News:According to a study of fossil shells of Torreites sanchez, Earth spun 372 times a year 70 million years ago compared to the current 365.This means the day was 23½ hours long compared to 24 hours.
About the Study:
- Torreites sanchezi is an extinct mollusk species of rudist clam that lived during the Cretaceous period,some 70 million years ago.The mollusk used to grow fast laying down daily growth rings.
- The researchers used lasers to sample minute slices of Torreites sanchezi’s shell and count the growth rings.
- The rings allowed the scientists to determine the number of days in a year and more accurately calculate the length of a day 70 million years ago.
- The study also informs of how the Moon formed and how close to Earth it has been over the 4.5-billion-year history of the Earth-Moon gravitational dance.