Fascinating Insights from Ancient Brains to Lynxes Rebounding

This summary of current science news briefs includes discoveries such as the evolution of mammalian brains through a pig-like ancestor in Scotland, the rebound of the Iberian Lynx population, a new horned dinosaur in Montana, the return of ancient Mexican artifacts, and fossils of a crocodile-like reptile in Brazil.

Reuters | Updated: 21-06-2024 18:31 IST | Created: 21-06-2024 18:31 IST
Fascinating Insights from Ancient Brains to Lynxes Rebounding
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Following is a summary of current science news briefs.

Ancient pig-like animal shows beginnings of mammalian brain evolution

More than 250 million years ago, Scotland was not veiled in mist and rain, as it often is today, but rather a desert blanketed in sand dunes. One of the denizens of this challenging landscape was a squat, vaguely pig-like mammal forerunner named Gordonia, with a pug face and two tusks protruding from beaked jaws. Using high-resolution, three-dimensional imaging on a fossil of this Permian Period creature, researchers have been able to see its brain cavity and make a digital replica of the brain, providing insight into the size and composition of this crucial organ at an early stage in mammalian evolution.

European lynx species rebounds from brink of extinction

A species of lynx found in remote areas of Spain and Portugal has rebounded from near extinction, with its adult population growing more than tenfold since the start of the millennium. Wildlife experts are calling the recovery of the Iberian Lynx unparalleled among felines in an age of extinction in which species are vanishing at a rate not seen in 10 million years due to climate change, pollution and habitat loss.

Dinosaur from Montana had horns like Norse god Loki's blades

About 78 million years ago in what was then a subtropical coastal plain - now the badlands of northern Montana - lived a four-legged plant-eating dinosaur built a bit like a rhinoceros with a fabulously ornate set of horns on its head. This newly identified dinosaur, called Lokiceratops rangiformis, was about 22 feet (6.7 meters) long, weighed around 5-1/2 tons and used a powerful beak at the front of its mouth to browse on low-growing vegetation such as ferns and flowering plants, scientists said on Thursday.

Antiquities returning to Mexico include Mayan vase sold for $4 in US store

The Mexican government will welcome back 20 cultural artifacts that date to the country's storied ancient past, all found in the United States including a Mayan vase over 1,000 years old and purchased for about $4 at a Washington area thrift shop. Mexico's antiquities institute INAH announced the repatriation, which also include centuries-old plates, bowls as well as sculpted figures belonging to the Aztec, Totonac and Teotihuacan cultures, in a statement on Thursday.

Fossils of ancient crocodile-like reptile found in Brazil

A Brazilian scientist has identified fossils of a small crocodile-like reptile that lived during the Triassic Period several million years before the first dinosaurs. The fossils of the predator, called Parvosuchus aurelioi, include a complete skull, 11 vertebrae, the pelvis and some limb bones, according to paleontologist Rodrigo Muller of the Federal University of Santa Maria in Rio Grande state, author of the research published on Thursday the journal Scientific Reports.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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