By Michael Allaby

This dictionary of earth sciences has been revised and up-to-date and includes over 6000 entries, together with planetary technological know-how, distant sensing, data, and series stratigraphy, and immense updating in paleontology, mineralogy, and geophysics.

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An Early *Cretaceous *age, preceded by the *Barremian, followed by the *Albian, and dated at 112–125 Ma (Int. Commission on Stratigraphy, 2004). 2. The name of the corresponding European *stage, which is named after Apt in France. See also neocomian. aptychus A calcitic plate associated with *Mesozoic *ammonites. Normally these plates occur in pairs. Aptychi are shaped like bivalves (*Bivalvia) and have an ornamented outer surface. Since they have been found inside the aperture of ammonoid shells they were originally interpreted as *opercula, protecting the ammonoid body when it was withdrawn into the shell.

Von Meyer in 1861 and is of Middle *Kimmeridgian or Upper *Jurassic age. Recent work on this species by several palaeontologists tends to support the theory that the birds, through Archaeopteryx, evolved from *coelurosaur *dinosaurs similar to Compsognathus. The species A. lithographica possesses several primitive characters such as teeth, as well as specialized features such as feathers and hollow bones. It is a good example of a connecting species which exhibits a mosaic of evolutionary features.

Its value is determined experimentally. angle of reflection The angle between a reflected ray or wave and the normal to a reflecting surface. angle of refraction The angle between a refracted ray or wave and the normal to a refracting surface. The angle of refraction is related to the *angle of incidence by *Snell’s law. A ray or wave entering a medium in which its speed is higher than in the medium it is leaving will deviate away from the normal, whereas when it enters a medium of lower speed it will deviate towards the normal.

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