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How many T. rexes were there? Billions

With fossils few and far between, paleontologists have shied away from estimating the size of extinct populations. But scientists decided to try, focusing on the North American predator T. rex. Using data from the latest fossil analyses, they concluded that some 20,000 adults likely roamed the continent at any one time, from Mexico to Canada. The species survived for perhaps 2.5 million years, which means that about 2.5 billion lived...

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How fast is the universe expanding? Galaxies provide one answer

Among the methods astronomers have found to measure the expansion rate of the local universe, the Hubble constant, surface brightness fluctuations is potentially one of the most precise. Scientists have now published the first good SBF estimate of the Hubble constant, pegging it at 73.3 km/s/Mpc: in the ballpark of other measurements of the local expansion, including the gold standard using Type Ia supernovae. The new estimate...

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Comet makes a pit stop near Jupiter's asteroids

After traveling several billion miles toward the Sun, a wayward young comet-like object orbiting among the giant planets has found a temporary parking place along the way. The object has settled near a family of captured ancient asteroids, called Trojans, that are orbiting the Sun alongside Jupiter. This is the first time a comet-like object has been spotted near the Trojan population.

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New study suggests supermassive black holes could form from dark matter

A new theoretical study has proposed a novel mechanism for the creation of supermassive black holes from dark matter. The international team find that rather than the conventional formation scenarios involving 'normal' matter, supermassive black holes could instead form directly from dark matter in high density regions in the centres of galaxies. The result has key implications for cosmology in the early Universe.

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How did dogs get to the Americas? An ancient bone fragment holds clues

Researchers analyzed the dog's mitochondrial genome, and concluded that the animal belonged to a lineage of dogs whose evolutionary history diverged from that of Siberian dogs as early as 16,700 years ago. The timing of that split coincides with a period when humans may have been migrating into North America along a coastal route that included Southeast Alaska.