Giant Atlantic bluefin tuna washes up in Scotland, shocks beachgoers: It was an ‘impressive beast’

A strong storm likely caused a massive Atlantic bluefin tuna to wash up on a beach in Scotland over the weekend, creating quite a spectacle on the island of Sanday, Orkney. The body of the fish – one of the world's largest and fastest, according to National Geographic – was estimated to be about 6.5 feet long. Atlantic bluefins … Continue reading “Giant Atlantic bluefin tuna washes up in Scotland, shocks beachgoers: It was an ‘impressive beast’”

A strong storm likely caused a massive Atlantic bluefin tuna to wash up on a beach in Scotland over the weekend, creating quite a spectacle on the island of Sanday, Orkney.

The body of the fish – one of the world's largest and fastest, according to National Geographic – was estimated to be about 6.5 feet long. Atlantic bluefins live in both subtropic and temperate waters, the Massachusetts government explains on its website, noting it can travel across the Atlantic in less than 60 days.

"It was … a pretty impressive beast. At that size, it's going to be pretty fully grown," Emma Neave-Webb, a local ranger, told SWNS on Monday. "The fish looked pretty fresh, so I think the cause of death was natural causes."

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The warm-blooded Atlantic bluefin can swim at speeds up to 43 miles per hour, thanks to its "powerful" tail, National Geographic points out. They typically weigh around 550 pounds, though some have reportedly been recorded at 1,000 pounds or more.

The fish's size attracted a crowd of locals on Sunday — with many traveling to Bea Sand beach to view the sea creature.

Ranger Emma Neave-Webb next to the giant Atlantic bluefin tuna found washed up on Bea Sand on Sanday, Orkney,  (SWNS.com)

"Everybody's been amazed, it was a bit of a tourist attraction," Neave-Webb said. "It's been the talk of the island for the day, but we're hoping to go back … to weigh it and dissect it for any signs of plastic pollution."

FLORIDA MAN'S 826-POUND BLUEFIN TUNA CATCH BECOMES NEW STATE RECORD

It's not the first time a giant Atlantic bluefin has been spotted in the country.

"It's the third case of a bluefin tuna washing up in Scottish waters this year," John Hourston, founder of a volunteer group called the Blue Planet Society, told SWNS. "Bluefin tuna have only recently returned to British waters since around 2013, but it's extremely rare for one to be washed up in Orkney."

One of the most recent sightings of the rare fish was in October. At that time, a 6-foot-long Atlantic bluefin washed up in Fife, weighing around 245 pounds, The Scotsman reported.

While locals admitted it was a sad discovery, some fish experts were hopeful it was a sign the fish was making a comeback in the area.

“It’s sad this one has washed up dead but hopefully this is a sign that they are making a return as there have been a number of sightings in the North Sea and off the west coast of Scotland," Jonathan Louis, operations and development manager for the Forth Rivers Trust, told the Scottish newspaper.

Jennifer Earl is an SEO editor for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @jenearlyspeakin.

Invasive tick is ‘here to stay,’ and here’s where it could spread next

An invasive tick species, new to the U.S., has already popped up in nine states, and a new study suggests that the species could spread much further.

This tick, called the Asian longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis), is native to Asia and was first identified in the U.S. in 2017, when it was found on a sheep in New Jersey. Since then, the tick has been detected in eight other states: New York, Virginia, West Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Maryland, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

But the new study, published today (Dec. 13) in the Journal of Medical Entomology, suggests that the tick could spread to much of the eastern U.S. and parts of the Midwest, as well as a small section of the Pacific Northwest.

Researchers used climate data from the tick's native habitat, which includes parts of China, Japan and Korea, to predict where the tick could spread in North America. Then, they created a statistical model to determine habitats that were likely suitable for the tick. [5 Things to Know About the New Tick Species in the US]

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  • The study found that much of the eastern U.S. coast was suitable for the longhorned tick, with areas as far north as Maine and as far south as northern Florida predicted to be at least moderately suitable. The tick could also appear in Gulf Coast states as far west as Louisiana, as well as in Midwest and southeastern states, including Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. A small section of the Washington, Oregon and Northern California coast was also found to be highly suitable for H. longicornis, the study found.

    "The Asian longhorned tick is a very adaptable species," study author Ilia Rochlin, an entomologist and researcher affiliated with Rutgers University's Center for Vector Biology in New Jersey, said in a statement. "The optimal tick habitat appears to be defined by temperate conditions — moderate temperature, humidity and precipitation."

    Indeed, the suitability of other areas outside the predicted regions was limited due to warmer temperatures in parts of the south, cold temperatures in the north and a dry climate in the west, the study said.

    Last month, the CDC announced that it is working with experts in veterinary medicine, agricultural science and public health to better understand the potential impact of the longhorned tick in the U.S.

    One concern is that this tick poses a threat to livestock. Unlike most tick species, longhorned ticks can reproduce asexually and lay massive numbers of eggs. A single female longhorn tick can lay up to 2,000 eggs at a time, the CDC said. Due to these large numbers, longhorned ticks can cause severe infestations in livestock, leading to weakness, anemia or even death in the animals.

    There is also concern that the tick could spread diseases, as it does in other parts of the world. But so far, no cases of disease tied to these ticks have been reported in the U.S., according to the CDC.

    Unfortunately, now that the tick has arrived in the U.S., it's probably here to stay, Rochlin said. The longhorned tick "will be difficult to impossible to eradicate" given it's ecological adaptability and ability to reproduce asexually, Rochlin wrote in his paper.

    But studies like these can alert public health officials and veterinary experts as to whether they are in a moderate- or high-risk area for the tick to inhabit.

    "Hopefully, this awareness will lead to increased surveillance and expanded public outreach and education," Rochlin said.

    He noted that the model was intended to determine the potential tick habitat on a large scale but not where the ticks could be at the local level, such as the specific counties at risk. To determine that, "we need to learn more about this tick species' biology, ecology and local distribution," Rochlin said.

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    Originally published on Live Science.

    Time travel is possible – but only if you have an object with infinite mass

    The concept of time travel has always captured the imagination of physicists and laypersons alike. But is it really possible? Of course it is. We’re doing it right now, aren’t we? We are all traveling into the future one second at a time.

    But that was not what you were thinking. Can we travel much further into the future? Absolutely. If we could travel close to the speed of light, or in the proximity of a black hole, time would slow down enabling us to travel arbitrarily far into the future. The really interesting question is whether we can travel back into the past.

    I am a physics professor at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and first heard about the notion of time travel when I was 7, from a 1980 episode of Carl Sagan’s classic TV series, “Cosmos.” I decided right then that someday, I was going to pursue a deep study of the theory that underlies such creative and remarkable ideas: Einstein’s relativity. Twenty years later, I emerged with a Ph.D. in the field and have been an active researcher in the theory ever since.

    Now, one of my doctoral students has just published a paper in the journal Classical and Quantum Gravity that describes how to build a time machine using a very simple construction.

    Closed time-like curves

    Einstein’s general theory of relativity allows for the possibility of warping time to such a high degree that it actually folds upon itself, resulting in a time loop. Imagine you’re traveling along this loop; that means that at some point, you’d end up at a moment in the past and begin experiencing the same moments since, all over again – a bit like deja vu, except you wouldn’t realize it. Such constructs are often referred to as “closed time-like curves” or CTCs in the research literature, and popularly referred to as “time machines.” Time machines are a byproduct of effective faster-than-light travel schemes and understanding them can improve our understanding of how the universe works.

    Over the past few decades well-known physicists like Kip Thorne and Stephen Hawking produced seminal work on models related to time machines.

    The general conclusion that has emerged from previous research, including Thorne’s and Hawking’s, is that nature forbids time loops. This is perhaps best explained in Hawking’s “Chronology Protection Conjecture,” which essentially says that nature doesn’t allow for changes to its past history, thus sparing us from the paradoxes that can emerge if time travel were possible.

    Perhaps the most well-known amongst these paradoxes that emerge due to time travel into the past is the so-called “grandfather paradox” in which a traveler goes back into the past and murders his own grandfather. This alters the course of history in a way that a contradiction emerges: The traveler was never born and therefore cannot exist. There have been many movie and novel plots based on the paradoxes that result from time travel – perhaps some of the most popular ones being the “Back to the Future” movies and “Groundhog Day.”

    Exotic matter

    Depending on the details, different physical phenomena may intervene to prevent closed time-like curves from developing in physical systems. The most common is the requirement for a particular type of “exotic” matter that must be present in order for a time loop to exist. Loosely speaking, exotic matter is matter that has negative mass. The problem is negative mass is not known to exist in nature.

    Caroline Mallary, a doctoral student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has published a new model for a time machine in the journal Classical & Quantum Gravity. This new model does not require any negative mass exotic material and offers a very simple design.

    Mallary’s model consists of two super long cars – built of material that is not exotic, and have positive mass – parked in parallel. One car moves forward rapidly, leaving the other parked. Mallary was able to show that in such a setup, a time loop can be found in the space between the cars.

    So can you build this in your backyard?

    If you suspect there is a catch, you are correct. Mallary’s model requires that the center of each car has infinite density. That means they contain objects – called singularities – with an infinite density, temperature and pressure. Moreover, unlike singularities that are present in the interior of black holes, which makes them totally inaccessible from the outside, the singularities in Mallary’s model are completely bare and observable, and therefore have true physical effects.

    Physicists don’t expect such peculiar objects to exist in nature either. So, unfortunately a time machine is not going to be available anytime soon. However, this work shows that physicists may have to refine their ideas about why closed time-like curves are forbidden.

    This story originally appeared in The Conversation.

    An underwater ‘ghost fleet’ of shipwrecks is on the move, and here’s why

    WASHINGTON — The history of maritime vessels in the U.S. is preserved in an unlikely place — at the bottom of a river.

    Nearly 200 military shipwrecks — dating as far back as the Revolutionary War and including ships from the Civil War and both World War I and World War II — were deliberately sunk over centuries, in an area of the Potomac River called Mallows Bay, in Maryland. Over time, this so-called ghost fleet of wooden ships has come to serve as habitat for local wildlife.

    But is this artificial ecosystem stable? Researchers recently investigated how the shipwrecks have changed over time; their findings, presented here on Dec. 13 at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), explained how the bodies of the ships weathered river conditions — in some cases for hundreds of years — and how that might affect the future of the ghost fleet ecosystem. [Mayday! 17 Mysterious Shipwrecks You Can See on Google Earth]

    The four researchers were accompanied at AGU by a chaperone, as they are all fifth-grade students attending the J.C. Parks Elementary School in Maryland. A school trip to Mallows Bay last year inspired them to question how the ships got there and what happened to them after they were sunk, Renata Ashton, age 11, told Live Science.

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  • They consulted aerial maps of the ghost fleet that were created decades apart, "and we looked at them to see which ones had moved and decayed," said Shyla Lancaster, also 11.

    After comparing known ship positions across different maps, they discovered that some ships were definitely not staying put — most of the ships were shifting eastward, some by miles, they reported.

    Natural forces that affected the ships included storms, floods and erosion, according to 10-year-old Annabelle Naught. The best-preserved parts of the shipwrecks were deeply embedded in mud, while the exposed parts showed greater signs of deterioration, explained Kharylle Deramos, age 10.

    Together, the ships form an elaborate infrastructure that has become a habitat for bald eagles, fish and other animals, and the site is currently under consideration for designation as a marine sanctuary by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    But degradation and drift could disrupt the balance of this ecosystem. Further evaluation of the site with underwater remotely operated vehicles will help determine how changes in the ghost fleet could impact the wildlife that live there, the researchers concluded.

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    Original article on Live Science.

    New horned dinosaur species discovered in Arizona wows paleontologists

    A team of paleontologists recently announced the discovery of a new horned dinosaur — a "cousin" of the Triceratops — in southern Arizona.

    The new species, Crittendenceratops krzyzanowskii, was named after the rock formation the fossils were buried under (Fort Crittenden Formation) as well as the late amateur scientist Stan Krzyzanowski, who first found the fossils.

    The bones of the dinosaur were uncovered underneath 73-million-year-old rocks about 20 years ago southeast of Tucson, but a team from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (NMMNH) recently studied the specimen and determined it was a new species. Their findings were published in NMMNH's bulletin.

    STRANGE CARVED STONE FOUND 'BURIED' UNDER NEW JERSEY RIVER PUZZLES LOCALS

    "I told my boss and co-author Spencer Lucas that this is a new species and that I am going to work on it. I am a taxonomist and morphologist, so I was able to find numerous morphological features right away in the material of Crittendenceratops to establish a new species," Sebastian Dalman, lead researcher on the project, told Newsweek on Monday. "Later with the help of my good friend and co-author of other projects Jonathan Wagner, a new phylogenetic analysis was conducted that shows the relationships of Crittendenceratops to other ceratopsians."

    The dinosaur was likely 11 feet long and weighed around 1,500 pounds, researchers said. The Phoenix New Times compared the size of the creature to an elephant, explaining it's part of the Ceratopsidae family.

    Crittendenceratops’ squamosal bone. (New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science)

    "The significance of this discovery is that Crittendenceratops represents the youngest member of Nasutoceratopsini and that this group was still living in North America near the end of the Cretaceous," Dalman said. "It coexisted with two other groups of horned dinosaurs (ceratopsians): centrosaurs and chasmosaurs. It also shows that ceratopsian dinosaurs were highly diverse both morphological and taxonomical."

    Spencer Lucas, a curator at NMMNH and co-author of the paper, said it was a significant find in the state.

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    "I can’t even think of six dinosaurs that have been named from Arizona," he told the Phoenix New Times, noting that the area the dinosaur once walked was "a greenhouse world."

    During the Late Cretacious period, there was a large lake present in the area where the Crittendenceratops roamed. The greenery was convenient for the dinosaur, as it was a plant eater — just like its relatives.

    "[It] probably ate anything it could get into its mouth," Lucas joked.

    The classification of the dinosaur has given Arizona researchers a push to continue studying other specimens that have previously been recovered in the state.

    "Between the mid 1990’s and 2000, a number of new ceratopsian specimens were collected by teams at the Arizona- Sonora Desert Museum (ASDM) and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (NMMNH) from the upper Campanian Fort Crittenden Formation of Adobe Canyon within the Santa Rita Mountains of southeastern Arizona (Figs. 1-2). These new specimens provide important new information about the morphologic and taxonomic diversity of Ceratopsidae in North America," the researchers wrote.

    Lucas said it's proof paleontologists have a "lot more field work" ahead of them.

    "There are a lot more dinosaurs out there in Arizona to be discovered," Lucas told the Phoenix New Times. "Young people need to know — you can probably go out and find a new dinosaur in Arizona."

    Jennifer Earl is an SEO editor for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @jenearlyspeakin.

    Could life on Mars be lurking deep underground?

    WASHINGTON — To find life on Mars, scientists may need to give up surface exploration and "go deep."

    Typically, Mars missions searching for signs of life target the planet's surface, at sites where there are signs of ancient water (a reliable indicator of where life is found on Earth). But while no life has turned up yet on Mars' surface, there may be an abundance of microbial Martians congregating underground, according to research presented Dec. 11 here at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

    In recent decades, explorations underground on Earth have revealed the so-called deep biosphere — a subsurface environment teeming with microorganisms. And scientists suspect that a similarly biologically-rich zone may be thriving under Mars' surface, too. [Mars-like Places on Earth]

    In fact, perhaps there was never an evolutionary push to inhabit the surface of Mars at all, Joseph Michalski, an associate professor with the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Hong Kong, said at the presentation. The expectation that life evolved on the Martian surface may reflect a bias established by what we know about life on our home planet, Michalski said.

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  • Billions of years ago, when the planets in our solar system were young, the surface of Mars was likely quite similar to that of Earth, its rocky neighbor. That changed when Mars lost its magnetic field, which exposed it to bombardment from intense radiation that would have made survival aboveground extremely challenging, Michalski told Live Science.

    However, it's possible that life was already "cooking" on Mars before that happened. Scientists think life first appeared on Earth about 3.8 billion to 3.9 billion years ago, when conditions in some spots likely resembled today’s hydrothermal environments — much like Mars at the time. Perhaps, life arose on Mars at the same time that it was taking shape on Earth, but adapted exclusively to life underground, Michalski said.

    "Life could have emerged in those hydrothermal settings and survived in the subsurface for quite a long time," he said.

    And if Earth's deep biosphere is any indication, the underground Martian microbial communities could be exceptionally rich and diverse. Earth's deep biosphere was first discovered only about 30 years ago, and estimates since then have suggested that those deep-dwelling microorganisms make up nearly half of all life on the planet, Michalski told Live Science.

    Microbes in Earth's deep biosphere play a role in burying carbon that could otherwise become a greenhouse gas, are linked to deep energy resources "and are important for understanding the origins and evolution of life," Michalski said.

    "We're at a point now where it's truly a frontier of understanding what 'deep biosphere' truly means on Earth, and how that relates to exoplanets and other planets in our solar system," he said. "It's a window into our own origins."

    Mars' subsurface is an especially promising place to start looking for extraterrestrial microbes because it's "even more habitable" for microorganisms than Earth's deep biosphere. Subsurface rock on Mars is more porous than on Earth — creating pockets for nutrients and gas exchange — and Mars' cooler core (though still molten) provides a more hospitable temperature for microbes living in deep rock, Michalski added.

    "We could have single-celled organisms that could be dormant for a long time, but could survive through metabolizing hydrogen, methane, potentially sulfur," Michalski told Live Science. "Without being too specific, we think there are a lot of possibilities."

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    Original article on Live Science.

    NASA proposes nuclear ‘tunnelbot’ to search for alien life

    Europa may be the most likely place to host alien life. Beneath its surface is a salty ocean, warmed by the play of gravity on the moon’s metal core. But how do you peer through sheet ice?

    You melt your way down, with a nuclear-powered robot.

    At least that’s the proposal put to the American Geophysical Union meeting in Washington DC this week.

    NASA’s Glenn Research center’s multidisciplinary COMPASS team was established to develop technology to overcome the challenges of space exploration.

    Europa poses a big one.

    The ice that covers this moon of Jupiter could be anywhere between 2 and 30km thick.

    But, beneath, could be life.

    And finding it will throw open our understanding of how common life is in our universe, how resilient it is — and how it arises.

    NUCLEAR TUNNELBOT

    Planetary scientists aren’t even certain Europa has an ocean. But all the signs indicate it has. The most enticing of these are the plumes of liquid-water which periodically erupt from its surface.

    The COMPASS team has completed a concept study on the technologies capable of piercing the ice with a suite of sensors and sending the data it collects back to Earth.

    The best option, they argue, is a nuclear-powered ‘tunnelbot’.

    Nuclear power packs the most energy into a small space.

    And it doesn’t even need to be built into a nuclear reactor — though that was one of the concept designs. In its simplest form, radioactive ‘bricks’ would simply radiate a heat source in front of a tube-shaped probe which then gradually sinks as the ice beneath turns to slush.

    The power of such nuclear fuel cells have been amply demonstrated by the likes of Voyager 1 and 2, still sending back signals as they cross into interstellar space some 40 years after they were launched.

    ICE PIERCER

    The nuclear ‘tunnelbot’ would deploy from a lander with a fiber-optic string of data ‘repeaters’ unfurling as it sinks.

    Any such a Europa ‘tunnelbot’ would be relatively large. And risky to launch.

    “We didn’t worry about how our tunnelbot would make it to Europa or get deployed into the ice,” says University of Illinois at Chicago associate professor Andrew Dombard. “We just assumed it could get there and we focused on how it would work during descent to the ocean.”

    Which is the purpose of their mission. Whether or not such a nuclear-powered ‘tunnelbot’ is built and deployed is the next step. But the decision will be based upon an informed study of what it would take to take a peek under Europa’s ice.

    Sending a probe to Europa is one of NASA’s major ambitions for the coming decades. But getting the mission past an increasingly skeptical US Congress may not be easy.

    ON THIN ICE

    The project’s chief advocate was Texas Republican John Culberson, who chaired the subcommittee that funds NASA. The NASA study which produced the nuclear-powered ‘tunnelbot’ is a result of his efforts.

    But he lost his seat at the recent midterm elections.

    And President Donald Trump’s most recent budget states he has no intention of funding an Europa lander.

    Some experts express the fear such an attempt would be a ‘bridge too far’: we simply don’t know enough about the icy moon, yet.

    “It’s a mission that came out of Congress as opposed to a mission that came out of the science,” says The Planetary Society’s Emily Lakdawalla.

    Others argue the long lead-up time for such ambitious missions means now is the time to start working towards the project.

    And we’re set to learn more about the mysterious moon anyway.

    The Europa Clipper mission — a space probe designed to orbit the moon — has received initial funding. Its goal is to circle as low as 25km for up to three years, mapping Europa’s icy surface and gleaning what it can about chemicals being spewed out in its plumes.

    It’s hoped the Clipper will be ready for launch in 2022. It will take six years for the probe to reach Jupiter and establish itself in orbit around Europa.

    This story originally appeared in news.com.au.

    Japanese ‘tsunami fish’ found off the California coast seven years later

    In March 2011, Japan experienced a massive tsunami that was the aftermath of a 9.1 earthquake, the largest the country has ever experienced. It resulted in the deaths of an estimated 29,000 people and caused approximately $235 billion in damages, making it the deadliest natural disaster in history.

    While the aftermath of the devastating events may have left a lasting impact on the Japanese population, it also upended a great number of marine life, including rerouting the barred knifejaw nearly 5,000 miles from home.

    Divers have recently found the barred knifejaw, a fish native only to Japan, swimming in the waters of Monterey Bay, Calif., according to CNN. The fish, known for its zebra-like appearance (it has black and white stripes), has been spotted several times in the area and likely emigrated halfway across the world because of the 2011 natural disasters.

    'HEADLESS CHICKEN MONSTER' DISCOVERED DEEP IN THE SOUTHERN OCEAN

    "It can't be mistaken for any local fish," said diver Nicholas Ta, who has been in the area nearly every day for five years. "Other fish are kind of camouflaged and they kind of match the environment around them," he told the news outlet.

    According to a 2017 study in the journal Science, researchers believe 289 species were transported over the span of six years due to the 2011 East Japan earthquake and the subsequent tsunami.

    "Most of this dispersal occurred on nonbiodegradable objects, resulting in the longest documented transoceanic survival and dispersal of coastal species by rafting," the study's abstract reads. "Expanding shoreline infrastructure has increased global sources of plastic materials available for biotic colonization and also interacts with climate change–induced storms of increasing severity to eject debris into the oceans. In turn, increased ocean rafting may intensify species invasions."

    This approach is backed up by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which wrote they were "most likely" introduced to the area by means of "rafting on tsunami debris."

    The first barred knifejaw was originally spotted in December 2014, but Ta did not recognize it. It was only later, after his friend Dennis Lewis helped him identify the fish and alert him to be on the lookout for it in the future.

    Known as Oplegnathus fasciatus, the barred knifejaw is exceptionally valuable in Japan both for food and as a game fish.

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    The USGS said that the barred knifejaw breeds from April to July and the juveniles float among seaweed and eat zooplankton. Adults, which have sharp beaks, feed on snails and barnacles.

    It's unclear what the impact of the species is in the new ecosystem, "as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range," the USGS added.

    Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia

    ‘One of a kind,’ nearly 4,400-year-old tomb discovered in Egypt

    Archaeologists in Egypt uncovered the final resting place of a high priest that dates back more than 4,000 years ago.

    The tomb, which was found in the Saqqara pyramid complex near Cairo, is filled with colorful hieroglyphs and statues of pharaohs, National Geographic reports. Some of the scenes show the owner, a royal priest named Wahtye, with his mother, wife and other relatives.

    This burial is “one of a kind in the last decades,” said Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, in a statement. "The color is almost intact even though the tomb is almost 4,400 years old."

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    GIZA, EGYPT – DECEMBER 15: An inside view of Saqqara excavation site after a 4,400-Year-Old Tomb belonging to Pharaohs era has been discovered in Giza, Egypt on December 15, 2018. (Ahmed Al Sayed/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

    The tomb owner served King Neferirkare. In addition to the name of the deceased, hieroglyphs carved into the stone above the tomb’s door reveal his multiple titles.

    The grave’s rectangular gallery is reportedly covered in painted reliefs, sculptures and inscriptions, all in excellent shape considering how much time has passed.

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    The reliefs depict Wahtye himself, his wife Weret Ptah, and his mother Merit Meen, as well as everyday activities that include hunting, sailing and manufacturing goods such as pottery, according to National Geographic. The tomb features a total of 45 statues, including large painted statues of the priest and his family.

    The team of Egyptian archaeologists working here found five shafts in the tomb, several of which are sealed and could contain other exciting finds.

    A view inside a recently uncovered tomb of the Fifth Dynasty royal Priest during the reign of King Nefer Ir-Ka-Re, named "Wahtye", at the site of the step pyramid of Saqqara. (Photo by Mahmoud Abdelghany/picture alliance via Getty Images)

    “This shaft should lead to a coffin or a sarcophagus of the owner of the tomb,” said Waziri, indicating his best guess for the location of finds to come. Other shafts might hold the grave goods of the deceased.

    In recent years, Egypt has heavily promoted new archaeological finds to international media and diplomats in the hope of attracting more tourists to the country. The vital tourism sector has suffered from the years of political turmoil and violence that followed a 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

    Christopher Carbone covers technology and science for Fox News Digital. Tips or story leads: christopher.carbone@foxnews.com. Follow @christocarbone.

    New giant dinosaur discovered in Russia

    A new kind of giant dinosaur has been described in Russia. Dubbed Volgatitan, the herbivore belonged to a family of long-necked dinosaurs called sauropods. It weighed 17 tons and walked the earth 200 million to 65 million years ago.

    The enormous dinosaur was identified from seven of its vertebrae, which had been stuck in a cliff for 130 million years until they were discovered on the banks of the Volga river near Ulyanovsk in 1982.

    “[The fossils] come from a cliff of marine sediments which are rich in invertebrate fossils such as ammonite and bones [of] marine reptiles,” study author Dr. Alexander Averianov of the Russian Academy of Sciences told Fox News.

    180-MILLION-YEAR-OLD 'SEA MONSTER' FOUND WITH SKIN AND BLUBBER

    Averianov’s co-author Vladimir Efimov found the first three giant vertebrae after they fell out of the cliff in the early ’80s. A few years later, more limestone from the cliff broke off containing the remaining vertebrae. Efimov published a short note about the discovery in 1997, describing his discovery as “giant vertebrae of unknown taxonomic affiliation.”

    An image of the vertebrae. (Alexander Averianov and Vladimir Efimov)

    The bones sat for 20 years until they were re-examined by Averianov.

    “I started my work on sauropods quite recently, published on sauropod remains from the Late Cretaceous of Uzbekistan and describing the first sauropod taxa from Russia, Tengrisaurus and Sibirotitan, in 2017 and 2018 respectively,” Averianov said. “I decided to also study the fossils reported by Efimov and visited his museum in July 2017 and examined the fossils.”

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    Upon inspecting the bones, he noticed the caudal vertebrae’s unusual morphology.

    “[After] checking the literature when I returned home, [I] confirmed that this is a new taxon of titanosaurian sauropods,” Averianov recounted. A taxon refers to a specific group.

    Titanosaurs were the last surviving group of the giant long-necked dinosaurs and were some of the largest land animals known to have lived. It was previously believed that Titanosaurs’ evolution took place mainly in South America in the Early Cretaceous before some taxa migrated to North America, Europe and Asia in the Late Cretaceous. However, this new discovery in Russia shows that Titanosaurs were more widely distributed in the Early Cretaceous and that some of their important evolutionary stages may have happened in Eastern Europe and Asia.

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    Weighing in at 17 tons, Volgatitan’s not even close to being the largest titan of the Titanosaurs.

    “The largest members of this lineage reached 50-70 tons, but they lived much later, in the Late Cretaceous period,” Averianov explained. “Volgatitan is one of the oldest titanosaurian sauropods which lived in the beginning of the Early Cretaceous period, some 130 million years ago. However, it is quite large comparative to other earliest Cretaceous sauropods.”

    Averianov hopes to describe yet another new taxon of another dinosaur next, this one pretty famous as far as iconic dinos go.

    “We are currently working on the dinosaurs collected from the Early Cretaceous site in Yakutia, Eastern Siberia,” he said. “The fauna is dominated by stegosaurs and possibly we shall describe a new taxon of stegosaur when all specimens will be prepared.”

    The study can be found in the latest issue of Biological Communications.