Plants & Animals

Jurassic climate of large swath of western U.S. was more complex than previously known

Climate over a large swath of the western U.S. was more complex during the Jurassic than previously known, according to new research from SMU.

Instead of a gradual transition from dry to wetter, chemical analysis of ancient soils reveals there was an unexpected abrupt change. Samples came from the Morrison Formation, which sprawls 13 states and Canada and which has produced dinosaur discoveries for over 100 years.
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International Business Times: Angola — Ancient Mystery Mammal Tracks Found in Angolan Diamond Mine

Angola, dinosaur, mystery, tracksThe research of an international team co-led by SMU paleontologist Louis L. Jacobs is receiving worldwide coverage for discovery of the first dinosaur tracks discovered in Angola, including those of a mysterious mammal from 118 million years ago.

The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology announced the discovery in a press release Nov. 5, “African diamond mine reveals dinosaur and large mammal tracks.” Continue reading

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ESPN: SMU Locomotor Performance Lab spotlighted during SMU-Texas A&M football game

ESPN, Gil Roberts, SMU, Peter Weyand, elite sprinters, human speed, biomechanics, runningThe SMU Locomotor Performance Laboratory saw a few minutes of play during the SMU-Texas A&M football game Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014.

ESPN’s broadcast team stopped by to see the reigning U.S. National 400-meter champion Gil Roberts on the lab’s high-tech treadmill.
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Shape: How to Run Like an Elite Sprinter

elite sprinters, Shape, SMU, Weyand, ClarkShape magazine reporter Amanda MacMillan has covered the research of SMU researcher Ken Clark, a doctoral student and researcher in the SMU Locomotor Performance Laboratory. The lab and research are under the direction of SMU biomechanics expert Peter Weyand, associate professor of applied physiology and biomechanics.

Clark’s and Weyand’s latest research found that the world’s fastest sprinters have unique gait features that account for their ability to achieve fast speeds. Continue reading

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Key to speed? Elite sprinters are unlike other athletes — deliver forceful punch to ground

Usain Bolt, elite sprinters, Weyand, punch, SMUThe world’s fastest sprinters have unique gait features that account for their ability to achieve fast speeds, according to two new studies from Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

The new findings indicate that the secret to elite sprinting speeds lies in the distinct limb dynamics sprinters use to elevate ground forces upon foot-ground impact. Continue reading

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Daily Mail: Now that’s a Jurassic Park! ‘World class’ treasure trove of dinosaur footprints discovered in national park

Anthony Fiorillo, SMU, Perot Museum, Alaska, hadrosaurOne of the U.K.’s widely circulated newspapers, the Daily Mail, has covered the research of paleontologist Anthony Fiorillo, an adjunct associate professor in SMU’s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences. Continue reading

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LiveScience: Huge Trove of Dinosaur Footprints Discovered in Alaska

Anthony Fiorillo, SMU, Perot Museum, Alaska, hadrosaurLiveScience has covered the research of paleontologist Anthony Fiorillo, an adjunct associate professor in SMU’s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences.

Fiorillo is curator of earth sciences at the Perot Museum of science and natural history. He has collected fossils throughout North America and parts of Asia, but has primarily worked in western Texas and Alaska. Continue reading

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Dallas Observer: SMU’s Bonnie Jacobs Is Searching for History Beyond Ancient in the Trinity River Bottoms

Bonnie Jacobs, Trinity Forest, Dallas ObserverThe Dallas Observer has covered the research of SMU paleobotanist Bonnie Jacobs, a professor in SMU’s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences. Jacobs is working with a team of SMU students and faculty who are collaborating with others in Dallas to understand the history of the area’s Trinity River. The Observer article published June 26 as part of the Observer’s profile of 20 of the metro area’s most interesting characters in its Dallas Observer People Issue. Continue reading

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Business Insider: Your Smartphone Is Destroying Your Sleep

insomnia 220x170Business Insider Science Editor Jennifer Walsh tapped the sleep expertise of SMU Assistant Professor of Chemistry Brian D. Zoltowski to explain how artificial light from our smartphones and other digital devices causes sleep deprivation. Her article, “Your Smartphone Is Destroying Your Sleep,” published May 19.

Zoltowski’s lab at SMU studies one of the many proteins involved in an organism’s circadian clocks. Called a photoreceptor, the protein responds to light to predict time of day and season by measuring day length. Continue reading

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