Science: gemstones can grow in minutes, nanodiamonds can also form through low pressure, new species of small pterosaur discovered, global “Climate Reference Curve“

Black tourmaline going to pink tourmaline within a quartz pegmatite at California's Stewart Lithia mine. Photo: Patrick Phelps / Rice University

Recent discoveries about our planet, its rocks, and other “stone” topics

Larger crystals take time to grow, is a classical understanding in mineralogy. But recently, scientists have shown that some of the Earth’s finest gemstones like emerald, aquamarine, topaz and others can also grow in minutes.

The fluid inclusions inside the olivine contain nanodiamonds, apart from serpentine, magnetite, metallic silicon, and pure methane. Foto: University of BarcelonaNatural nanodiamonds can also form through low pressure and temperature geological processes in oceanic rocks, not only by crystalizing the cubic system of carbon under ultra-high-pressure conditions at great depths in the Earth’s mantle. Spanish scientists have confirmed such processes in the Moa-Baracoa Ophiolitic Massif, in Cuba, which underwent mineral alterations due to marine water infiltrations.

An artist's impression of Leptostomia begaaensis. Source: Megan Jacobs, University of PortsmouthA new species of small pterosaur – similar in size to a turkey – has been discovered, which is unlike any other pterosaur seen before due to its long slender toothless beak. Careful searching of the late Cretaceous Kem Kem strata of Morocco, where this particular bone was found, revealed additional fossils of the animal, which led to the team concluding it was a new species with a long, skinny beak, like that of a Kiwi.

The CENOGRID shows Earth has experienced four distinct climate states over the last 66 million years. Source: Thomas WesterholdChanges in the Earth’s climate over the last 66 million years are revealed in unprecedented detail in the new global “climate reference curve“. It is the first record to continually and accurately trace how the Earth’s climate has changed since the great extinction of the dinosaurs.

(25.10.2020, USA: 10.25.2020)