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Heavy lifting in N.J.: A 65 million-year-old sea turtle
Paul Ullmann, a Drexel Ph.D. candidate, said several features led him to think the turtle was a Taphrosphys, including the ridged, pebbly texture of its shell surface.
That's a reasonable conclusion, said Tyler Lyson, a Yale University paleontologist who specializes in ancient turtles but was not involved with the New Jersey dig. After looking at an e-mailed photo of the fossil, Lyson said there was little else the creature could be, unless by some chance it turns out to be a new species.
Bothremydidae is an extinct family of side-necked turtle. They belong to sub-order Pleurodira and order Testudines. Bothremydidae lived in fresh water and were amphibious. They were actively mobile omnivores.
Swedesboro and Bridgeport, were the among the earliest European settlements in New Jersey as a part of the 17th century New Sweden colony. Gloucester dates back to May 26, 1686, when courts were established separate from those of Burlington. It was officially formed and its boundaries defined as part of West Jersey on May 17, 1694. Portions of Gloucester County were set off on February 7, 1837 to create Atlantic County, and on March 13, 1844 to create Camden County. The county was either named for the English city of Gloucester or for Henry, Duke of Gloucester, brother of Charles II of England
Woodbury, founded in 1683 by Henry Wood, is the oldest town in the county. National Park, another town in the county, was the site of the Revolutionary War Battle of Red Bank (now included in a county park) where Fort Mercer once stood. Here can be seen the remains of the British ship Augusta (it is stored in a shed with windows for visitors to the park to look through to see the ship's pieces), which sank during the battle. During the colonial era, Gloucester County's main economic activity was agriculture. In Woodbury (even then the main town) was located the county courthouse, the county jail, a Quaker meeting house (still in existence), and an inn (on the current location of Woodbury Crossings). Because of the county's many creeks leading to the Delaware River and the Atlantic Ocean, smuggling was very common. Today, Gloucester County has a large and diverse population.
Leidy named the holotype specimen of Hadrosaurus foulkii, which was recovered from the marl pits of Haddonfield, New Jersey. It was notable for being the first nearly-complete fossilized skeleton of a dinosaur ever recovered. The specimen was originally discovered by William Parker Foulke. Leidy concluded, contrary to the view prevailing at the time, that this dinosaur could adopt a bipedal posture. He also described the holotype specimens of Arctodus (A. simus), the dire wolf (Canis dirus), and the American lion (Panthera leo atrox), among many others.
The noted American fossil collector and paleontologist E. D. Cope was a student of Leidy's, but the enmity and ruthless competition that developed between him and rival paleontologist O. C. Marsh eventually drove Leidy out of western American vertebrate paleontology, a field that Leidy had helped to found. Leidy inadvertently contributed to the falling out of the two by showing Cope in the presence of Marsh that Cope had mistakenly placed the head of a fossil Elasmosaurus on the tail, rather than on the neck, and then publishing a correction.
Leidy was an early American supporter of Darwin's theory of evolution, and lobbied successfully for Darwin's election to membership in the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.
In 1846, Leidy became the first person ever to use a microscope to solve a murder mystery. A man accused of killing a Philadelphia farmer had blood on his clothes and hatchet. The suspect claimed the blood was from chickens he had been slaughtering. Using his microscope, Leidy found no nuclei in these erythrocytes (human erythrocytes are anucleate). Moreover, he found that if he let chick erythrocytes remain outside the body for hours, they did not lose their nuclei. Thus, he concluded that the blood stains could not have been chicken blood. The suspect subsequently confessed.
The Loch Ness Monster (Scottish Gaelic Niseag) is a cryptid that is reputed to inhabit Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. The most frequent speculation is that the creature represents a line of long-surviving plesiosaurs. It is similar to other supposed lake monsters in Scotland and elsewhere, though its description varies from one account to the next.
Popular interest and belief in the animal has varied since it was brought to the world's attention in 1933. Evidence of its existence is anecdotal, with minimal and much-disputed photographic material and sonar readings. The scientific community regards the Loch Ness Monster as a modern-day myth, and explains sightings as a mix of hoaxes and wishful thinking. Despite this, it remains one of the most famous examples of cryptozoology. The legendary monster has been affectionately referred to by the nickname Nessie (Scottish Gaelic: Niseag) since the 1950s.