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Dinosaur Fossil Shows Exquisite Skin Detail

first_imgMore imaginary feathers on a dinosaur have been discovered.  A BBC News article shows a cartoon of a dinosaur with feathers on its arms.  This is strange, because the paper it refers to makes no claim about feathers – only that certain structures had been interpreted as feathers by some.    The original paper by Theagarten Lingham-Soliar (U of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa) described a Psittocosaur from China that is remarkable in one respect: it exhibits dinosaur skin in cross section with the finest detail ever found.  Published in the Proceedings B of the Royal Society,1 the paper says that “Also, for the first time in a dinosaur two fibre layers parallel to the skin surface are preserved deep within the dermis at the base of the cross section.”  Collagen at least 25 layers deep – maybe 40 layers deep – suggests that the skin of this species was tough and rigid, providing protection for internal organs.  Tooth marks from a possible predator attack were also found.  For these reasons, the author said this specimen “gives a remarkable, unprecedented understanding of the dinosaur skin.”  It should, therefore, provide an ideal case for a feather hunt.    The BBC report made overt claims about feathers in addition to its cartoon: “The plant-eating Psittacosaurus had a thick layer of shark-like skin hidden under scales or feathers.”  The caption said, “Some scientists believe a number of dinosaurs had feathers.”  Another quote hedged a little: “Soft tissues such as skin are rarely preserved in the fossil record, leading to heated debate over what dinosaurs looked like, and whether they were covered in primitive feathers or scales.”    What did the original paper say about feathers?  Not much.  The only relevant statement was, “To date, all integumental structures described in dinosaurs, whether interpreted as ‘protofeathers’ or structural fibres, occur on the surface of the animal or on adjacent substrate.”    A look at the references for such interpretations showed two for and two against.  The most recent paper in the references was by Feduccia and Wang denying that so-called feathers are anything more than degraded collagen fibers.  The only other comment about feathers in the paper was about the uniqueness of bird skin: “A generalization of the primary functional role of the dermis in the protection and/or support for the enclosed body mass may be extended to most vertebrates with the possible exception of birds, wherein the dermis plays a unique role with respect to feather attachments.”  Nothing in the paper, therefore, supported the claim that the well-preserved skin of this Psittocosaur had feathers, despite the BBC’s depiction.Update 01/10/2008: The author of the paper denies that these are feathers.  Roger Highfield, reporting for the UK Telegraph, found out that the point of Theagarten Lingham-Soliar’s paper was to refute the notion that the collagen dermis layers contain proto-feathers.  Here is what he told the Daily Telegraph:Scientists must really now choose – belief in the nebulous idea of protofeathers or the reality of collagen, the dominant protein in vertebrates.    I am convinced from the nonsense spouted by many of the people who denounce collagen in favour of protofeathers that they have never actually seen collagen in its natural or decomposing state.”Lingham-Soliar also denies that Sinosauropteryx, a turkey-size dinosaur unearthed in 1994, had feathers.  He thinks, instead, that the impressions were remains of collagen that supported a dorsal frill running down the head and back.    Highfield ended his article, “Although the new work will not challenge the link between birds and dinosaurs it will lead to a fundamental rethink of why feathers evolved in the first place.”1.  Theagarten Lingham-Soliar, “A unique cross section through the skin of the dinosaur Psittacosaurus from China showing a complex fibre architecture,” Proceedings of the Royal Society B, ISSN: 0962-8452 (Paper) 1471-2954 (Online), Issue: FirstCite Early Online Publishing; DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2007.1342.The evolutionary flights of fancy in the news media are irresponsible and detrimental to scientific objectivity.  Here was another media flap by the BBC, trying to pull imaginary feathers out of leathery skin, because they so wish for dinosaurs to be the ancestors of birds (compare 06/13/2007).  The Telegraph article was more fair, but still clung to the link between dinosaurs and birds as if that belief is too sacrosanct for evidence.    The reporters and scientists should have been questioning the 70 million years during which this specimen supposedly lay there, its skin exquisitely preserved down to the collagen fibers for all that time.  The carcass of a cow, deer or bird will decay to the bone in months.  The conditions under which such “extraordinary preservation” occurred, and a reappraisal of the dating, should be the first item of business.(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

After Effects Fundamentals Lesson 3: Compositing, Keying & Rotoscoping

first_imgDevelop your skills in lesson 3 of our 10 part After Effects Fundamentals course. In this video tutorial we take a look at chroma keying, transfer modes and rotoscoping.Welcome to lesson 3 of our 10 part After Effects Fundamentals series. In this lesson we will take a look at a few techniques which utilize transparency features in After Effects.CompositingTransfer ModesChroma KeyRotoscopingMaskingTrack MattesThe ability to key out multiple layers is one of the reasons why After Effects is such a powerful program. If you are interested in taking your keying skills one step further check out our quick-tips for After Effects post.Best viewed full screen:We will post new lessons every Monday for the next 7 weeks. Check the Premiumbeat blog for future lessons. And while you’re there you can watch more After Effects tutorials, read the latest filmmaking news and pick up some post-production tricks.What did you think of this lesson? Have any questions? Ask in the comments below.last_img read more

‘Offer’ of talks comes amid bloodshed in Kashmir Valley

first_imgThe reported offer of talks by the Hurriyat leadership comes smack in the middle of operations against terrorists in Kashmir, in which a record number of 88 locals had been killed this year. The Jammu & Kashmir administration has said that recruitment to militant ranks is at its lowest now.But since June 12 alone, 10 security personnel, five of them CRPF men, lost their lives, and 10 others were injured in various attacks, including the fidayeen strike in Anantnag on June 12 and a blast using an improvised explosive device (IED) in Pulwama on June 17. These took the death toll of security personnel to 73, the highest since the corresponding period of 2005, when over 100 were killed.As the battle against militancy continued, the Centre’s Special Representative for Jammu and Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, quietly visited Srinagar — his first trip after the Lok Sabha election results were announced on May 23.The visit followed J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik’s statement on Saturday that the Hurriyat leaders were ready for talks and a change of guard in the Home Ministry, where BJP president Amit Shah has assumed office as Home Minister.Mr. Sharma was appointed in 2017 to carry forward the dialogue with all stakeholders, but his role had been undermined in the past by parallel action initiated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Enforcement Directorate. Several separatists, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, are being investigated by the agency for funding terror groups.“Yes, this was the first time after the general elections that I went to Srinagar. I would not like to disclose anything about the meetings,” Mr. Sharma told The Hindu. Of late, terrorists in Kashmir have resorted to new tactics. Buoyed by back-to-back successful operations against local militants in the past six weeks without any major casualty, Major Ketan Sharma, 32, was confident of wrapping up within hours a pre-dawn operation started around 4 a.m. against a hiding militant at Badoora village in Anantnag on June 17.Surprise elementThe Army, however, was taken by surprise by the level of training of the “non-local” militant of the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM). Major Sharma took bullets inches below the bulletproof headgear on the face, as he volunteered to neutralise the hiding militant with grenades while changing position in an uneven courtyard.“As soldiers raised their heads to fire at his position, the militant would fire back with precision. He succeeded in hitting four jawans. The fact he hit the Major in the face shows his level of training. He was a freshly infiltrated militant [from Pakistan]. There is a bid to push highly trained militants from across from the border,” a senior police officer told The Hindu. As the operation drew to a close at Achabal, three soldiers suffered injuries, while Major Sharma lost his life.Changing tackTop police officers of the counter-insurgency cell and the special operations group (SOG) said the surprise element thrown up by the militants by changing tack and technology resulted in higher casualties this year.“First, the suicide car blast on a CRPF convoy on February 14 inflicted the highest casualties, when 40 jawans died. In June, we saw a fidayeen militant coming close to a stationed CRPF mobile bunker at Anantnag’s busy market, killing five jawans and a police officer. In both these incidents, there was a surprise element,” a south Kashmir-based police officer said.The change in tack and technology by terrorists was because the surprise, short pre-dawn operations employed by the security forces were yielding results, with 113 militants killed this year, the police officer said. Of the 113, 25 were foreigners. “Around 45% of them belonged to the Jaish-e-Muhammad. We stepped up operations against the group and its leadership after the February 14 attack and killed over 40 of them in south Kashmir,” another counter-insurgency cell officer said.Another new tactic employed by the militants is to make IEDs locally and stage attacks away from the now-secured Srinagar-Jammu highway, which was, previously, the main focus of the militants.“The June 17 IED attack, where it was fitted to a Maruti car, took place on an interior road near Aarihal in Pulwama. Over 10 jawans were injured and two were left dead,” the police officer said.As the security forces take on the terrorists, it remains to be seen what happens with the reported offer of talks and the follow-up on Mr. Sharma’s visit.last_img read more

Adam Johnson

first_imgAdam Johnson is a long serving volunteer of the South Australian Touch community. He takes on a number of critical roles include Central Scorpions Permit manager, films games at club, state and national level, actively attends and supports SA Heat at NTL’s, NYC and Alliance Cup and supports coaches at training camps, selections and training drills, filming and talent ID. Adams presence at competitions both state and national level and the support and encouragement he gives SA Heat teams continues to make a positive contribution within the Touch Football community.last_img

10 months agoLiverpool boss Klopp surprised by Moreno comments: He’s a fantastic professional

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Liverpool boss Klopp surprised by Moreno comments: He’s a fantastic professionalby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he was surprised by comments made by Alberto Moreno in the Spanish press.Moreno criticised Klopp for mishandling him being replaced by Andy Robertson as the Reds first-choice left-back.The German sympathises with Moreno’s situation, but he insists the 26-year-old has not confronted him personally.”Matt [McCann, press officer] told me about it! I’m still not prepared to say something to be honest,” Klopp told a press conference. “How I deal with things like that is usually; my door is not always literally open, but it’s always open if somebody wants to talk.”As long as they don’t talk to me, it doesn’t really exist!”But that Alberto is not happy with not having too much minutes, it’s obvious. The more important thing is he never shows it in any training sessions, he’s a fantastic professional and trains really well when he can.”The last couple of weeks he has had back problems and that kept him out of a lot of sessions. Yesterday was the first session it looked 100 per cent good again. That’s all.” last_img read more

US slaps 220 per cent duty on Canadas Bombardier jets

first_imgWASHINGTON – The Commerce Department slapped duties of nearly 220 per cent on Canada’s Bombardier C Series aircraft Tuesday in a victory for Boeing that is likely to raise tensions between the United States and its allies Canada and Britain.Commerce ruled that Montreal-based Bombardier used unfair government subsidies to sell jets at artificially low prices in the U.S.“The U.S. values its relationships with Canada, but even our closest allies must play by the rules,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said.Canada responded by saying it “strongly disagrees” with the U.S. move.“This is clearly aimed at eliminating Bombardier’s C Series aircraft from the U.S. market,” said Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s minister of foreign affairs.Bombardier, meanwhile, called the decision “absurd …. U.S. trade laws were never intended to be used in this manner, and Boeing is seeking to use a skewed process to stifle competition.”In April, Boeing charged that Bombardier had received at least $3 billion in subsidies from the governments of Britain, Canada and the province of Quebec. The Chicago-based aircraft manufacturer asked the Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission to investigate the alleged “predatory pricing.”Specifically, Boeing said that Bombardier last year sold Delta Air Lines 75 CS100 aircraft for less than it cost to build them.“Subsidies enabled Bombardier to dump its product into the U.S. market, harming aerospace workers in the United States and throughout Boeing’s global supply chain,” Boeing said Tuesday.But Delta has said Boeing did not even make the 100-seat jets it needed.“Boeing has no American-made product to offer because it cancelled production of its only aircraft in this size range — the 717 — more than 10 years ago,” Delta said in a statement Tuesday.President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to get tough on trade. He has repeatedly criticized Canada, saying it unfairly blocks U.S. dairy products and subsidizes its softwood lumber industry. Trump also has threatened to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement if he can’t negotiate a better version with Canada and Mexico.Boeing’s complaint against Bombardier drew a backlash even before Tuesday’s decision. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau threatened this month to stop doing business with Boeing, which is in talks to sell Canada 18 Super Hornet jet fighters. British Prime Minister Theresa May has discussed the case with Trump. Her concern: Bombardier employs more than 4,000 workers in Northern Ireland.Connecticut Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Christopher Murphy last week wrote a letter urging U.S. government officials to “refrain from taking action that will endanger the many jobs in Connecticut that depend upon Bombardier.” Engines for the C Series aircraft are made by Pratt & Whitney, based in East Hartford, Connecticut.Commerce’s findings Tuesday aren’t the end of the matter. The department is expected to announce its findings in another case against Bombardier early next month. Then the International Trade Commission — an independent federal agency that rules on trade cases — will decide early next year whether to uphold Commerce’s duties.Bombardier could appeal any sanctions to a U.S. court or to a dispute-resolution panel created under NAFTA. The Canadian government could also take the case to the World Trade Organization in Geneva._____________________________________Gillies reported from TorontoFollow Paul Wiseman on Twitter at https://twitter.com/PaulWisemanAPlast_img read more

Protesters shut down commercial bridge linking Mexico Texas

first_imgCIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico – At least 200 demonstrators blocked a major commercial bridge between Mexico and Texas on Monday to protest the disappearance of dozens of people in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, snarling traffic in both directions into the night.The protest began around 9:30 a.m. at the bridge, which is used exclusively by cargo trucks travelling between Tamaulipas state and Laredo, Texas, and was still going late Monday.Thousands of trucks make the crossing each day, and long lines of tractor-trailers backed up along the highway.Demonstrators were protesting what they consider a weak response by authorities to 43 complaints filed with prosecutors over disappearances in Nuevo Laredo.“We are demanding justice,” said Estela Gonzalez, who lodged a complaint about a missing nephew-in-law. “Alive or dead or however they may be, we want to know what happened to them.”Nuevo Laredo’s acting mayor, Rafael Pedraza Dominguez, went to the bridge in the afternoon to try to persuade the protesters to leave, promising to engage in talks with them.But they ignored his pleas and vowed to maintain the roadblock.“What we want is a solution, and if (the missing) have already been harmed, well, what happened to their bodies?” Gonzalez said.Nuevo Laredo is a key smuggling corridor for rival drug gangs, and the city has been experiencing a wave of violence.In March, four members of a family were killed in the crossfire between Mexican marines and gang members. The following month federal prosecutors issued a report faulting officers for the deaths.last_img read more

Egypt police arrest 107 including 27 students

first_imgBy Mohamed AmmarCAIRO– Egyptian security forces have rounded up massive numbers of Muslim Brotherhood leaders and supporters since Morsi’s ouster on July 3A total of 107 people were arrested across Egypt on Wednesday, including 27 university students. In a statement, the Interior Ministry said that 80 people in three provinces had been detained on assault and incitement-to-violence charges.According to the statement, 19 people were arrested in the southern province of Minya, 59 in the central Fayoum province and two in Giza.On Wednesday, 21 students were arrested during clashes with security forces near Al-Azhar University’s Cairo campus, bringing the total number of detained Al-Azhar students to 49, a security source said.Six students were also detained during clashes at Cairo University, bringing the total number of detained students from that university to 24, the source said.According to the source, 11 policemen sustained birdshot injuries during the violence.Egyptian security forces have rounded up massive numbers of Muslim Brotherhood leaders and supporters since the July 3 ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi by the military.Most have been charged with “inciting violence” – allegations the Islamist group says are politically-motivated.last_img read more