Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 9:16 am
Since construction workers discovered dozens of fossils along a highway in Chile in 2011, one question has preoccupied researchers:
What killed the whales, seals and other creatures that ended up there more than 5 million years ago?
Writing in Proceedings of The Royal Society B, scientists from the Smithsonian Institution and universities in the U.S. and Chile say the culprits were among the smallest possible killers: "Algal toxins."
For years, museum conservators and paleontologists have yearned for a way to duplicate fragile fossils without damaging them. Now scientists with the University of Oregon say they have found a way to do just that, with the help of a relatively inexpensive 3-D printer.