Structure of T-Rex’s Teeth Helped Make Them Terrifying Predators

Researchers from the University of Toronto Mississauga have found evidence that one of the reasons carnivorous theropod dinosaurs, like Tyrannosaurus rex, were such successful predators was due to the unique structure of their teeth.

The Canadian researchers found that T-Rex and related dinosaurs’ teeth were deeply serrated or saw-like in structure, giving them the ability to effortlessly chomp on the bones and rip the flesh of larger animals and reptiles.

Their uniquely structured teeth helped the theropods to become the terrifying predators that ruled the prehistoric world for about 165 million years.

Lithium Found in Material Ejected by Exploding Star

A team of astronomers studying an exploding star have discovered the chemical element lithium for the first time within material ejected by a bright nova located in the constellation Centaurus.

The team made their discovery through observations of Nova Centauri 2013 made with telescopes at the European Southern Observatory’s La Silla Observatory, near Santiago in Chile.

According to the researchers, this discovery may help explain why so many young stars have more of this element than is expected.

The discovery is thought to provide clues to astronomers who are trying to get an understanding of the chemical elements that make up the stars in our Milky Way galaxy.

Scientists say lithium happens to be one of the few chemical elements that were created by the Big Bang some 13.8 billion years ago.

Scientists Say Washington, DC is Sinking

Researchers from the University of Vermont have verified that land located beneath the Chesapeake Bay is rapidly sinking, leading them to predict that Washington, D.C., could drop 15 centimeters or more within the next century.

It’s thought that dropping land beneath the U.S. capital city could add to problems related to a forecasted rise in sea-level due to melting ice sheets and climate change.

Geologists have thought for decades that the land surrounding the Chesapeake Bay once pushed upward by the mass of a pre-historic ice sheet is now settling back down since the ice has long since melted.

The University of Vermont team pointed out that their data indicates that the land sinking around the Washington area is not primarily due to human-related activities such as the removal of groundwater. Instead, they find that it is due to a long and drawn out geological process that will relentlessly continue for tens of thousands of years, regardless of human land use or climate change.

Stressed Plants Send Out Animal-Like Signals

New research from Australia’s University of Adelaide has provided evidence that plants, which don’t have a nervous system like animals, send out animal-like signals when they’re under some kind of stress.

The findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, shows that plants respond to stress in their environment with a similar combination of chemical and electrical signals emitted by animals under stress, by using mechanisms that are specific to plants.

“We’ve known for a long-time that the animal neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is produced by plants under stress, for example when they encounter drought, salinity, viruses, acidic soils or extreme temperatures,” said senior author Associate Professor Matthew Gilliham, of  the University’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine.

Gilliham said that he and his team found that plants bind the GABA to receptors in a similar way as animals which produces electrical signals that wind up regulating plant growth whenever it is exposed to a stressful environment.