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SCIENCE IN THE NEWS WEEKLY

New Fossil Finds in Texas, Denmark, Yemen

A fossil rediscovered in the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., could provide new insights into the origins of modern amphibians. Experts say the 290-million-year-old fossil, found in Texas in the 1990s, suggests the creature had features of both frogs and salamanders.

Elsewhere, Danish scientists reported the oldest and most northerly fossil of a parrot ever discovered. Found on Denmark's Isle of Mors, the fossil is estimated to be 54 million years old.

And dinosaur footprints have been found for the first time on the Arabian Peninsula. The 150-million-year-old tracks—more than 100 in all—were made by plant-eating ornithopods and sauropods. The footprints are said to suggest herding behavior along a coastal mudflat in the late Jurassic period.


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VIDEO: The Promise and Peril of Drones

CummingsDrones

The automation of tasks at work and at home is just around the corner, including driving cars, piloting planes, delivering packages, and transporting weapons. Unmanned aerial vehicles are rapidly evolving to meet both society’s and the military’s needs in automation and better efficiency.
During her time as one of the first female fighter pilots in the US Navy, Dr. Missy Cummings observed that computers could take off and land a plane more precisely than humans. Because of this breakthrough and her fascination with this growing technology, she began human–drone interaction research.

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