Updates in Science!

This year has produced two interesting scientific discoveries! The first being that earth technically has a second moon for a little while and second being a new prehistoric creature has been discovered!

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Let’s start with the first discovery on this post. So recently, NASA has discovered an asteroid orbiting safely around the Earth and it’s been named 2016 H03. Scientists first discovered the asteroid on April 27, 2016. The asteroid is gravitationally affected more by the sun than the Earth and yet still orbits Earth around the sun. This asteroid is still under debate with estimates ranging from 120 feet to 300 feet. Scientists have called HO3 a “quasi-satellite” since it’s not a true companion but close enough to be considered a stable one. Scientists also believe that this asteroid has been orbiting Earth for over a century and will continue to for a few more centuries. To read more on HO3, click this url http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6537.

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Now let’s move on to the second piece of news! Two mammal-like reptiles, also known as therapsids, were discovered on October 5, 2016. These new creatures belong to the family of Cynodonts. The creatures were dated by scientists to about 235 million years ago, which is the Triassic period from the scientists point of view. One of the specimens has been sitting in the collection department of the Museum of Earth Sciences in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil since 1964. The newfound creature’s anatomy closely resembles those of an extinct family of cynodonts known as Probainognathidae. The new cynodont is most likely related to Probainognathus jenseni a species dated back to the Triassic period as well. Even with the similarities, researchers say that the new cynodont is different enough to be classified as its own species which is named Bonacynodon schultzi. The second cynodont was discovered in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. It was identified by a jaw with teeth. Scientists called it Santacruzgnathus abdalai. S. abdali was 6 inches long which is half the size of B. schultzi. To learn more, visit http://www.livescience.com/56389-mammal-ancestor-fossils-found.html

-Alessandro Franchini

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