Unknown ancient reptile roamed the mountains

The footprints of a mysterious reptile that lived about 250 million years ago have been identified in fossils from the Pyrenees mountains.

Scientists say the new species is a member of the group that gave rise to crocodiles and dinosaurs. According to BBC

The reptile lived at a time when the Earth was recovering from a mass extinction that wiped out most animals.

The discovery may shed light on how the group of animals evolved and spread.

Sea scorpions: The original sea monster

Four hundred and thirty million years ago, long before the evolution of barracudas or sharks, a different kind of predator stalked the primordial seas. The original sea monsters were eurypterids -- better known as sea scorpions. According to Science daily

Related to both modern scorpions and horseshow crabs, sea scorpions had thin, flexible bodies. Some species also had pinching claws and could grow up to three metres in length. New research by scientists Scott Persons and John Acorn hypothesise that the sea scorpions had another weapon at their disposal: a serrated, slashing tail spin.

How domestication can change animals' facial features

Domesticated animals, compared to their wild counterparts, have undergone numerous changes in physiology, behavior and morphology. These changes are commonly referred to as the domestication syndrome and include behavioral changes, such as increased docility as well as genetic alterations in size, color and facial characteristics. In attempting to find whether these changes have a single cause, zoologist Dmitry Belyaev conducted a series of selection experiments with silver foxes, hypothesizing that behavior, specifically tameness, was the key driving factor behind the changes brought about by domestication. After generations of selecting foxes for tameness, they were found to display phenotypes similar to those observed in domesticated species. Since then, it has been further hypothesized that selection for social tolerance and reduced aggression may also have played an important role in shaping the modern human anatomy, which is remarkable for the reduced face and gracile overall features. According to Science daily.

'Nesting doll' minerals offer clues to Earth's mantle dynamics

Recovered minerals that originated in the deep mantle can give scientists a rare glimpse into the dynamic processes occurring deep inside of Earth and into the history of the planet's mantle layer. A team led by Yingwei Fei, a Carnegie experimental petrologist, and Cheng Xu, a field geologist, has discovered that a rare sample of the mineral majorite originated at least 235 miles below Earth's surface .According to Science daily.

'Surprise' discovery of first cave-dwelling fish

Pink, scaleless and with declining vision, the cave loach is the first ever example of a fish found living in a cave. According to BBC.

Researchers say the creature was found by divers in a huge underground cavern in southern Germany.

Experts believe that these loaches are the most northerly species of cave fish ever discovered.

They think they separated from surface-dwelling fishes sometime over the past 20,000 years.

Scientists say that there are some 200 species of cave fish living in various parts of the world, but none had been found until now.