5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including the terrifying 'Carolina Butcher' croc and an ancient Viking ring
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2015 5:55 AM CDT
Newly discovered crocodile ancestor 'Carolina Butcher' ruled before the dinosaurs.   (FornewsHD)

(Newser) – A study on the earning potential of breastfed babies and some possible good news for liberals make the list:

  • Giant Upright 'Butcher' Croc Ruled NC: A giant crocodile that walked on its hind legs roamed what is now North Carolina 231 million years ago. The 9-foot-long "Carolina Butcher" went extinct by the end of the Triassic Period—about 200 million years ago—and based on its "Frankenstein"-like description, we're glad it's long gone.
  • If You Were Breastfed, You'll End Up Making More: Researchers have been keeping tabs on a group of Brazilian children since 1982, and recently checked in with 3,500 of them. The results: Those who were breastfed had higher IQs and were earning more money. And the longer, the better—babies who were breastfed for more than a year make a good chunk more a month than babies breastfed for less than a month.

  • Porn Might Not Ruin Your Sex Life After All: There's been a lot of talk about porn desensitizing guys to sexual stimuli and causing erectile dysfunction. But researchers put this link to the test and found there isn't much of one. So what does cause erectile function? Pretty much what you'd suspect.
  • Ring Links Vikings to Ancient Islam: Not only did the Vikings land in North America long before 1492, they may have visited the Islamic world as well. Researchers say a ring found in a ninth-century Swedish Viking woman's grave in the trading center of Birka is inscribed in an old Arabic script with either "to Allah" or "for Allah."
  • Who's Cheerier, Conservatives or Liberals?: Years of research would say the former—but a new series of studies is saying it's liberals who show a little more happiness. Previous findings have been based on self-reports of "subjective well-being," but this time researchers looked at language, habits, and facial expressions used by the subjects. They even found a way to analyze tweets for insight.
Click to read about more discoveries.

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