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100 mil­lion


The part of the mis­sile that re-en­ters Earth’s at­mos­phere on its way to the tar­get


Pro­pels the mis­sile through­out its flight. They even­tu­ally fall off when the fuel in them is used up

Pow­ers the mis­sile. Zero fu­el­ing time com­pared to liq­uid fuel used in older rock­ets


Palaeon­tol­o­gists say China is now the world’s lead­ing source of pterosaur re­search, af­ter hun­dreds of fos­silised eggs, some with the em­bryos’ bones in­tact, were dis­cov­ered in the far north­west of the coun­try . The eggs of the Hamipterus tian­sha­nen­sis species are well known for their frag­ile shells, mak­ing the dis­cov­ery an ab­so­lute wind­fall. To date, only 10 other eggs have been un­cov­ered, five of which are also from China.

Dr Wang Xiaolin from Bei­jing’s In­sti­tute of Ver­te­brate Palaeon­tol­ogy and Pa­le­oan­thro­pol­ogy, and Dr Alexander Kell­ner from Brazil’s Fed­eral Univer­sity of Rio de Janeiro dis­cov­ered the fos­sils in Xin­jiang’s Tur­pan-hami Basin, the fourth-low­est ex­posed point on Earth. Why so many eggs were found there is still a mys­tery, though Dr Kell­ner sug­gests pterosaurs may have laid eggs near river­banks that suf­fered heavy flood­ing, sub­merg­ing the eggs and pre­serv­ing them.

The re­searchers are try­ing to piece to­gether how Hamipterus de­vel­oped by com­par­ing bones from in­di­vid­u­als of dif­fer­ent ages, but the in­com­plete fos­sil record is mak­ing that job dif­fi­cult. The team’s hunt for more fos­sils in north­west­ern China con­tin­ues. “I think we have a good chance,” Dr Kell­ner says. “It’s just a ques­tion of field­work.”

China is on a roll in fos­sil dis­cov­er­ies. Barely a month af­ter the pterosaur wind­fall, an­other 30 fos­silised di­nosaur eggs were dis­cov­ered by work­ers at a con­struc­tion site in Ganzhou, China’s “home­town of di­nosaurs”, in Jiangxi Prov­ince. The per­fectly pre­served eggs are about 130 mil­lion years old.

Over 200 Fos­silised Pterosaur Eggs Dis­cov­ered in China


Bit­coin might be trend­ing now, but Chi­nese users who want to hop on the band­wagon have their op­tions se­verely lim­ited, as China’s gov­ern­ment last year be­gan its crack­down on cryp­tocur­ren­cies by ban­ning ini­tial coin of­fer­ings (ICO) in the coun­try.

Cryp­tocur­ren­cies are dig­i­tal cur­ren­cies stored in a se­cure, record-keep­ing In­ter­net pro­gramme called a blockchain, and can be used in­de­pen­dent of ex­change rates and fi­nan­cial in­sti­tutes like banks.

This lets users con­duct dig­i­tal trans­ac­tions with­out fear of gov­ern­men­tal pros­e­cu­tion or seizure of funds. ICOS are a way for com­pa­nies, es­pe­cially star­tups, to fundraise by giv­ing out com­pany cryp­tocur­ren­cies in ex­change for cash from in­vestors. Much like stocks and shares, in­vestors keep the coin, hop­ing it will in­crease in value as the com­pany ex­pands. How­ever, ICOS are not reg­u­lated by fi­nan­cial bod­ies, leav­ing them open to abuse by scam­mers who col­lect funds and dis­ap­pear.

Ex­perts say that China’s ban on ICOS pro­tects am­a­teur in­vestors who are blindly fol­low­ing the trend, hop­ing to get rich quick, but with­out fully un­der­stand­ing how these cur­ren­cies work. Oth­ers say that this will se­verely stunt the pop­u­lar­ity and use of dig­i­tal ledgers and coin trans­ac­tions in a mar­ket where e-pay­ment and QR codes are widely em­braced by the public.

Chi­nese Cit­i­zens Banned From Cryp­tocur­rency Of­fer­ings China’s ban on ICOS pro­tects am­a­teur in­vestors who are blindly fol­low­ing the trend, hop­ing to get rich quick

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