A new beetle species found in Triassic feces, and more breakthroughs

Surprising discoveries in fossilized droppings, shrew brains, and a coffee-coated rainforest

1/22/2022 5:00:00 PM

Surprising discoveries in fossilized droppings, shrew brains, and a coffee-coated rainforest are just a few of our favorite breakthroughs this month

Surprising discoveries in fossilized droppings, shrew brains, and a coffee-coated rainforest

Scat scan discoverySome very old objects come in exquisite containers—gilded sarcophagi, carved chests—and others, in less appealing packages. The newfound beetleTriamyxa coprolithicais among the latter. A team of scientists reported discovering the species in a coprolite, aka fossilized feces. The team used synchrotron microtomography, a powerful x-ray technique, to scan an ancient dropping that the scientists had unearthed in Poland. Inside the 230-million-year-old scat, nickel size in diameter, were partial and whole specimens of the tiny beetle (above). Study lead author Martin Qvarnström says that to see 3D scans of the bugs, “it’s like they’re becoming alive in front of you.” With even some of the delicate legs and antennae intact, the remains were preserved well enough to identify the beetles as a previously unknown, now extinct species—the first time an insect species has been described from a coprolite. The researchers theorized that the dung came from

Read more: National Geographic »

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Is it find anywhere beside Nepal? Wow 230 million years old shit. Mierda. Who is left to dig through feces and call it science? Death switches were eating feces, there's a fact for you. God CalledUp I say, is this dino dung beetles then? Excuse me, and now also? Beetle deuce? I love new discoveries! ♥️ biofilia_trunca

ms_bubble Roaches are the number 1 insect that make my skin crawl. Farmerdoge FarmerDoge farmerdoge CROP Crop FARMERDOGEBSC CEX cex Cz cz Oh my God what this 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔 prxsopocoilus

Tiny feather wing beetle reveals new way to flyHow a novel flying technique copes with the weird physics of miniature flight rienmyoki Great video‼︎ 🤝MSU_1755, tokyotech_jp, tokyotech_en, chiba_univ_pr Stunning.

Gotta love a good coprolite. Ohhh wow No shit! Paywall... Good information.

Human-Size Penguin Fossils DiscoveredTBT: Scientists once found fossilized remains in southern New Zealand they believe came from a 220-pound ancient penguin species that was about five feet, ten inches tall PenguinAwarenessDay I for one would welcome such tall and chonky penguin friends. wow. Amazing Reminder to all that penguins living in the ice is a recent development. Most of them live in tropical to temperate climates like Africa or the Galapagos islands.

Omicron poses new threats to restaurants and barsWith the Omicron variant surge, restaurateurs have to find new ways to pivot. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 🦠😳

5 Hairstyle Trends That Are Sparking Joy In 2022From hot rollers to faux locs, find the top hairstyle trends to inspire a new look in the new year.

Wildlife YouTuber discovers new species of tarantulaYouTuber JoCho Sippawat, known for his videos about Thailand's wildlife, has discovered the first known tarantula to live exclusively inside bamboo stalks. I found this guy here👇

New Study Finds States With Weaker Gun Laws Have Higher Rates Of Gun DeathsIt found a direct correlation between weaker gun laws and higher rates of gun homicides, suicides and accidental killings. Cities with weak prosecution for those breaking those laws see higher rates of homicide You have a link? Or just talking out of your butt? Ya think

Email Scat scan discovery Some very old objects come in exquisite containers—gilded sarcophagi, carved chests—and others, in less appealing packages. The newfound beetle Triamyxa coprolithica is among the latter. A team of scientists reported discovering the species in a coprolite, aka fossilized feces. The team used synchrotron microtomography, a powerful x-ray technique, to scan an ancient dropping that the scientists had unearthed in Poland. Inside the 230-million-year-old scat, nickel size in diameter, were partial and whole specimens of the tiny beetle (above). Study lead author Martin Qvarnström says that to see 3D scans of the bugs, “it’s like they’re becoming alive in front of you.” With even some of the delicate legs and antennae intact, the remains were preserved well enough to identify the beetles as a previously unknown, now extinct species—the first time an insect species has been described from a coprolite. The researchers theorized that the dung came from Silesaurus opolensis —a dinosaur relative up to eight feet long—and hope their discovery will encourage more stool sampling by paleontologists. —Hicks Wogan The saving of the shrew Unlike seasonal hibernators, the Etruscan shrew—one of Earth’s smallest mammals—must eat heartily year-round to stay alive. But the insectivore may have a different way to conserve energy in winter: It shrinks a section of its brain by more than 25 percent. The lost cells regrow by summertime. —HW The Etruscan shrew, one of Earth’s smallest mammals, may have a novel way of conserving energy in cold weather. Photograph by JOEL SARTORE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK Please be respectful of copyright. Unauthorized use is prohibited. New forests benefit from coffee’s jolt Just like us, forests move a bit faster when there’s coffee on hand. An experiment in a Costa Rican rainforest covered deforested land with pulp that’s a by-product of the coffeemaking process, to see how it affected forest regrowth. After two years, the pulp-covered forest plots were doing much better than untreated ones—giving coffee producers a new, sustainable alternative to dumping their waste. — Sarah Gibbens In an experiment in Costa Rica’s rainforest, pulp considered a waste product of the coffeemaking process was shown to improve seedling growth when applied to deforested land. Photograph by Edwin Remsberg, VW PICS/UIG via Getty Image Please be respectful of copyright. Unauthorized use is prohibited. This story appears in the