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A fossil called Burke curator tells a story about evolution – GeekWire

Carlos Mauricio Peredo
Carlos Mauricio Peredo, a researcher at the National Museum of Natural History, shows that a 33 million-year-old fossil, newly appointed Mayabalaena nesbittae is set. (Smithsonian Photo)

In the meantime, 33 million years ago, Oregon was part of the ocean floor named after a curator at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle.

And Elizabeth Nesbitt's will is not your typical cetacean: An analysis of 'fossil' published in # 39; e Nov. 29 out of current biology, let decide that Maiabalaena nesbittae a hole between the types of whales was the thoughts and types that have a different mouth, feeding mechanism known as baleen.

"For the first time we can now take the origin of filtering, which is one of the most important innovations in walhistorical history," co-author Nikolai Pyenson, the National Museum of Natural History of fossil navy mammals and an affiliate curator at the Burke Museum, said in a news lecture.

The fossil M. nesbittae was discovered in 70's and was studied south. But the rock matrix and the material around the fossil convert many of their features, frustrated formal classification. Then, Carlos Mauricio Peredo, a researcher at the National Museum of Natural History, fossilized a major purification and studied state-of-the-art X-ray scanning technology.

Close to the shots showed that the knees of M. nesbittae found the teeth. That in itself is not astonishing: The whale, which was probably lived in life for 15 meters, lived in an era when some types of species ever made an evolutionary transition from the tooth for the use of bales in place.

Bales are sequences of flexible, hardened plates that will use types such as bushes and blue walls to filter smaller giants of ocean giants. The feeding technology makes it possible for bullet whales to eat every day tons of food without eating or eating.

What makes M. nesbittae special is that her top was thin and narrow, which does not seem to be unusable to support the balneen structure.

"A live baalwale has a large, wide roof in the mouth, and it is also to make attachments for the ball," Peredo said, the # 39 most important author of # is the current biological study. "Maiabalaena does not, we can trustfully say that this fossil species has no tooth, and it is more than likely or not that it has not stayed."

That would support the hypothesis that some toxic whalers have evolved to benefit from a feeding strategy that does not require dryness or bale.

Peredo and his colleagues say muscle attachments about the bones of M. nesbittae suggest that it had a strong cheek and a thoughtful story. They make sure that the whale sows a lot of boiling water into the mouth, feed small fish and squid in the process … without dryness. (The current nave, which has only two vestigial teeth, uses a similar strategy.)

In this scenario, the loss of branches put the stage for the performance of filtering of ballroom structures in millions of years later. The most important factor in divergence in food strategies was probably a dramatic cooling of ocean waters in & nbsp; the transition from Eocene to the Oligocene epoch, or 34 million years ago.

M. seembittae's most severe status or transnational type is reflected in the genus name Peredo and his college for their formal description of & # 39; a fossil.

"The name is Maiabalaena, which combines 'Maia', meaning mother, and 'balaena,' means 'Peredo.'" It is named after her position near the basis of the family of Baleenwale. "

Peredo says the name, nesbittae, honors Nesbitt "for her life of a contribution to the paleontology of Pacific Northwest and her mentoring and collegiality in the Burke Museum."

Elizabeth Nesbitt
Elizabeth Nesbitt is a curator of invertebrate paleontology and micropaleontology at the Burke Museum. (University of Washington Photo)

Nesbitt studies fossils in Western United States, with a special emphasis on naval fossils. Her research also focuses on microbiota of today's Puget Sound, as well as small creatures known as foraminifera as important indicators of & # 39; the health of Puget Sound. (Spoiler alert: The Indikatoren are not good to see.)

Besides her research, Nesbitt plays a civic role as a role of 'Burke Museum of # 39; the invertebrate paleontology and micropaleontology. The museum says they put exhibitions on subjects, the seismic history of # 39; The Pacific Northwest to imaginative representations of ancient fossils when they see in life.

Peredo is known for the work of Nesbitt in part because his own research uses a lot of fossils from Washington State and Oregon – including the natural fossil that has its name now.

Besides Peredo and Pyenson, the authors of the current biological paper, titled "Tooth Loss Precedes the Origin of Baleen in Whale," including Christopher Marshall and Mark Uhen.

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