Earth’s first lifeforms breathed arsenic, not oxygen

The microbes that eventually produced the planet's oxygen had to breathe something, after all.

Credit: BRONWYN GUDGEON/Shutterstock
  • We owe the Earth's oxygen to ancient microbes that photosynthesized and released it into the world's oceans.
  • A long-standing question has been: Before oxygen, what did they breathe?
  • The discovery of microbes living in a hostile early-Earth-like environment may provide the answer.
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Megalodon’s actual size, recalculated

A new study bases its calculations on more than the great white shark.

  • Previous estimates of the megalodon's size were based solely on its teeth compared to the star of "Jaws."
  • The prehistoric monster is as closely related to other sharks.
  • Imagine just a dorsal fin as tall as you are.
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Fossil reveals 'cute' baby dinosaur's skull features

A rare titanosaur embryo was discovered with its skull preserved in 3 dimensions.

Kundrát et al., Current Biology, 2020
  • Researchers have uncovered what the facial features of a baby titanosaurus embryo looked like using cutting-edge imaging technology.
  • This in the first-ever discovery of a 3D embryonic titanosaurian sauropod skull.
  • The embryo reveals that titanosaur babies had binocularly focused vision in the front of the head rather than on each side, retracted openings on their snout, and a single horn in the front of their head.
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3,000-pound Triceratops skull unearthed in South Dakota

"You dream about these kinds of moments when you're a kid," said lead paleontologist David Schmidt.

Credit: David Schmidt / Westminster College
  • The triceratops skull was first discovered in 2019, but was excavated over the summer of 2020.
  • It was discovered in the South Dakota Badlands, an area where the Triceratops roamed some 66 million years ago.
  • Studying dinosaurs helps scientists better understand the evolution of all life on Earth.
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New Google AR exhibits let you see prehistoric creatures up close

Google's Arts & Culture app just added a suite of prehistoric animals and NASA artifacts that are viewable for free with a smartphone.

Google Arts & Culture
  • The exhibits are viewable on most smartphones through Google's free Arts & Culture app.
  • In addition to prehistoric animals, the new exhibits include NASA artifacts and ancient artwork.
  • The Arts & Culture app also lets you project onto your walls famous paintings on display at museums around the world.
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