Friday, 16 June 2017

Amazing Discoveries in 2016

A small lump of amber found at a market in Burma landed in the hands of a paleontologist, who announced that it contained the first known piece of a dinosaur’s tail. Dating back 99 million years, the tail was originally mistaken as a bit of plant material. Closer inspection showed that it was actually bone and soft tissue covered with delicate feathers.
Hundreds of ancient human footprints were unveiled in Tanzania at a site known as Engare Sero. Dated somewhere between 5,000 and 19,000 years old, the prints show signs of early humans jogging and traveling in distinct groups. Tanzania has been an invaluable source of information about the earliest days of human existence, yielding bones, tools, and other objects.
Scientists unveiled the largest marine crocodile ever found. Based on a fossil skull and other bones discovered in Tunisia, the croc could grow to be more than 30 feet long and weighed around three tons.

Dubbed Machimosaurus rex, the 120-million-year-old animal offers crucial clues to a possible mass extinction event at the end of the Jurassic period, about 145 million years ago.

Physicists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) confirmed the existence of gravitational waves. We learned that spacetime is not a rigid box. Instead it’s a rippling ocean, alive with subatomic waves generated when black holes, neutron stars, and other massive objects collide.

Give Albert Einstein credit, he’s the one who conceived gravitational waves when he penned his theory of general relativity in 1916.
The secret to radical life extension may come from the Greenland shark, a deep-sea swimmer that can live up to 400 years. Radiocarbon dating analysis of 28 female Greenland sharks showed that these animals are by far the longest-lived vertebrates on the planet, with the oldest individual falling somewhere between 272 and 512 years of age. It's believed the animal’s extremely low metabolism, resulting in slow growth and reproductive maturation, is the reason. Unfortunately, being chilled to an almost cryogenic state is probably a key component.