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FOSSIL SHOWS PARROTS VENTURED INTO SIBERIA 28.11.2016

FOSSIL SHOWS PARROTS VENTURED INTO SIBERIA To borrow a phrase from Monty Python, this bird has ceased to be and gone to meet its maker. But the dead parrot in question surprised scientists by shuffling off its mortal coil in Siberia more than 16 million years ago. It is the first time a parrot fossil has been found in this region and suggests that the tropical birds were once widespread in Eurasia. The single leg bone recovered from an island on Baikal Lake belonged to a small bird from the late Early Miocene epoch between 16 and 18 million years ago. No other parrot fossil has been discovered so far north. The find supports the theory that ancestors of modern parrots migrated from Asia to North America via the Berengia land bridge which once...

The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 14.10.2016

"The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. It was 25 million years old."   That startling first sentence leads a must-read obituary by Rowan Jacobsen for Outside Magazine online.  "For most of its life, the reef was the world’s largest living structure, and the only one visible from space. It was 1,400 miles long, with 2,900 individual reefs and 1,050 islands. In total area, it was larger than the United Kingdom, and it contained more biodiversity than all of Europe combined. It harbored 1,625 species of fish, 3,000 species of mollusk, 450 species of coral, 220 species of birds, and 30 species of whales and dolphins. Among its many other achievements, the reef was home to one of the world’s...

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