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The medieval Catholic Church owned about a quarter of Europe’s land and constantly vied for power with secular rulers. The Church became infamously corrupt, called for that helped thin out the ranks of its ecstatic members, and even when they strayed from the flock. In the 1200s, among others, attempted to reconcile Church dogma with rediscovered Greek teachings. High Middle Ages Europe also saw the phenomenon, with its themes of chivalry and courtly love.

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Early Ediacaran fossil finds were often dismissed as because they did not fit the prevailing idea of an animal or plant, and left the most famous Ediacaran fossils. Today, the most likely interpretation seems to be that Dickensonias . When one finished eating a mat, it flopped its way to another. It was a bilateral-like creature and is today classified into an with other Ediacaran fauna. It has reasonably been speculated that Dickinsonia got its oxygen through diffusion across its surface, and that oxygen levels had to be at least 10% of today's to achieve that. looked like a plant but almost certainly was not, and is classified into another extinct phylum. , and Ediacaran fauna are indeed strange looking. There is debate whether the Ediacaran fauna were plants, animals, or neither, and that debate will not end soon. resembled a and may have been its ancestor. Paths in the sediments, called feeding traces, have been found, but there was no deep burrowing in the Ediacaran Period. In the last few million years of the Ediacaran, the first skeletons appeared, particularly of . That characteristic Ediacaran fauna suddenly appeared in the fossil record about 575 mya and abruptly disappeared about 542 mya. Below are images of those Ediacaran forms, which can appear so bizarre to people today. (Source for all images: Wikimedia Commons)

 

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Such conferences are , including the CIA and other intelligence organizations; and local, state, and federal law enforcement act on behalf of various interests, including the GCs, and none of whom are allies and all are usually intent on destroying the effort;

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, a great clade of herbivorous dinosaurs, appeared , but were initially marginal dinosaurs and did not begin becoming abundant until the late Jurassic. If dinosaurs all have the same common ancestor, ornithischian dinosaurs quickly diverged, with their different hips, and so far, there is no good evidence that ornithischians breathed with the air sac system, and they became the dominant herbivores in the relatively high-oxygen Cretaceous. The ornithischian advantage was a superior eating system. Ornithischians were the only dinosaurs that chewed their food. Chewing squeezes more calories from plant matter and may be why ornithischians surpassed sauropods in the Cretaceous. Sauropods did not chew their food but had rock-filled , as birds and reptiles do today. in the late Triassic. Only rare ornithischians had gizzards. Sauropods also had the smallest proportional brains of any dinosaur. The most encephalized dinosaurs were , some of which were featured as clever killers in . Theropods were the most encephalized dinosaurs, which is an early example of predators having larger brains in order to outsmart their prey. were in second place only to theropods in encephalization and were among the most successful Cretaceous herbivores. A fascinating aspect of some ornithopods was their seeming ability to communicate by bugling with a . This kind of evidence strongly supports the idea of herd behavior in herbivorous dinosaurs. There is also evidence of a , which has been keenly contested (, ) in recent years.


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The issue of avian and dinosaurian air sacs and when they evolved has been the focus of a rancorous dispute that was only recently resolved and hinged on the hollow parts of bones, which is a phenomenon called . The controversy involved dinosaur bone pneumaticity and how it may have been related to birds. In a , it was shown that birds have their most important air sacs where nobody thought they were, near a bird’s tail, not its head. Not only that, pneumatic bones are all related to the air sac system, and birds have the same pneumatic bones as saurischian dinosaurs did. The obvious implication is that the air sac system evolved in theropods and sauropods, when dinosaurs first appeared. If the air sac system appeared with the first dinosaurs, it is one more big reason why dinosaurs prevailed over the less respiratorily gifted therapsids. Such a highly effective respiration system evolving in a low-oxygen environment is a tantalizing hypothesis.

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Long before birds learned to fly, non-dinosaurian reptiles did, and the first . They . Although they obviously flew, has been controversial. They were probably warm-blooded, and by the late Cretaceous, pterosaurs became Earth’s , with ten-meter wingspans. Pterosaurs may have been the dinosaurs’ closest relatives.

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The coincided with a and the in what became Central Asia. Ammonoids, bivalves, and other marine denizens were hit hard, and on land it was nearly the final exit for therapsids ( and ), and what would have been the chief diapsid competitor to early sauropods, , suddenly went extinct, possibly by losing their . Extinction specialist Michael Benton has argued that the mass extinction at 230 mya was greater in ways than the extinction, which is considered one of the . The rise of dinosaurs to dominance coincided with the mid-Triassic mass extinction, and mammals first appeared a few million years later. Although the “slate's being cleared” by a mass extinction may well have given dinosaurs their opportunity, they also left many contemporaries far behind. Mammals would be rat-like, largely nocturnal fringe dwellers for 160 million years after they first appeared, while dinosaurs ruled Earth. Stony corals also first appeared after the mid-Triassic extinction, and about 220 mya.