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Ancient 99-Million-Year-Old Frogs Look Just Like Modern-Day Toads

Frogs will always be frogs, whether they were born today or in the Cretaceous Period.

The world is filled with exciting new discoveries from ancient times. Scientists have just uncovered evidence that frogs roamed the Earth during the Cretaceous Period about 100 million years ago. Interestingly, these ancient toads seem to look just like their modern-day descendants.

A new report confirms that scientists have found four frog fossils in northern Myanmar. The tiny bodies were encased in amber and offer a clear glimpse at what tropical rainforests looked like in the Cretaceous Period. In any case, the discovery is groundbreaking since frogs rarely become fossils.

One of the amber deposits reveals that the ancient frogs had died beside a few tiny insects.

Source: Lida Xing

David C. Blackburn, one of the authors of the new study, explains why the ancient frog fossils are special.

“Frogs are common animals to encounter in the wet tropical forests of today, and easily more than a third of the nearly 7,000 species of frogs live in these wet forests. But being small and living in a tropical forest also means that your likelihood of ending up in the fossil record is pretty low,” he said.

The ancient frogs, which have been named Electrorana limoae, could be the ancestors of amphibians like the midwife toad.

It is still unknown whether the ancient frogs had the same life cycle as their modern descendants. Nevertheless, Blackburn is confident that they are related to some of the bizarre toads that still exist today.

“Our comparisons of the skeleton of these new frog fossils indicate that these amber-preserved frogs were ‘true frogs’ but may represent one of the most ancient lineages seen today,” said Blackburn. “The presence of ribs and a bones in the cartilaginous plate that supports the tongue suggests an affinity with the species alive today, such as fire-bellied toads and midwife toads.”

The new finds are much older than the previous frogs found in amber deposits. Before the discovery, the oldest known toads encased in amber were dated to around 25 million years ago.

Sci/Tech

Elon Musk’s Flamethrowers Get Misused On Social Media Despite Strict Terms & Conditions

What better way to start a particularly hot summer?

There is little doubt that Elon Musk's flamethrowers are the hottest new commodity right now. After all, the fiery device produced by The Boring Company have just been sold out. However, it looks like consumers have already started misusing the dangerous product despite its lengthy terms and conditions.

The Boring Company finally rolled out Not A Flamethrower at a celebrated pick up event held at the company's headquarters. People who had pre-ordered the gadgets were given a chance to sample the power of the flamethrower on unfortunate marshmallows. Although safety was reinforced during the event, things took a dangerous turn once everyone got home.

The Boring Company's Not A Flamethrower were sold out in February but have only started shipping this summer.

Most of the customers who shelled out $500 for the flamethrowers were actually celebrities and social media influencers. For instance, YouTuber Justine Ezarik admitted that she damaged some artificial grass while using the fireblaster for a cooking video. One man lit a huge cigar with his device while another almost lost his toes while playing with the device. Not surprisingly, some people are already concerned about Elon Musk's decision to mass produce the flamethrowers....

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NASA’s Curiosity Rover Finds Ancient Organics On Mars, Possible Life On Planet In The Past

The new discovery might confirm life thrived on the Red Planet billions of years ago.

Curiosity has made an exciting discovery on the surface of Mars. The rover has just found possible evidence of life on the planet billions of years ago. NASA might not quite ready to confirm that creatures once roamed the Red Planet. Nevertheless, the agency believes that the findings could mean positive things for future missions.

The NASA rover has found organic molecules in sedimentary rocks near the planet's surface. These molecules may contain hydroxen, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen and are usually associated with life. However, their presence in the billion-year-old rocks does not confirm life on Mars just yet.

NASA's Jen Eigenbrode believes Mars may have been habitable billions of years ago.

Jen Eigenbrode of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center explained that the new discovery is a good sign for future explorations....

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NASA’s ‘Clean Rooms’ Are Not So Clean, No Thanks to Bacteria That Eat Cleaning Products

And they can contaminate other worlds when they hitch a ride to outer space.

At NASA, they have what they call 'clean rooms,' where they assemble their spacecrafts. These pristine chambers are religiously cleaned and scrubbed with alcohol-based solvents. Every matter must go through several filters to ensure the area is never contaminated; every person must be in the proper coveralls when entering the rooms - all these to prevent Earth microbes from reaching and contaminating other worlds during NASA explorations, as part of the international planetary protection treaty.

But even with NASA's meticulous standards, it is impossible to completely sterilize the clean rooms. Bacteria can still thrive in their immaculate walls.

The tough Acinetobacter bacteria can be found in NASA's clean rooms.

Source: Pexels

Somehow, this particular bacteria, usually found in soil and water, can withstand even the most rigorous cleaning and disinfecting processes. Scientists have found Acinetobacter strains, for example, on the surface of the Mars Odyssey orbiter, on the exterior of the International Space Station, and even in the station's drinking water....

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