully slammed into a distant asteroid at hypersonic speed on Monday in the world's first test of a planetary defense system, designed to prevent a potential doomsday meteorite collision with Earth. Humanity's first attempt to alter the motion of an asteroid or any celestial body played out in a NASA webcast from the mission operations center outside Washington, D.C., 10 months after DART was launched.

Chilean scientists discover 12,000-year-old elephant remains

Gomphotheres, an extinct relative of the modern elephant, roamed southern Chile thousands of years ago and might have been the target of group hunts by inhabitants of the region, Chilean scientists hypothesize after a recent discovery.

Scientists recently uncovered several Gomphothere remains dating back 12,000 years near Lake Tagua Tagua, a glacial finger lake, in southern Chile.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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