125 Million Years Ago, One of the World's Very First Flowers Bloomed

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iStock

Ferocious dinosaurs roamed the Earth during the early Cretaceous Period (145 to 100 million years ago), but beneath their giant feet, a tiny—yet important—evolutionary movement was beginning to take root. During the previous Jurassic Era, the world had been filled with ferns, conifers, and cycads, and nary a flower bloomed. This changed around 125 million years ago, our fossil records show, when one of the word’s very first flowers, Archaefructus liaoningensis, sprouted in what is now northeastern China. This preserved plant marks the beginning of angiosperms, which are fruiting plants that rely on animals to spread their capsule-enclosed seeds.

In the video below, PBS Eons explains why angiosperms were so important to early life on Earth, and how they took over the world to eventually account for more than 80 percent of the world’s terrestrial plants.

31 Facts About Sharks

Simba, the world's most adorable Pomeranian, hosts The List Show. Some enamored human being helps … we think her name is Erin McCarthy.
Simba, the world's most adorable Pomeranian, hosts The List Show. Some enamored human being helps … we think her name is Erin McCarthy.

Sharks are some of the world's most intimidating creatures, right down to their species names. There’s the hammerhead shark, the great white shark, the bull shark—but did you know there’s also a cookiecutter shark? Don’t be fooled by its name, though: Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy says that the cookiecutter shark often preys on animals many times its size, and isn’t afraid to take a chunk out of a human. (And how they take a bite out of something is even more terrifying/fascinating.)

In this week’s edition of The List Show, Erin gives the lowdown on 31 amazing shark-related facts, including details on some Icelandic delicacies that even Anthony Bourdain found disgusting to trivia about Peter Benchley's Jaws.

You can watch the full episode—and catch Erin doing her best Tom Jones impression—below.

For more episodes like this one, be sure to subscribe here.

Watch Avengers: Endgame's Epic Final Battle in 16-Bit Animation

Mr Sunday Movies via YouTube
Mr Sunday Movies via YouTube

It’s indisputable that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has highly dedicated fans who are willing to go the extra mile to pay tribute to their favorite films. The fan response to Avengers: Endgame has kept up this standard, with a deluge of art flooding the internet since the film’s premiere in April. Now, a fan creation has emerged to offer a new look at a climactic Endgame scene: a 16-bit rendition of the final battle.

The animated short was produced by animator John Stratman and musical artist Kenny Mac, and was posted on the YouTube channel Mr Sunday Movies, as reported by The A,V, Club. The animation was adapted from Marvel-branded Super Nintendo video games, with extra creative energy being applied to characters who weren’t present in these games.

Though the short doesn’t include voice acting from the film, it mitigates this absence with a send-up to classic video games, which features boxes with text in place of voiced dialogue. And it appears that Stratman and Mac went to great lengths to capture the scene accurately, rendering specific shots and exact lines in their 16-bit format.

Endgame, meanwhile, has achieved worldwide financial success and critical acclaim, winning Best Movie at the MTV Movie & TV Awards and coming closer to the coveted spot of highest-grossing movie of all time (just behind James Cameron’s Avatar). Marvel Studios, capitalizing on this success, has announced that the film will return to theaters with extra footage this weekend.

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