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South Dakota Ranchers Embrace Needed Livestock Donations - AgWeb

South Dakota Ranchers Embrace Needed Livestock Donations - AgWeb | Animal Science |
AgWeb South Dakota Ranchers Embrace Needed Livestock Donations AgWeb A 50-year-old South Dakota man who lost nearly one-third of his cattle to a surprise October storm fought back tears as he talked about livestock donations that he and other...
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I think that this is very sad.  It is very nice that people are sending donations to this 50 year old man.

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No Animal Experiments for IRIS Science Fair

No Animal Experiments for IRIS Science Fair | Animal Science |
Following discussions with PETA India, the Initiative for Research and Innovation in Science (IRIS) and Intel Technology India Pvt Ltd have agreed to amend the......
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165-million-year-old proto-mammal shows that traits like hair and fur originated well before the rise of mammals

165-million-year-old proto-mammal shows that traits like hair and fur originated well before the rise of mammals | Animal Science |

A newly discovered fossil reveals the evolutionary adaptations of a 165-million-year-old proto-mammal, providing evidence that traits such as hair and fur originated well before the rise of the first true mammals. The biological features of this ancient mammalian relative, named Megaconus mammaliaformis, were described by scientists from the University of Chicago in the Aug 8, 2013 issue of Nature.


"We finally have a glimpse of what may be the ancestral condition of all mammals, by looking at what is preserved in Megaconus. It allows us to piece together poorly understood details of the critical transition of modern mammals from pre-mammalian ancestors," said Zhe-Xi Luo, professor of organismal biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago.


Discovered in Inner Mongolia, China, Megaconus is one of the best-preserved fossils of the mammaliaform groups, which are long-extinct relatives to modern mammals. Dated to be around 165 million years old,Megaconus co-existed with feathered dinosaurs in the Jurassic era, nearly 100 million years before Tyrannosaurus Rex roamed Earth.


Preserved in the fossil is a clear halo of guard hairs and underfur residue, making Megaconus only the second known pre-mammalian fossil with fur. It was found with sparse hairs around its abdomen, leading the team to hypothesize that it had a naked abdomen.


On its heels, Megaconus possessed a long keratinous spur, which was possibly poisonous. Similar to spurs found on modern egg-laying mammals, such as male platypuses, the spur is evidence that this fossil was most likely a male member of its species.


"Megaconus confirms that many modern mammalian biological functions related to skin and integument had already evolved before the rise of modern mammals," said Luo, who was also part of the team that first discovered evidence of hair in pre-mammalian species in 2006 (Science, 331: 1123-1127, DOI:10.1126/science.1123026).


A terrestrial animal about the size of a large ground squirrel, Megaconuswas likely an omnivore, possessing clearly mammalian dental features and jaw hinge. Its molars had elaborate rows of cusps for chewing on plants, and some of its anterior teeth possessed large cusps that allowed it to eat insects and worms, perhaps even other small vertebrates. It had teeth with high crowns and fused roots similar to more modern, but unrelated, mammalian species such as rodents. Its high-crowned teeth also appeared to be slow growing like modern placental mammals.

Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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this is a test run

Olivia Haltom's curator insight, December 6, 2013 9:44 AM

i think this is interesting because its talking anout an extinct animal from 165 million years ago.

Sydney Bolyard's curator insight, December 6, 2013 11:21 AM

This article reveals new found information stating that scientists have discovered a fossil of an animal (resembling a small squirrel), which leads to further discovery of evolution. The primary of form of evolution scientist are interested in are the adaptations of fur. Later in the article, it describes the hypothesis that scientists have formed as to what this newly discovered mammal's characteristics were likely to be. Any new discorvery of species is facinating because you figure how old the earth is and how long people have been around, and we are still finding new organisms.

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GrainCorp Warns of Infrastructure Cuts

GrainCorp Warns of Infrastructure Cuts | Animal Science |

GrainCorp may cut some of its receival and storage services in regional areas, in the wake of the veto of the $3.4 billion takeover bid from American company Archer Daniels Midland.

Three days after Treasurer Joe Hockey blocked the bid, the east coast grain handler's chief executive Alison Watkins has resigned, to take up a position as group managing director at another food company, Coca-Cola Amatil.

Ms Watkins had publicly supported a ADM takeover, arguing GrainCorp needed the investment.

GrainCorp chairman Don Taylor says the company will now need to sell some unprofitable infrastructure, but won't be parting with its global malting business and Australian oil seed crushing operations.

"No certainly not. They're part of our long-term strategy in terms of diversifying our income base and are very much vital to our long-term strategy, so absolutely not.

"The rationalisation is simply around the storage and handling country networks. That's where that rationalisation is focused.

"What was offered by ADM was an awful lot of free money which went to that upgrade.

"Certainly we're going to have to spend some capital, but our capital capacity is not of that order."

Mr Taylor says the Treasurer was wrong when he said GrainCorp's handling was a monopoly.

"A lot spoken during the preamble to the Treasurer's decision was factually incorrect.

"We face enormous competition. Up to 50 per cent of the grain never even comes to our depots.

"And the stuff that comes to our depots has other opportunities to go elsewhere.

"We have growers setting up their own storage, putting grain in sausage bags. There are 140 buyers every day looking for grain."

Ms Watkins has already found a lucrative new job with another food company, Coca-Cola Amatil.

In a statement to the sharemarket today, GrainCorp chairman Don Taylor said the company has accepted Ms Watkins' resignation "with great regret".

"The expectation in the investment community was that ADM's offer for GrainCorp would be approved and effected in the near term," Mr Taylor said.

"In that context, it is not surprising that an executive of Alison's calibre has attracted interest and had new opportunities presented to her.

"As much as we regret her decision, we wish her every success in the next stage of her career.

"Alison leaves a lasting legacy at GrainCorp; our business has sharpened its strategic focus, diversified its earnings base and made sound progress on our initiatives to deliver an additional $110 million of underlying earnings."

Ms Watkins will step down at the end of January, and in a statement issued to the ASX said the decision to leave the company had been "enormously difficult" and "made with great sadness".

"I have carefully weighed my options over the past two days," Ms Watkins said.

"I had planned to leave the company at the time control passed over to ADM. Given last week's unexpected developments, I feel it is in the best interests of GrainCorp, our people and customers that I move on now and allow the board to find new leadership to take the business forward into its new phase."

Shortly after this statement, Coca-Cola Amatil Limited (CCA) announced the appointment of Ms Watkins as its group managing director, a position she's due to take up on March 3.

The Treasurer's decision to block the sale of Australia's largest agribusiness to American food giant ADM took many by surprise on Friday, with GrainCorp's share price plunging as the market reacted.

There had been a wide expectation that Mr Hockey would approve the deal with conditions, although his National Party and rural Liberal colleagues had all spoken vocally against the sale.

Instead, Mr Hockey announced that, with the grains industry still in a period of post-deregulation transition, now was not the time to allow such a significant player in grains storage, transport and export to be sold in its entirety to a foreign buyer.

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South Dakota livestock losses called 'devastating' - KPAX-TV

Washington Post South Dakota livestock losses called 'devastating' KPAX-TV The livestock losses following a recent storm that hit South Dakota are being described as "devastating." Tens of thousands of cattle have been found dead in pastures and...
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