The Tigris and Euphrates may disappear by 2040 An ichthyosaur skeleton has just been dated to a time when it shouldn’t have existed Ancestors of mosquitoes appeared before dinosaurs

EuphratesPhoto: HAIDAR HAMDANI / AFP / Profimedia

The Tigris and Euphrates may disappear by 2040

The two rivers that flow through Turkey, Syria and Iraq and formed the basis of the formation of the world’s first civilization, the Sumerian, may disappear sooner than we expect. At least this is what the governments of the mentioned countries, and recently NASA, are warning us about.

Data from NASA’s GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellites show that the Tigris and Euphrates have lost about 144 cubic kilometers of water since 2003. And if this trend continues, the two rivers are at risk of drying up completely by 2040.

The long drought of recent years has accelerated this process, and all the while the governments of the three countries have not agreed on how much else can be saved, due to different interpretations of international law.

By the time everything can be done, if anything can be done, Syria and Iraq are already facing an acute water crisis. International organizations have already reported on the health problems faced by Iraqis trying to get clean water.

Cholera, typhoid, diarrhea, chicken pox and measles are just a few of the diseases that have already been reported and are spreading throughout Iraq. In addition, the authorities are also concerned about the panic that may engulf the population, based on biblical interpretations of this phenomenon.

People are advised not to take what is written there literally, but the major changes that are expected do little to help the authorities so far.

An ichthyosaur skeleton has just been dated to a time when it shouldn’t have existed

According to hypotheses about the appearance of dinosaurs and marine reptiles, the evolution of dinosaurs began approximately 243-245 million years ago. Also at that time, a group of terrestrial reptiles took their first steps into the ocean, occupying the niches vacated by the largest extinction in the history of life, which occurred at the end of the Permian period 252 million years ago.

Thus, the post-apocalyptic moment coincided with the appearance of the first reptiles to adapt to marine and oceanic life, a pattern that the ancestors of modern cetaceans would repeat hundreds of millions later today. Among these marine reptiles, today we recall the famous ichthyosaurs, which became the top of the aquatic food chain about 160 million years ago.

But that would be a problem for all we knew. At least this is what a team of paleoanthropologists from Sweden and Norway reports in an article recently published in the journal Current Biology. What it is?

According to Scandinavian experts, they discovered several fossil remains of animals from the sedimentary level, dating back approximately 250 million years, on the Arctic island of Svalbard. It was a surprise that the researchers identified 11 ichthyosaur vertebrae among the fossils of fish and amphibians. Which, as I already said, is very strange, because they haven’t appeared yet.

To make sure they weren’t mistaken, said paleoanthropologists redid the geochemical tests several times, and they all gave the same result. Namely, the ichthyosaur fossils, belonging to a specimen similar to those belonging to the dinosaur period, actually date back to 250 million years ago.

And that means only one thing. That the history of dinosaurs and marine reptiles is different from everything we have learned. At least in the case of ichthyosaurs, they appeared before the Great Permian Extinction, the defining moment for the end of the Paleozoic (the period of old life) and the beginning of the Mesozoic (the period that marks the appearance and evolution of dinosaurs).

Ancestors of mosquitoes appeared before dinosaurs

If we were still mentioning the much earlier origin of certain groups of animals than was known, today we will also add the origin of mosquitoes, some of which go far beyond what was originally appreciated. More precisely, the moment of appearance of these insects varies between 226 and 79 million years, an evolutionary process that, of course, coincides with the period of existence of the giant reptiles of the Mesozoic. However, it seems the information was wrong again. Mosquitoes, albeit in a primitive form, managed to annoy even creatures of the Paleozoic long before the appearance of dinosaurs.

We learn about this from a group of researchers from England and Spain, who recently published data on the discovery of traces of this kind in the journal Papers in Paleontology. This is a fossil larva from the suborder Nematocera, the suborder that includes mosquitoes and other insects of this species.

The discovery was made in the Balearic Islands along with fossils of fish, plants and insects that lived sometime in the early Triassic period, about 247 million years ago. The specimen in question is the earliest evidence of the existence of Nematoceres, and the insect in question may be the common ancestor of the more than a million species that make up this suborder.

According to experts, the moment of their appearance could precede the Great Extinction of life in the Permian. And this makes the Nematocerae order not only one of the oldest still extant, but also extremely resilient, having survived at least three major extinction events, including the largest of all.

In conclusion, have no illusions. And when the Apocalypse comes, you still won’t get rid of mosquitoes.

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