Microscope

Gigantic dinosaurs frolicked and splashed some 170 million years ago in the lagoons of what is now Scotland. That's what a team of paleontologists has concluded after discover-ing dozens of jumbo-sized footprints belonging to long-necked sauropods on the Isle of Skye. 

By NYTNS
  • Published 30.04.18
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Dinosaur playground

• Gigantic dinosaurs frolicked and splashed some 170 million years ago in the lagoons of what is now Scotland. That's what a team of paleontologists has concluded after discover-ing dozens of jumbo-sized footprints belonging to long-necked sauropods on the Isle of Skye. Mixed with the herbivores' tracks were a few clawed impressions left behind by two-legged meat-eaters, theropods. "We're seeing these dino-saurs interacting with each other and their environ-ment," said Stephen Brus-atte, a paleontologist and an author of the new study.

Crystal clear

• Vikings most likely used crystals as navigation tools during their voyages. A study published recently in Royal Society Open Science advances this idea. When polarised light passes through calcite - a mineral form of calcium carbonate - it splits into two beams. By rotating a calcite crystal against the sky and noting changes in the brightness between these beams, one can find the atmosphere's polarisation rings and figure out where the sun is.

Knuckle noise

• Where exactly the sound of cracking knuckles is coming from is a subject of scientific research. Lately an older theory, that the sound arises from the popping of a bubble in the joint, has been challenged. But recently two researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique in France revealed a mathematical model of a cracking knuckle. It suggests the old theory could accurately explain the sound. The study appeared in Scientific Reports.

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