Plants & Animals

Textbook theory of how humans populated America is “biologically unviable,” study finds

The established theory of how Ice Age peoples first reached the present-day United States is now challenged by an unprecedented study that concludes that entry route was “biologically unviable.”

The North American ice-free corridor, thought to have been used by the first colonizers, only became biologically viable 12,600 years ago — after they would have arrived. Researchers suggest a Pacific coast was the entry route.
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Scientific American: The Secret to Human Speed — “To sprint like a pro, think like a piston.”

Peter Weyand, human speed, Scientific American, SMU, elite sprinters, speed, biomechanicsThe work of SMU biomechanics researcher Peter G. Weyand is featured in the August 2016 issue of the science news magazine Scientific American.

Science writer and associate editor Dina Fine Maron reports on Weyand’s leading-edge research about the key to human speed for sprinters in the article “The Secret to Human Speed” and the video report “How Elite Sprinters Run So Fast.” Continue reading

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KERA: Thanks To CT Scans, Scientists Know A Lot About Texas’ Pawpawsaurus Dinosaur

Pawpaw skull, Jacobs, SMU, Ankylasaurus, hearing, smellKERA public radio journalist Justin Martin covered the research of SMU Earth Sciences Professor Louis L. Jacobs in a KERA interview “Thanks To CT Scans, Scientists Know A Lot About Texas’ Pawpawsaurus Dinosaur.”

A professor in Dedman College‘s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Jacobs is co-author of a new analysis of the Cretaceous Period dinosaur Pawpawsaurus based on the first CT scans ever taken of the dinosaur’s skull. Continue reading

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Wildfire on warming planet requires adaptive capacity at local, national, int’l scales

Industrialized nations that view wildfire as the enemy have much to learn from people in some parts of the world who have learned to live compatibly with wildfire, says a team of fire research scientists.

The interdisciplinary team say there is much to be learned from these “fire-adaptive communities” and they are calling on policy makers to tap that knowledge, particularly in the wake of global warming. Continue reading

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Dallas Morning News: North Texas dino had tough armor, keen sense of smell

Pawpaw skull, Jacobs, SMU, Ankylasaurus, hearing, smellDallas Morning News journalist Charles Scudder covered the research of SMU Earth Sciences Professor Louis L. Jacobs in a Guide Live article “North Texas dino had tough armor, keen sense of smell.”

A professor in Dedman College‘s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Jacobs is co-author of a new analysis of the Cretaceous Period dinosaur Pawpawsaurus based on the first CT scans ever taken of the dinosaur’s skull.
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Live Science: Dino Senses: Ankylosaurus Cousin Had a Super Sniffer

Pawpaw skull, Jacobs, SMU, Ankylasaurus, hearing, smellScience journalist Laura Geggel covered the research of SMU Earth Sciences Professor Louis L. Jacobs in her article “Dino Senses: Ankylosaurus Cousin Had a Super Sniffer.”

A professor in Dedman College‘s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Jacobs is co-author of a new analysis of the Cretaceous Period dinosaur Pawpawsaurus based on the first CT scans ever taken of the dinosaur’s skull.
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Live Science: Fearsome Dinosaur-Age ‘Hammerhead’ Reptile Ate … Plants?

Hammerhead reptile, vegetarian, Jacobs, SMU

Science journalist Laura Geggel tapped the expertise of SMU Earth Sciences Professor Louis L. Jacobs for a recent article about a prehistoric plant-eating reptile.

A professor in Dedman College‘s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Jacobs is a world-renowned vertebrate paleontologist.

He joined SMU’s faculty in 1983 and in 2012 was honored by the 7,200-member Science Teachers Association of Texas with their prestigious Skoog Cup for his significant contributions to advance quality science education. Continue reading

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Good news! You’re likely burning more calories than you thought

Counting calories burned is popular, but leading standardized equations used to predict or estimate calories burned while walking assume that one size fits all. They’ve been in place for close to half a century and were based on data from a limited number of people.

A new SMU study found that under firm, level ground conditions, the leading standards are relatively inaccurate and have significant bias — predicting too few calories burned in 97 percent of cases researchers examined.
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SMU Research Day 2016: Students present their research to the SMU and Dallas community

SMU graduate and undergraduate students presented their research to the SMU community at the University’s Research Day 2016 on Feb. 10.

Sponsored by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, the research spanned more than 20 different fields from schools across campus. Continue reading

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