Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
Artist Todd Marshall reconstructs Timurlengia euotica as it might have looked 90 million years ago. VOA
By Kevin Enochs

Tyrannosaurus rex — the rock star of dinosaurs, the apex predator that beats them all — it turns out was descended from smaller and, well, nerdier stock.

That’s the conclusion based on a new fossil find that has helped scientists to bridge the gap between the giant of the movies and its much older, much smaller ancestor. The findings are reported in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Follow NewsGram on Twitter to stay updated about the World news.

The ancestor to the T. rex was discovered in a fossil-rich area of Uzbekistan desert called the Bissekty formation. The research team was made up of scientists from the University of Edinburgh, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the Russian Academy of Sciences.

It’s all between the ears

Their key find was a well-preserved brain case about the size of a softball — one of the first ever found from the mid-Cretaceous period about 100 million to 80 million years ago.


The reconstructed skeleton of Timurlengia euotica. The bones in red are the actual remains recovered from Uzbekistan. VOA

Scientists already had the fossilized remains of what would become T. rex from the early Cretaceous — named Timurlengia, the creatures were about the size of a horse. However, no clues existed to suggest how they evolved to become the giant top-level predators of the late Cretaceous.

The newly discovered fossil is the link between the two, and scientists dubbed it Timurlengia euotica, which in the strange arcana of paleontology means “well eared.” That is crucial because it shows that the biggest difference between the new species and Timurlengia wasn’t its brawn, but its brain. In other words, it shows that this mid-sized predator spent 20 million years getting smart.


Hans Sues, Chair of the Department of Paleobiology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution compares an actual fossilized tooth from Timurlengia euotica with the tooth of a T-Rex. VOA

Also Read: We Need To Rethink The Way We Treat Our Women: Actress Dia Mirza

“The ancestors of T. rex would have looked a whole lot like Timurlengia, a horse-sized hunter with a big brain and keen hearing that would put us to shame,” said Dr. Steve Brusatte, a co-author from the University of Edinburgh. “Only after these ancestral tyrannosaurs evolved their clever brains and sharp senses did they grow into the colossal sizes of T. rex. Tyrannosaurs had to get smart before they got big.” (VOA)


Popular

Photo by Rob Pumphrey on Unsplash

Basil Leaves

Basil scientifically called Ocimum basilicum, and also known as great basil, is a culinary herb from the Lamiaceae (mints) family. A common aromatic herb, it is usually used to add flavor to a variety of recipes, but what may astonish one is that there are various health benefits of basil that make it well-known for its immunity-enhancing properties.

Basil seeds or basil essential oil are proven to help prevent a wide range of health conditions, which makes it one of the most essential medical herbs known today. Basil has vitamin A, C, E, K, and Omega 3 components including cooling components too. It also contains minerals like Copper, Calcium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Zinc, and Potassium. An ancient Ayurvedic herb, basil has various proven benefits including being anti-inflammatory, ant-oxidant, immune-booster, pain-reducer, and blood vessel-protector.

Follow NewsGram on Instagram to keep yourself updated.

This herb also contains cooling components thus making it really helpful for summers. It detoxifies the body and maintains one's body temperature pace. Adding to the benefits Basil contains antioxidant-rich volatile essential oils, which are considered hydrophobic, meaning they don't dissolve in water and are light and small enough to travel through the air and the pores within our skin. Basil's volatile essential oil is something that gives the herb its distinct smell and taste, but basil contains some great healing properties.

In the long history of Ayurveda, basil seeds were also called tukmaria seeds. These seeds may support one's gut health, may complete one's fiber quota, reduce blood sugar, help in weight loss, and also reduce cholesterol.

Keep Reading Show less
Unsplash

When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades.

The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.

Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.

The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.

ALSO READ: Can You Drink Coffee While You're Pregnant?

"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.

"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.

Keep reading... Show less