A herd of young birdlike dinosaurs met their death on the muddy margins of a lake some 90 million years ago, according to a team of Chinese and American paleontologists that excavated a site in the Gobi Desert in western Inner Mongolia. The sudden death of the herd in a mud trap provides a rare snapshot of social behavior. Composed entirely of juveniles of a single species of ornithomimid dinosaur (Sinornithomimus dongi), the herd suggests that immature individuals were left to fend for themselves when adults were preoccupied with nesting or brooding.
Sometimes different is good. You may not want a strange cup of coffee when you go to Starbucks and you would like for your car to work the way cars should, but in science the peculiar can teach us a lot.
This was the idea behind Halton Arp’s catalogue of Peculiar Galaxies
that appeared in the 1960s. One of the oddballs listed there is Arp 261, which has now been imaged in more detail than ever before using the FORS2 instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope.
Massive predators like Albertosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex may have been at the top of the food chain, but they were not the only meat-eating dinosaurs to roam North America, according to Canadian researchers who have discovered the smallest dinosaur species on the continent to date. Their work is also helping re-draw the picture of North America's ecosystem at the height of the dinosaur age 75 million years ago.
Czar Nicholas II, eldest son of Tsar Alexander III, succeeded hs father in 1894 and, while he wasn't the most incompetent leader in the history of Russia, much less all of Europe, he was without question a disaster, losing a war to Japan and ordering the army to shoot at citizens who protested the poor conditions they lived under. It's no surprise anyone wanted him gone. A crazy shrew of a wife under the spell of Rasputin didn't help his decision-making prowess.
That guy who gets in the elevator reeking of Drakkar Noir is nothing new - the Ancient Egyptians cherished their fragrant scents, too. In a new part of its permanent exhibition, Bonn University's Egyptian Museum has on display a particularly well preserved example of that.
Screening this 3,500-year-old flacon with a computer tomograph, scientists at the university detected the desiccated residues of a fluid, which they now want to submit to further analysis. They might even succeed in reconstructing this scent.
In the early parts of the decade, German and British intelligence said that Iraq had acquired weapons of mass destruction and were on their way to nuclear capability. The American CIA agreed. Saddam Hussein, in maybe the stupidest bluff of this century (there's still a long way to go), refused to let UN inspectors investigate thoroughly, perhaps thinking if the world believed he had nuclear capability, they would lift sanctions. His mistakes cost him a wealthy dictatorship (though gold painted fixtures remain a puzzle to anyone who visits his many palaces) and, eventually, his life.