420 Million-year-old Fish Fossil Found in SW China[Mar 13, 2017]
The fish, called Sparalepis tingi, is about 20 centimeters long, and has unusual scales like a suit of armor. It shows that the earth may have entered the "Age of Fishes" in the latter part of the Silurian Period (443.7 - 419.2 million years ago), instead of the popularly accepted Devonian Period (419.2 - 358.9 million years ago).
Earliest Springtail-eating Beetles Found in Amber[Mar 09, 2017]
Chinese scientists have found ant-like stone beetles inside a piece of Burmese amber from the mid-Cretaceous period, about 100 million years ago. The beetles are the world's earliest known insects to eat springtails, an insect-like food resource for litter-dwelling beetles.
China's domestic underwater glider reached a depth of 6,329 meters during a mission in the Mariana Trench, breaking the previous record of 6,000 meters held by a U.S. vessel, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
Saving the Yangtze's Finless Porpoises[Mar 04, 2017]
Finless porpoises have thrived in the Yangtze for about 300,000 years and are the only surviving mammals in the river. Today the Yangtze finless porpoise is an endangered species. Now efforts to to save the ancient species from extinction have started. China has built three natural reserves in traffic-free areas of the Yangtze River. The porpoises are relocated to the reserves when they’re found injured. So far, 85 are living there.
Increasing levels of aerosols might be good for lakes on the Chinese Loess Plateau as they have weakened summer monsoons, decreasing rainfall and lake fertilization over the past few decades, according to a research paper published in the latest issue of Nature Climate Change. The research was based on the study of fossil evidence stored in dated lake sediment profiles in the plateau over the past 2,000 years.
In a study published March 3 in Science, paleontologists from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP), Chinese Academy of Sciences and their collaborators reported two early Late Pleistocene (~105,000- to 125,000-year-old) crania from Lingjing, Xuchang, China. They exhibit a morphological mosaic with differences from and similarities to their western contemporaries. This morphological combination reflects Pleistocene human evolutionary patterns in general biology, as well as both regional continuity and interregional population dynamics.
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