Everything you wanted to know about transgender people but were afraid to ask.
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you know what’s cute
a baby fucking ocelot
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Before the first birds could take flight, they needed a lift from an unexpected source: colourful feathers. As well as giving birds the most colourful plumage on earth, it seems pigment factories in their feathers primed their feathery dinosaur ancestors for flight by creating feathers of many different shapes. The same pigment factories may also have turbocharged the proto-birds’ metabolism, helping them into the air.
This insight comes from a study of cellular pigment factories called melanosomes from the feathers, hairs and skin of 181 living birds, mammals and reptiles, plus 13 fossils of ancient lizards, turtles, dinosaurs and pterosaurs.
Julia Clarke of the University of Texas at Austin and her colleagues found that melanosomes suddenly became much more diverse in the lineage leading to birds. This happened at the same time that feather-like appendages appeared in maniraptoran dinosaurs, the forerunners of birds. These “pinnate” feathers resembled the familiar branched structure of modern bird feathers, and contained vastly more diverse melanosomes, in terms of their length, width and shape than the samples from ancient lizards and dinosaurs….
But it’s not just about feathers. The melanosome diversity explosion may also have led to higher metabolic rates in the forerunners of birds. Such rapid metabolisms are essential for powered flight.
"Many of the genes involved in the melanin colour system are also involved in other core processes such as food intake, stress responses, reproductive behaviour and more," says Clarke. That means the change in pigment could be linked to larger changes in the animals’ energetics and physiology.
This is corroborated by the modern animals, where melanosome diversity is linked to metabolism. “Only in living warm-blooded terrestrial vertebrates which independently evolved higher metabolic rates did we find the melanosome diversity we also see in feathered dinosaurs,” says Clarke.
(via New Scientist)
Photo: Analysis for the distribution of shapes of melanin-containing organelles (melanosomes) in fossil and living amniotes shows that fuzz-covered dinosaurs like Sinosauropteryx share similarities with living lizards, turtles and crocodilians. In these living taxa color and the shape of the melanosomes are not linked in such a way that color can be reconstructed from melanosome shape alone. Melanosomes in Sinosauropteryx don’t presently tell us if this animal was brown, blackish or grey. However, feathered dinosaurs are similar to birds, and we can estimate their color. Credit: Li et al. (authors).
Journal reference: Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature12973
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Come to us darling.
Reblog it every time
I hate axe but the hateful and racist comments are why we need ads like this.
This is the most under-appreciated continuity in the entire Pirates of the Caribbean film-series.
((HNNNNGGGG!! Dat BBY HANS Oh SHIT SON I don’t even like kids WTF are you doing to me boy!?))
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