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Weird fossil of the week: Inkayacu

by Nick Garland

Thirty-six million years ago, during the Eocene Epoch, a group of giant penguins swam the world’s southern oceans. At 5 feet tall, a penguin affectionately nicknamed Pedro wasn’t even the biggest. 

Imagine an emperor penguin, the biggest of all living penguins at 3 feet tall. Seems pretty tall for a penguin, right? Now imagine a penguin that’s on average 5 feet tall and you have the giant penguin Inkayacu paracasensis.

The fossils of Inkayacu were first found in Peru and described in 2010. The “Water King” wasn’t the tallest of fossil penguins, though. That title goes to the 6-foot-tall Palaeeudyptes klekowskii, discovered in 2014 in Antarctica.

However, what Inkayacu lacks in height, it makes up in feathers. It had unusual coloration for a penguin. You might be asking yourself at this point, “How do you know the color of feathers from a penguin that’s been extinct perhaps more than 30 million years?” And that would be an excellent question. As researchers uncovered Inkayacu’s left forearm bones, they revealed a swath of fossilized feathers…

(read more: Earth Archives)

images: University of Texas and Julio Lacerda (bttm image)

Two Earthlings 2, John Brosio, 2003/2009

Do you ever see an elderly person on the street with a distant look? Not a look like they’re lost, but more like they see something once missing. And they blink up to glance into your eyes—their own seem so small, buried behind age, and dim, as if life was a hot coal and not a fire—and they see deep into you with a recognition you don’t have, then look away and continue down the sidewalk as if it would be of no use to explain what it was they saw. Do you wonder if they knew you? Do you wonder if maybe they were a friend of yours slipped back in time? A future version of an old roommate, a first crush, a childhood playmate tossed around in time Twilight Zone style, and there’s whole words they could explain, but they don’t because you’d never understand, because you’d never believe, and because you’re just a footnote in their story.

Lydia Inspired Park Outfit with a Small Black Backpack by veterization featuring a leather crossbody

Miss Selfridge playsuit romper / Express black suede booties / Mulberry leather travel bag / BeckSöndergaard leather crossbody, $130 / Argento vivo earrings / FOSSIL pendant jewelry

Watch out for this ferocious Fossil Friday! 

Although Prestosuchus chiniquensis was a large animal with big claws and a huge head with sharp-toothed jaws, it was not a dinosaur. Instead, it is closely related to crocodylomorphs. This specimen is a reconstructed composite of several Prestosuchus specimens collected in Brazil and dating from the Late Triassic, about 210 million years ago. 

Find this skeleton cast in the Museum’s Hall of Vertebrate Origins

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Prestosuchus

… is an extinct genus of pseudosuchian Archosaur in the family Prestosuchidae. Its close relatives include Saurosuchus and Postosuchus. Prestosuchus had a deep skull and serrated teeth. Prestosuchus lived during the Late Triassic in what is now Brazil. It reached lengths of nearly 5 metres. While it resembled a dinosaur in having a large body and upright posture it was actually a rauisuchian archosaur more closely related to modern crocodilians

(read more: WIkipedia)

photo via: AMNH and illustration by Dmitry Bogdanov

The Flower of Life contains the knowledge of the human body and the galaxies. Within its woven rings reside the elements of positive, negative and neutrality which connect all sentient beings. It offers enlightenment and personal development to all who examine sacred geometry.

Copper is an excellent conductor. It is great for energy direction, healing, love and protection. Copper can be worn to help relieve rheumatism and arthritis. Copper also attracts wealth often being placed in kitchens to attract abundance into the household.

Scientists Have Created an Open-access Fossil Database

They hope it’ll help teams around the world to create a more accurate timeline for the tree of life.

by Fiona MacDonald

When it comes to figuring out exactly how and when life evolved on Earth, it’s going to take a lot of great minds working together.

To help make that process easier, a team of 20 palaeontologists, molecular biologists and computer scientists, including researchers from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australia, has just launched a huge online database of fossils from around the world - and they’re hoping it’ll help us piece together when and how groups of plants and animals first evolved.

Known as the Fossil Calibration Database, the free, online resource will be used to help date the branching points of the tree of life, and better map the origin of humans, plants and animals. It’s the world’s first open-access fossil database for molecular dating…

(read more: Science Direct)

graphics by Queensland University of Technology