But the descent is always the most nerve, wracking part, even more so than the launch perseverance. Will carry with it a tiny helicopter like vehicle that will mark the first powered flight on another world. It has a tough job ahead, but part of perseverance’s job will be preparing for another mission later on in the decade, in collaboration with the european space agency, which will actually return samples of mars left by perseverance back here on earth. I can’t wait to cover that in seven days of science. In other news is an amazing study that has looked at what the origin of the asteroid that triggered the end cretaceous mass extinction was and where it came from many researchers had the thought that the impactor originated in the main asteroid belt. However, this new paper has used statistical analysis and gravitational simulations to determine that it possibly had a much more complex history. In this new hypothesis. It suggested that the impactor originally came from a comet in the oort cloud, the sphere of debris, at the edge of our solar system. That was knocked off course by the gravity of jupiter, sending it into an orbit that took it very close to the sun. As the comet approached the sun, a gravitational effect caused it to break up into many smaller fragments and then, as the fragments were on their way back to the aut cloud. One of them struck earth a very intriguing hypothesis indeed, and it will be interesting to see what future studies make of this idea and now over to ben who looks a little different thanks.

Doug this last week also saw the naming and description of a brand new elasmosaurid plesiosaur, but not just any elasmosaurid. This was a freshwater species. An unusual discovery, considering these animals were primarily marine named fluvionectis slonai. The paper explains how elasmosaurus remains have been recovered from river and estuarine deposits in southern alberta since the late 19th century. Yet, due to their very fragmentary nature, they haven’t received all that much attention the material this new species is based on, however, was quite recently collected and prepared and represents the most complete elasmosaurid found in this area so far with a good amount of the skeleton preserved. This individual was a fully grown adult of about 5 meters when it died, but the paper notes that the largest elasmosaurid bones from this formation may have come from an animal about 7 meters, long it’s. A fascinating example of a potential case of niche partitioning among the plesiosaurs, which were generally oceanic living reptiles with some species clearly having adapted to live in and exploit freshwater habitats instead and finally, is the description of a giant coelacanth from the late cretaceous of morocco. The material this fish is known from was initially mistaken for part of a pterosaur skull. However, it was then later correctly recognized as a crushed, ossified lung of a coelacanth. Not only does this make it the first marine coelacanth to be discovered in morocco, but it’s. Also, the last record of these animals before their pseudo extinction at the end of the mesozoic and the dimensions of the lung, indicate that this fish could have grown to a total body length of between 3.

65 to 5 and a half meters potentially making this the largest Coelacanth gnome, so some very interesting discoveries this week back to doug in the studio. Thank you ben well, that’s it for seven days of science this week.