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Look: Police find a neatly preserved fossil in the soil

salvador, bahia, brazil - february 3, 2014: Members of the Municipal Guard are seen queuing up durin...

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Imagine being involved in the illegal fossil trade. What does one’s calendar look like if they are a middle manager of sorts in the global transfer of ancient fossils for money?

Is there a brunch meeting with an eccentric collector? Drinks with a politician with whom you’re looking to curry favor? Does your four corner bed include old bones? What’s your nickname among colleagues? So many questions.

The police in Brazil know all about the illegal fossil trade, discovering one fossil so perfectly preserved that it opens the door to increased understanding of the life of one ancient creature.

I’m Nick Lucchesi, and this is Inverse Daily. Tell a friend to subscribe using this link. Keep reading for that fossil discovery report and more in this Thursday edition.

This is an adapted version of the Inverse Daily newsletter for Thursday, August 26, 2021. Subscribe for free and earn rewards for reading every day in your inbox. ✉️

A close-up look at the Tupandactylus navigans GP/2E 9266 fossil, along with a 3D rendering.Victor Beccari

Brazilian police find “exceptional” ancient fossil Tara Yarlagadda writes about a police raid in Brazil that uncovered a fossil of an ancient creature from the Cretaceous period. It should scientists better understand one quite enigmatic animal:

Brazil’s national police force typically makes headlines for its drug busts and cracking down on illegal arms deals.

But in 2013, the Federal Police had a more unusual target in mind: ancient fossils dating back to when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

The Federal Police conducted a sweeping investigation into the country’s illegal fossil trade, ultimately recovering more than 3,000 fossil specimens from the Brazilian states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, and Rio de Janeiro.

One of the specimens was a tapejarid fossil neatly preserved in limestone rock. The fossil belongs to the species Tupandactylus navigans.

Read the full story and (see the neatly preserved fossil!)

Keep going:

Dimitris66/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images

A new sperm discovery Elana Spivack reports on a study in mice that shows one gene is critical to regulating sperm motility:

It’s rare that a problem’s cause can also be its solution. However, this is the case with a recent discovery that involves sperm, infertility, and male contraceptives.

On one side of the coin is the problem of swimming to an egg and fertilizing it. On the other side is the near-total lack of a male contraceptive that could help prevent unwanted pregnancy.

A key to both curing infertility and preventing pregnancy? The SPATA33 gene.

Read the full story.

The more you know:

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Is sexual orientation genetic or environmental Katie MacBride reports new research suggests that social factors and information play a bigger role in same-sex sexual behavior:

There’s nothing new about being gay, but that hasn’t stopped scientists from trying to understand it.

Over the past two decades, many researchers have become focused on the notion of a “gay gene” — biological proof that one was “born this way.”

It makes sense: Our genes can influence who we are, and psychologists contend sexual orientation is not a conscious choice. It theoretically stands to reason there might be genetic underpinnings to who we become sexually attracted to.

But more recent research has both confirmed and debunked the notion of a genetic basis for sexual orientation. Instead of just one gene (or one marker on one gene) that determines sexual orientation, many genes have markers related to attraction to the same sex.

Read the full story.

Go deeper:

In the Badlands trim, the Bronco Sport can handle an impressive amount of off-road action.Ford

It's the Bronco Sport, people Jordan Golson reviews the Ford Bronco Sport and shares what makes the "Baby Bronco" such a great buy:

The smaller Bronco Sport, based on the Ford Escape crossover and filled with a lot more curvy design features than the old Bronco had, was released first — almost nine months before its bigger, badder brother.

Read the full story.

Related headlines:

Actress Gal Gadot and actor Chris Pine attend the Wonder Woman Mexico City premiere at Parque Toreo on May 27, 2017. Pine marks a birthday today. The actor turns 41.Victor Chavez/WireImage/Getty Images
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