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Ichthyosaurs Suddenly Appeared in Triassic Oceans

Ichthyosaurs Suddenly Appeared in Triassic Oceans

first_img“Ichthyosaurs were a group of Mesozoic marine reptiles that evolved fish-shaped body outlines,” begins Ryosuke Motani (UC Davis) in the Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences,1 in a paper on “Evolution of Fish-Shaped Reptiles… in Their Physical Environments and Constraints.”  But while much is said about their environments and constraints, little is said to explain their evolution.  It is not even certain they were reptiles: “The sister group of ichthyosaurs is unknown,” he says, resulting in taxonomists proposing conflicting ideas of where to put them within the vertebrates: “Many different hypotheses have been proposed as to where ichthyosaurs belong in the tree of vertebrates, and all major groups, including mammals, amphibians, and osteichthyes [bony fishes], have been proposed.”  The majority view is that they are reptiles that diverged before the dinosaurs, though “It is unknown whether they are outside or inside the saurian clade.”  The classification problems continue inside the clade.  Even though “there seems to be a consensus regarding the basic phylogenetic relationship among major groups” of ichthyosaurs, “None of the published phylogenetic trees is uncontroversial,” he notes.    Ichthyosaurs are characterized by narrow snouts, usually conical teeth, and a bend in the vertebra near the tail.  They apparently ate fish and squid.  Some of them had enormous eyes, much bigger relative to body size than any other animal.  The number of fin digits varied from one to twenty.   “Ichthyosaurs were a diverse group, with various body forms and sizes,” writes Motani, an expert on this unusual group of swimmers.    The first ichthyosaur was described in 1814, long before Darwin’s theory.  “Despite such a long history of scientific study,” Motani says, “our knowledge of the evolution of the group was limited until recently because interest in the group flagged, especially after the recognition of the Dinosauria (Owen 1842).  It was not until the late 1980s that the ichthyosaurian study was revitalized, and many of the noteworthy facts listed above were recognized during the past decade.”  Summarizing the latest discoveries and discussing future perspectives are the purposes of Motani’s review.    “The first definitive records of ichthyosaurs appear suddenly and almost simultaneously over a wide range of the Northern Hemisphere, including Canada, China, Japan, and Spitsbergen,” in the upper Triassic, he says, making it “difficult to discuss the geographic origin of the group.”  The earliest forms look like a “long-snouted lizard with flippers and a small caudal fin…, with a relatively small skull, an elongated trunk containing approximately 40 vertebrae in front of the pelvic girdle, and a short tail” (emphasis added in all quotes).  These were 1-3 meters in length.  Two other groups appear in Middle Triassic strata, one large (9m) and one small (2m), that disappear in the Late Triassic.  A group of tuna-shaped ichthyosaurs called Parvipelvia shows up in Late Triassic strata and became the dominant type in those rocks.  Ichthyosaur fossils appear throughout the Jurassic into the Cretaceous, when they all went extinct.  More fossils of new species are being found all the time.  Some finely-preserved, articulated specimens found recently in China are proving very interesting.  Yet putting all the diversity of ichthyosaurs into an evolutionary timeline is made difficult by gaps:The evolution of the intermediate grade ichthyosaurs during the Middle and Later Triassic is poorly understood at this point, and the diversity of ichthyosaurs in the Early Cretaceous requires further investigation.  Middle and Late Jurassic are also important, given the scarcity of materials known at his point.Motani speaks often of evolution in his review, yet points more to species diversity than to any particular trends in morphology.  For instance, discussing the flippers, he claims “it is possible to trace the continuous evolutionary transformation series for the forelimb,” but then says, “Although the series is continuous, it is difficult to single out a feature that is shared by all ichthyosaurian front flippers.”  His elaboration presents a somewhat confusing picture:Ichthyosaurs initially had five digits as in many amniotes, including humans.  Some time in the Late Triassic, a form without the first digit, or the thumb, appeared…, and this lineage eventually gave rise to the Parvipelvia.  Extra digits started to appear in some species of Norian ichthyosaurs, and many Jurassic ichthyosaurs added digits both anteriorly and posteriorly in the forelimb (Figure 4), a phenomenon referred to as hyperdactyly.  Ichthyosaurs also added extra finger bones, or phalanges, to their digits.  Such hyperphalangy was present even in the most basal ichthyosaurs, such as Utatsusaurus ….So the earliest forms already had multiple phalanges and digits; some later forms had more, some had fewer.  Neither is there an evolutionary pattern in size: “There was no simple trend in ichthyosaurian body sizes through geological time,” he writes.  “Large as well as small ichthyosaurian species seem to have coexisted from the beginning.”  Most were under 10m, but a giant species possibly 20m was found near British Columbia.    Motani says that ichthyosaurs were the “first tetrapod to evolve a fish-shaped body profile with a well-demarcated caudal fluke, long before cetaceans came up with a similar design some 150 million years later,” but merely assumes that three very different groups – reptiles, mammals and fish – all converged on the multiple structural and physiological features necessary for streamlined swimming.  He claims ichthyosaurs “evolved the largest eyes of all vertebrates” without saying how; later, he mentions, “It is not known why such an extensive bony coverage of the eyeball evolved.”    Motani also discusses that ichthyosaurs “have one of the earliest records of live-birth in amniotes” without mentioning the transitions necessary to make it possible; in fact, this capability seems to have appeared abruptly in this group: “Given that ichthyosaurs did not appear until very late in the Early Triassic, live-birth clearly evolved early in the ichthyosaurian evolution, at least during the first few million years or possibly less, of their 150-million-year evolutionary history” — i.e., this complex adaptation suddenly appeared in the first 1% of their timeline and persisted unchanged throughout 150 million years, while other major changes in body shape evolved, including significant reductions in the pelvis.    Motani’s only specific reference to a transitional form is “Californosaurus, which is one of the transitional forms between the fish-shaped and more basal ichthyosaurs, it is clearly seen that the change of the orientation of the neural spines corresponds to the position of the tailbend.”  Yet that change seems to represent only a rather minor difference in shape.  In another place, he admits that “The exact phylogenetic position for the appearance of the fish-shaped design in ichthyosaurs is controversial.”  The only other reference to transitional forms is: “The evolution of the group during the Early Jurassic can be considered as continued experimentation along the fish-shaped parvipelvian design that appeared in the Norian,” yet he does not elaborate on which descended from which, or which could be considered more fit or better adapted.    However confusing the interpretation of ichthyosaurs remains, this diverse group of marine animals became an early icon of evolution: ichthyosaurs “were the first major fossil collected by Mary Anning in the 1800s (McGowan 1991), and, together with the plesiosaurs that she discovered later, they symbolize the early phase of scientific movements in England that cultivated the grounds for Darwin’s evolutionary theory.”    Some of the most remarkable ichthyosaur fossils show the young in the process of being born.  At least six genera show embryos inside adult individuals. 1Ryosuke Motani, “Evolution of Fish-Shaped Reptiles (Reptilia: Ichthyopterygia) in Their Physical Environments and Constraints,” Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Vol. 33: 395-420 (Volume publication date January 2005) (doi:10.1146/annurev.earth.33.092203.122707)Ichthyosaurs were a remarkable group of swimming animals.  Motani knows a lot about them, but he doesn’t know much about their evolution.  Despite his bluffing assertions about phylogeny, there is not a single point he makes that is without controversy or problems.  Even accepting the evolution-biased geological dates, he has to admit that the “basal” (earliest, presumably most primitive) ichthyosaurs already had five digits in functional flippers and gave birth to live young.  No subsequent evolution could be anywhere near as dramatic as having a full-fledged ichthyosaur appear in the fossil record without ancestors.    They are not clearly related to any other group of vertebrates, yet in many respects are like reptiles in fish costumes.  The similarities in body shape between some ichthyosaurs and tunas or dolphins is uncanny.  Streamlined body design requires not just a skeleton, but the musculature and skin to deal with fast swimming.  Every other body system – digestive, circulatory, endocrine, nervous, sensory, excretory, reproductive, and immune – must also adjust when there are changes in morphology.  How many lucky mutations had to converge in just one species of ichthyosaur to get this all right, let alone in a tuna (bony fish) or dolphin (mammal)?  Since the last common ancestor of these three groups could not have possessed that genetic information, the Darwinist is forced to believe that these three distant groups illustrate an amazing example of convergent evolution, whatever that means.  But even accepting that cop-out explanation, Motani admits that the phylogenetic position of the fish-shaped ichthyosaurs is controversial.  They seem to appear fully streamlined out of nowhere.    Consider also how remarkable it is to have numerous examples of fossils containing live embryos.  Marine creatures do not normally fossilize while carrying young.  A marine animal is either eaten or else dies of old age, not while giving birth.  For the embryos to be preserved, some even possibly in the process of exiting the birth canal, there had to be a sudden catastrophe that captured and smothered these large, strong creatures in mud before they could even appear startled.    There is nothing in this story to suggest these creatures evolved from something else.  Diversity is not evolution.  Motani did not demonstrate any clear sequence of characters morphing into others, or new functional capabilities arising de novo; nor did he explain how mutations and natural selection could produce an interrelated suite of complex structures like an ichthyosaur.  He did not show how they originated in one location and spread around the globe.  On the contrary, they burst on the scene all over the world, from Canada to Europe to China, in a geological blink of an eye, without precursors.  The only thing of any certainty about evolution in this paper was his determination to force-fit every piece of data into a Darwinian belief system.  (Notice how these fossils were used as props for Darwin’s theory, even though 146 years later, scientists are still struggling to understand their evolution.)  There is much in this story, however, that fits the framework of creation and a worldwide flood.  Along with most other living things, these marvelously designed animals were carrying out their everyday life and bearing their young, when the flood came and destroyed them all.(Visited 55 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Singapore, Air France-KLM ink codeshare deal

Singapore, Air France-KLM ink codeshare deal

first_imgSingapore Airlines and regional offshoot SilkAir will codeshare with Air France-KLM across a range of destinations from April 27.The move will see the SQ designator added to Air France flights to 10 destinations in continental Europe and the UK while Air France will add its codes to flights operated to Melbourne and Sydney in Australia and SilkAir flights to Kuala Lumpur and Penang in Malaysia and Thailand’s Phuket.The 10 UK and European destinations to see the SQ code are Aberdeen, Bordeaux, Edinburgh, Lisbon, Lyon, Madrid, Marseille, Newcastle, Nice and Toulouse.The airlines said they will look at the expanding the codeshare, which would provide customers more options and better connectivity, at a later date.They will also look at a reciprocal “earn and burn” opportunity for their KrisFlyer and Flying Blue frequent flyer members. Singapore is a member of Star Alliance and Air France-KLM belongs to the SkyTeam group so frequent flyer reciprocity is not automatic.Singapore Airlines vice president marketing and planning Tan Kai Ping said the deal would offer significant benefits to customers through enhanced connections and increased codeshare destinations.“In addition, this new agreement provides a strong foundation for future commercial co-operation opportunities between our two airline groups,’’ Tan said in a statement. “It is also another example of our commitment to the Singapore hub and the European market.”Air France-KLM group senior vice president alliances Patrick Roux said the move would significantly improve connections for Air France customers from Singapore to Australia.“This kind of partnership is part of our aim to expand our market position and increase our range of destinations for our customers all around the world,” he said.Only one European carrier, British Airways, currently flies its own planes to Australia.last_img read more

Health care goes high tech in South Africa

Health care goes high tech in South Africa

first_img21 April 2016The innovative Electronic Bed Management System (eBMS) had reduced patient waiting times for beds by at least two hours at some hospitals in the Steve Biko Academic Cluster in Pretoria, said the Gauteng department of health at the official launch on 19 April.During the pilot phase at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital earlier this year, the system proved successful and it was decided to roll out the eBMS throughout the cluster.On average, 27.7 million patients visit hospitals across South Africa’s Gauteng province annually and there has been a shortage of beds.What is an electronic bed management system?The project is about managing hospital beds in the context of high demand on public health #eBMS— MECHealthGP (@GautengHealth) April 19, 2016See more:Already, staff members have commended the new system.“Hospital personnel are using the information gleaned from eBMS to make both long- and short-term decisions that have led to some hospitals seeing a reduction in patient waiting times and better ward and staff utilisation,” the department said.How it workseBMS allows hospital staff to view bed availability within their hospital on a large display screen. Because of its cloud-based technology, the information can even be accessed via the internet on computers or mobile devices such as phones and tablets.“This system can tell us where we should take casualty patients immediately, this is based on real time information” – MEC Mahlangu #eBMS— MECHealthGP (@GautengHealth) April 19, 2016Better careKalafong Hospital clinical manager Dr Khin Htwe said management was using eBMS to make reallocation decisions about ward beds.“We have split not frequently used wards to move beds to a ward that is always busy,” added Htwe. “Having had the system in place since early January, Kalafong has already seen a two-hour reduction in their casualty waiting times.” It helped to improve patient care because of increased transparency.Gauteng emergency medical services will also use the system when transporting patients to hospitals, which will lead to better co-ordination of it services.MEC for Health Qedani Mahlangu said the introduction of this system was part of initiatives by the department to improve health care provision through the use of technology.She anticipated the system would be fully implemented across the province by the end of 2016.MEC Qedani Mahlangu, addressing the #eBMS launch event. “This technology is crucial for hospitals and @GautengEMS ” pic.twitter.com/6Qe1EBUjOa— MECHealthGP (@GautengHealth) April 19, 2016Source: South Africa.info reporterlast_img read more

Music Video Color Grading Breakdown

Music Video Color Grading Breakdown

first_imgCreate a visually engaging black and white, split channel color grade.  Using a music video as a case study, we’ll show you how to mimic this stylish look in post using Final Cut Pro.My good friend and excellent video editor Neil Edwards recently cut this ‘live’ music video for up and coming London band MoRo’s “Laying Down Your Ghosts”.  Before we jump into the color grading technique see it in action (best viewed full screen and full HD resolution):What I love about what Neil’s done is that he has injected some energy and storytelling polish into the fabric of the film just through the music videos’ color grade. He kindly supplied me with his Final Cut Pro 7 project so I could unpick just how he’s created this great look, which you can see coming through on the song’s very catchy chorus.Step 1 – The GradeHere you can see the original ungraded shot and what Neil has done to correct it and set up the look. It is important to keep these filters stacked in this order in Final Cut Pro 7’s filters tab.  Otherwise you won’t end up with the result you are after.  Click any of the images in this post for a larger view.Step 2 – The SplitIn this next step Neil makes excellent use of the ‘Bad TV’ filter in FCP7 which is most often used just to make footage look like it is on a Bad TV with a fuzzy, wavy, pixellated look.  In this grade Neil has pulled the Color Synch slider all the way to the left (-15) to split out the red and blue channels, which are slightly offset. This gives the footage a lovely edge to it. What also helps to sell the effect is that it is only applied to the chorus when the song really kicks in.  Video editing wisdom: less really is more.Step 3 – The ShakeIn the third and final step the Earthquake filter is added with a few fine adjustments to help add a little bit of shake and rattle to the footage. This really helps to sell in the earlier split effect as if the image is tearing itself apart. It also helps to inject some great energy into what would otherwise be static tripod shots. By using this look sparingly on the choruses and then adding a touch of glow to the final chorus it also helps to structure the visual storytelling of the music video.If you like the song check out MoRo’s website at www.moroband.com.  Want to use this unique split channel color grading look on your own project.  Here are the Final Cut Pro settings Neil has used to create the look (note: no 3rd plugins are necessary):last_img read more

Mark Hunter on How to Target and Win High Profit Prospects – Episode #71

Mark Hunter on How to Target and Win High Profit Prospects – Episode #71

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now Tweets you can use to share this episodeYou wanna get stupid prospects, do stupid stuff. You’re going to wind up with them ~ Mark HunterClick To TweetProspecting is the biggest reason salespeople get out of sales ~ Mark HunterClick To TweetSubscribe toIn the ArenaApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAndroidby EmailRSSOr subscribe with your favorite app by using the address below Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 41:58 — 77.6MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSMark Hunter is one of those guys you never forget once you’ve heard him speak. That’s because he’s got such penetrating insight and such unreserved passion behind his opinions. This episode commemorates the release of Mark’s newest book, “High Ticket Prospecting.” Anthony asks Mark a lot of questions about the content of the book including why he felt the book was needed in the first place. In characteristic style Mark’s going to give it to you straight on this one, so be sure you take the time to listen.If you’re not seen as a leader you won’t be seen as a good salesperson ~ Mark HunterClick To TweetFind your ideal client by starting with the outcomes you can provide. One of the most important things Mark Hunter teaches is that in order to find the ideal prospect you have to first know who your ideal client is. But you won’t be able to identify them unless you start with the outcomes that you uniquely provide. On this episode, Mark Hunter chats with Anthony about how that process works and gives you some steps to follow to build that ideal client profile and get your prospecting in high gear as a result.You’ve got to communicate with people using the method they appreciate most.Prospecting is about communication and Mark Hunter is no stranger to picking up the phone to make that connection. But he’s also aware that not everyone gravitates toward or appreciates the telephone. So as a salesperson you’ve got to pivot in the way you make contact with people, learning how to connect with them using the means they prefer, whether that’s email, phone, or something altogether different.Why should the prospect engage if you’re a babbling idiot on voicemail? ~ Mark HunterClick To TweetWhy have salespeople shifted to email over the telephone?Mark Hunter believes that most sales professionals have shifted to email because it makes the sting of rejection easier to handle. It’s also a way that they are able to show their managers that they are making contacts consistently – but just how effective ARE those contacts anyway? On this episode, Mark chats with Anthony about the right and wrong way to do email prospecting. He even gives you a brief example of what his prospecting emails are like and how he uses them.The greatest lesson Mark Hunter has learned in life is to get back up.The sales arena is not a place for the faint of heart or timid. Rejection is real. Closed doors happen often. Mark Hunter has learned that one of the most important skills for any human being, but especially a sales professional is the ability to get up when they are knocked down. Discouragement cannot be allowed to win. Pessimism must be crushed. On this episode, Mark shares why he’s come to believe that so strongly and how it has served him in life and sales.Get back up. The greatest lesson Mark Hunter has learned in life – on this episodeClick To TweetOutline of this great episode Anthony’s introduction of Mark Hunter. The elephant in the room about Mark’s new book. Why Mark decided he needed to write a second book about prospecting. How Mark plans to target high profit customers. Why have sales people shifted to email? What salespeople have to do to maximize their time for prospecting. The difference between a prospect and a suspect and why it’s important to qualify leads immediately. Why sales managers are responsible for accuracy in the prospecting pipeline. Should salespeople still be using the telephone? What about leaving voicemail? How email can be used effectively to prospect. The person who’s had the biggest influence on Mark’s thinking. The biggest lesson Mark has learned in life. Mark’s new certification from the National Speaker’s Association. How you can get Mark’s new book.Resources & Links mentioned in this episodewww.Preorder.theonlysalesguide.com0814437761 The theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on SoundcloudConnect with AnthonyWebsite: www.TheSalesBlog.comYoutube: www.Youtube.com/IannarinoFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/iannarinoTwitter: https://twitter.com/iannarinoGoogle Plus: https://plus.google.com/+SAnthonyIannarinoLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iannarinolast_img read more

Minister of Home Affairs attends GSMA World Mobile Congress

Minister of Home Affairs attends GSMA World Mobile Congress

first_img ALERT # 2 ON POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE NINE ISSUED BY THE BAHAMAS DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY THURSDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER, 2019 AT 9 PM EDT Related Items:#magneticmedianews The Luxury of Grace Bay in Down Town Provo Recommended for you Electricity Cost of Service Study among the big agenda items at September 11 Cabinet meeting Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, February 28, 2017 – Providenciales -The Hon. Vaden Williams, Minister of Home Affairs, Transportation and Communication left the country on Friday February 24th for Barcelona Spain, to attend the 12th edition of the GSMA World Mobile Congress Ministerial  Programme.The GSMA Ministerial Programme provides a critical forum for convening Governments, International Organizations and Industry leaders to share knowledge and debate the key regulatory and Policy issues that are shaping the future of mobile.The Programme aims to celebrate the positive socio-economic impact mobile has played in both developing and developed countries and identify the policy levers needed to further extend this impact.The Minister is accompanied by Head of Secretariat (acting) Ms. Karen Higgs, Mr. Kenva Williams, Director of Technology and Mr. Russell Gardiner, Engineer from the Telecommunications Commission. They are due to return on Friday, March 3.#MagneticMediaNewslast_img read more

Sea Combat Squadron21 returns home from Okinawa Japan

Sea Combat Squadron21 returns home from Okinawa Japan

first_img April 6, 2018 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsThe Sea Combat Squadron-21 returned home yesterday. 68 sailors and 4 helicopters were met by their families at San Diego’s Naval Air Station North Island today.They were on a 7 month deployment to Okinawa, Japan. KUSI Newsroom, Sea Combat Squadron-21 returns home from Okinawa, Japan KUSI Newsroom Posted: April 6, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Firms with cancelled mines can bid in auction by paying levy

Firms with cancelled mines can bid in auction by paying levy

first_imgThe companies engaged in specified end use plants like steel, cement and power, including ones having a coal linkage, also qualify to participate in the e-auction, said the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) ordinance 2014, which got Presidential nod on Tuesday.‘A prior allottee shall be eligible to participate in the auction process subject to payment of the additional levy within such period as may be prescribed and if the prior allottee has not paid such levy, then, the prior allottee, its promoter or any of its company of such prior allottee shall not be eligible to bid either by itself or by way of a joint venture,’ said the ordinance made public on Wednesday. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashAny prior allottee, convicted for an offence relating to coal block allocation and sentenced with imprisonment for more than three years, would not be eligible to participate in the auction, it said.The apex court had last month quashed the allotment of 214 coal mines to various companies since 1993 on the ground that they were done in an illegal manner by an ‘ad-hoc and casual’ approach ‘without application of mind’.It had determined additional levy of Rs 295 per metric tonne of coal extracted. The ordinance was brought to allocate coal mines and ‘vesting of the right, title and interest in and over the land and mine infrastructure together with mining leases to successful bidders and allottees with a view to ensuring continuity in coal mining operations and production of coal, and for promoting optimum utilisation of coal resources consistent with the requirement of the country’. Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian touristsThe Centre will appoint an officer not below the rank of Joint Secretary as the ‘nominated authority’ for the ordinance, who may engage any expert to make recommendations for conducting auction and execution of the vesting order for transfer and vesting of coal mines. The authority will collect proceeds of the auction which will go to the kitty of states where the mines are located. ‘The nominated authority shall, in consultation with the Central Government, determine the floor price or reserve price … The successful bidder shall, prior to the issuance and execution of a vesting order, furnish a performance bank guarantee,’ the ordinance said.last_img read more