Friday Headlines: 4-18-14

Friday Headlines, April 18, 2014



Today’s round-up:

Earthquake near Acapulco!

Fossil embryos?!


M7.2 – 36km NNW of Tecpan de Galeana, Mexico

This earthquake occurred where the Cocos plate is subducting (sliding beneath) the North American plate. Such earthquakes are very common along the western edges of North and South America (although the earthquakes in California are from a different but related mechanism).

This one was cool because it showed up on the seismometer that we have in our building.

Our seismograph shows the quake quite clearly.
Our seismograph shows the quake quite clearly.


Tiny Fossils Could Be Rare 500-Million-Year-Old Embryos

All multi-cellular organisms on this planet under go a stage early in development where they are an embryo. The earliest part of embryology is a stage where there is merely a hollow ball of cells.

From time-to-time, these embryonic cell-balls get preserved in the fossil record.

Recently, some fossils were found in a Cambrian (540 million to 485 million years ago) aged limestone in China.

It’s difficult to know what animal these might have come from, given the age of the rocks as well as the fact that many animals go through this same embryonic stage. It is interesting, however, to realize that embryonic development is the same now as it was more than 400 million years ago!


  1. I’m wondering who built the seismograph shown in the picture?

    It looks like a home made version of the drum recorders made in the 1960s by Lehner & Griffith Instruments of Pasadena, California.


    1. Penny says:

      I don’t know the manufacturer, but the vintage you suggest would make sense. This seismograph was installed in its current place in the 1970s when the building was constructed. I could check around if anyone knows more…


      1. Thanks for the reply.
        If you could inquire about who built the seismograph, that would be helpful. I’m an electronic and mechanical tech and I used to build those types of instruments.



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