Motor mouth: T. rex could bite with the force of three cars

Scientists have come up with one more reason to be amazed by Tyrannosaurus rex. When the huge carnivorous dinosaur took a bite, it did so with an awe-inspiring force equal to the weight of three small cars, enabling it to crunch bones with ease.
Researchers said a computer model based on the T. rex jaw muscle anatomy and analyses of living relatives like crocodilians and birds showed its bite force measured about 8,000 pounds (3,630 kg), the strongest of any dinosaur ever estimated.
In quantifying the power of T. rex's chomp, they also calculated how it transmitted its bite force through its conical, seven-inch (18-cm) teeth, finding it generated 431,000 pounds per square inch (30,300 kg per square cm) of tooth pressure, another measure of its power, on the contact area of the teeth.

Shedding light on Earth's first animals

More than 550 million years ago, the oceans were teeming with flat, soft-bodied creatures that fed on microbes and algae and could grow as big as bathmats. Today, researchers, Riverside are studying their fossils to unlock the secrets of early life. According to Science daily

In their latest study, Scott Evans, a graduate student in the Department of Earth Sciences, and Mary Droser, a professor of paleontology, show that the Ediacaran-era fossil animal Dickinsonia developed in a complex, highly regulated way using a similar genetic toolkit to today's animals. The study helps place Dickinsonia in the early evolution of animal life, and showcases how the large, mobile sea creature grew and developed.

Dickinsonia was a flat, oval-shaped creature that ranged in size from less than an inch to several feet, and is characterized by a series of raised bands -- known as modules -- on its surface. These animals are of interest to paleontologists because they are the first to become large and complex, to move around, and form communities, yet little is known about them.

Snail's DNA secrets unlocked in fight against river disease

Scientists have decoded the genome of a snail involved in the spread of a deadly parasitic disease.

They say the information will help in the fight against schistosomiasis, an infection caused by a parasitic worm that lives in streams and ponds, according to BBC.

The disease affects millions of people a year in sub-tropical and tropical regions.

More than 100 researchers from around the world have unlocked the DNA secrets of a snail that transmits the parasite.

Earth was barren, flat and almost entirely under water 4.4 billion years ago

Scientists say the early Earth was likely to be barren, flat and almost entirely under water with a few small islands, following their analysis of tiny mineral grains as old as 4.4 billion years. According to Science daily

Lead researcher Dr Antony Burnham said the team studied zircon mineral grains that were preserved in sandstone rocks which were the oldest fragments of the Earth ever found.

"The history of the Earth is like a book with its first chapter ripped out with no surviving rocks from the very early period, but we've used these trace elements of zircon to build a profile of the world at that time," said Dr Burnham.

Fossil sheds light on 'Jurassic Park' dinosaurs

The fossil of a dinosaur that has been languishing in a museum for decades has been re-examined - and it turns out to be that of a new species. According to BBC

Brachiosaurus, depicted in Jurassic Park, now has an early relative, providing clues to the evolution of some of the biggest creatures on Earth.

Scientists say the plant-eating dinosaur was longer than a double-decker bus and weighed 15,000kg.

Its remains were found in the 1930s.

Since then it has been somewhat over-looked, spending most of that time in storage crates.

Lead researcher Dr Philip Mannion said the dinosaur would have eaten all kinds of vegetation, such as ferns and conifers, and lived at a time when Europe was a series of islands.

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