No animal alive today looks quite like a duck-billed platypus, a semi-aquatic, egg-laying mammal hailing from eastern Australia. But about 250 million years ago, something very similar swam the shallow seas in what is now China, finding prey by touch with a cartilaginous bill. The newly discovered marine reptile Eretmorhipis carrolldongi from the lower Triassic period is described in the journal Scientific Reports Jan. 24.
Jellyfish undergo an amazing metamorphosis, from tiny polyps growing on the seafloor to swimming medusae with stinging tentacles. The first in-depth look at the genome of a jellyfish — the moon jelly Aurelia aurita — reveals the origins of this successful survival strategy.
The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science, is receiving a $1 million award from the National Science Foundation to target scholarships for students eligible for federal financial aid and enable field experiences for majors in either geology, or coastal and marine sciences.
UC Davis scientists are taking part in a project to build the new “Frontera” supercomputer at the University of Texas at Austin. Frontera will be the fastest computer at any U.S. university and among the most powerful in the world.
Deep inside the Earth are two huge blobs of dense rock splayed across the core-mantle boundary. A computer model from UC Davis project scientists Juliane Dannberg and Rene Gassmoeller, members of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in the College of Letters and Science, offers new insights into the relationship between the mantle blobs and the lava erupted at some Pacific islands.
The magnitude 6 earthquake that shook the Napa Valley in August was the strongest the region had felt in more than 20 years. But the next earthquake in the area could be much stronger, according to preliminary research from the University of California, Davis, presented at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco.