Silk’s superpowers
Keeping Bugs Away from Food
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Poison Dart Frogs
Polly Shouldn't Get a Cracker
Killer Flatworms Hunt with Poison
A Microbe Nanny for Young Wasps
Island of Hope
Pain Expectations
Diving, Rolling, and Floating, Alligator Style
Chemistry and Materials
Heaviest named element is official
Fog Buster
Picture the Smell
Music of the Future
The Book of Life
Middle school science adventures
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Winged Insects May Go Way Back
Mini T. rex
A Dino King's Ancestor
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Life under Ice
Drilling Deep for Fuel
Getting the dirt on carbon
Bald Eagles Forever
Nanosponges Soak Up Pollutants
Food Web Woes
Finding the Past
Words of the Distant Past
Chicken of the Sea
Stonehenge Settlement
Bull Sharks
Freshwater Fish
Food and Nutrition
Chew for Health
Chocolate Rules
The Essence of Celery
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. That vs. Which
Who vs. Whom
Order of Adjectives
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Mastering The GSAT Exam
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Exam Preparation
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Mathematics
Math is a real brain bender
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Losing with Heads or Tails
Human Body
Disease Detectives
A Fix for Injured Knees
Spitting Up Blobs to Get Around
St. Bernards
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
How children learn
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Einstein's Skateboard
Thinner Air, Less Splatter
Dreams of Floating in Space
Making the most of a meal
Fungus Hunt
Flower family knows its roots
Space and Astronomy
Planning for Mars
Solving a Sedna Mystery
Gravity Tractor as Asteroid Mover
Technology and Engineering
Reach for the Sky
A Satellite of Your Own
Machine Copy
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
Problems with Prepositions
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Revving Up Green Machines
A Dire Shortage of Water
A Change in Climate
Earth's Poles in Peril
Add your Article

Ancient Critter Caught Shedding Its Skin

Few people would want to ditch their skin, but some creatures have been doing it for hundreds of millions of years. An ancient fossil supplies the evidence for such skin shedding. Skin shedding, or molting, is common throughout a class of hard-skinned animals called arthropods. Three-fourths of all living and extinct species belong to the group, which includes crabs, insects, and scorpions. Arthropods get rid of their hard, outer skins in order to grow. You may have found empty insect shells lying around. Arthropod fossils date back many millions of years. Previously, scientists suspected that the creatures molted, because they had found arthropod fossils near fossils of empty skins. Now, finally, there's proof. For the first time, researchers from the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto have found a fossil of a creature caught in the act of molting. The specimen is a type of animal called Marrella splendens, which is related to another type of ancient creature called a trilobite. It's 505 million years old. The researchers found the specimen among 25,000 other examples of this species collected from western Canada. Molting fossils are rare for a couple of reasons. For one thing, a newly molted creature has soft skin, making preservation difficult. On top of that, animals spend such a short time molting that the odds are against them being fossilized during the process. The new discovery, therefore, is a huge stroke of luck.—E. Sohn

Ancient Critter Caught Shedding Its Skin
Ancient Critter Caught Shedding Its Skin

Designed and Powered by™