Zinke's Public Lands Recommendations Show 'Blatant Disrespect of the American People'
Details about reduction of acreage were not made public. Utah continues to wait for the details that will outline the fate of our precious Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.
During the wait, crowds of Utahns have and are expected to flood Rep. Rob Bishop's town halls demonstrating their discontent with the constant local attacks on invaluable public lands.
Zinke Recommends Shrinking Some of the Nation's Most Cherished Public Lands https://t.co/4Je6Weg1TM (@ecowatch) #KeepItPublic— Sierra Club (@Sierra Club)1503600268.0
Zinke's recommendations come after the secretary received more than 2.8 million public comments—98 percent urging their current and future protection. Stripping safeguards for these places is an unprecedented act in history and an insult to Native American tribes. Though Zinke vowed to keep the sites under public ownership, the secretary has indicated drilling, mining and clearcutting will likely be allowed on the sites, copy-catting the administration's overall favoritism of the fossil fuel industry.
"This administration constantly puts profits over people and the environment," said Sierra Club Utah Chapter public lands leader Wayne Hoskisson in a statement. "It's a true shame Trump's team would rather benefit a few fossil fuel industry-insiders than valuing years of history representing diverse cultures, recreation spaces that bring billions of dollars to the American economy and the opportunity for future generations to enjoy places that actually help make America great.
"This lack of transparency by the administration is an insult to the tribes and millions of Americans who offered public comment. Zinke continues to shut out these voices and is turning a review of our public lands into blatant disrespect of the American people. National Monuments are public lands. Hence, public opinion should be valued."
Sweden's reindeer have a problem. In winter, they feed on lichens buried beneath the snow. But the climate crisis is making this difficult. Warmer temperatures mean moisture sometimes falls as rain instead of snow. When the air refreezes, a layer of ice forms between the reindeer and their meal, forcing them to wander further in search of ideal conditions. And sometimes, this means crossing busy roads.
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By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
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