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Jan. 9, 2013 at 7:04 PM
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Apple mulling lower-cost iPhone model?

NEW YORK, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Apple is working on a low-cost iPhone in hopes of recovering market share lost to less-expensive Android phones, sources have told The Wall Street Journal.

People briefed on the matter said Apple is developing a less-expensive iPhone as an alternative to its existing model, the Journal reported Wednesday.

The new phone could resemble the existing iPhone but with a different shell made of polycarbonate plastic rather than the aluminum housing of the current iPhone 5, a source told the newspaper.

Lower-cost phones running Google's Android operating system have cut into Apple's share of the smartphone market, which dropped to 14.86 percent of worldwide device shipments in the third quarter of 2012, down from a peak of 23 percent in the first quarter of the year, the Journal said.

Offering multiple iPhone models would be a departure for Apple, which has sold only one main new iPhone model at a time since the smartphone debuted in 2007.

The iPhone and accessories for it are responsible for nearly half of Apple's revenue, the Journal reported.

A spokeswoman for the company declined to comment on the reports of a low-cost iPhone, the newspaper said.

Fossil tracks of dino 'stampede' studied

BRISBANE, Australia, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- The preserved tracks of an assumed dinosaur "stampede" in Australia are largely those of swimming rather than running animals, paleontologists say.

University of Queensland researchers studied thousands of small dinosaur tracks in central-western Queensland where 95-million-year-old prints are preserved in thin beds of sandstone deposited in a shallow river when the area was part of a vast, forested floodplain.

"Many of the tracks are nothing more than elongated grooves, and probably formed when the claws of swimming dinosaurs scratched the river bottom," Queensland doctoral candidate Anthony Romilio said. "Some of the more unusual tracks include 'tippy-toe' traces -- this is where fully buoyed dinosaurs made deep, near vertical scratch marks with their toes as they propelled themselves through the water.

"It's difficult to see how tracks such as these could have been made by running or walking animals," Romilio said in a university release Wednesday.

The swimming dinosaur tracks at Lark Quarry Conservation Park belonged to small, two-legged herbivorous dinosaurs known as ornithopods, he said.

However, Romilio said, the study may contradict the long-held belief the huge numbers of tracks are the result of a dinosaur "stampede."

"Taken together, these findings strongly suggest Lark Quarry does not represent a 'dinosaur stampede,'" he said. "A better analogy for the site is probably a river crossing."

Ancient Roman theater unearthed in Britain

FAVERSHAM, England, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Archaeologists in Britain say they have uncovered the remains of a 2,000-year-old Roman theater, thought to be the first ever discovered in the country.

Researchers from the Kent Archaeological Field School said the outdoor auditorium built into a hillside in Faversham could seat 12,000 people.

Fifty rows of seats over an area 200 feet in diameter faced an orchestra pit and a narrow stage, they said.

About 150 similar theaters have been found across northern Europe but the Kent remains are the first to be found in Britain, The Guardian newspaper reported.

Signs of use dating back as far as the Bronze Age suggest the site was probably also used for religious festivals, Paul Wilkinson of the Kent field school said.

"This is important for Roman archaeology because this is the first theater of its type found in Britain," he said. "Therefore it shows that architectural practices in continental Europe at the time did seep over into Britain."

Wilkinson said he has submitted an application to English Heritage for the theater to become a protected ancient monument site.

"We haven't even begun to touch on the amount of archaeology which is there," he said.

Record low temperatures in Bangladesh

DHAKA, Bangladesh, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Bangladesh has recorded its lowest temperatures in nearly 60 years, an unexpected result of global warming, scientists said.

In the capital of Dhaka and elsewhere in the country the temperature dropped to 37.7 degrees F Wednesday, the lowest temperature in last 57 years, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.

That surpassed the previous lowest minimum temperature of 39 degrees, recorded in 1955 when the country was a part of Pakistan, the Bangladesh Meteorological Department said.

The severe cold wave sweeping through normally tropical Bangladesh brought normal life and businesses to a near standstill, officials said.

The freezing weather may continue for two to three days, meteorologist Shah Alam said.

Experts are blaming the cold temperatures on more intense cold fronts resulting from global warming melting polar ice.

"Extreme events are on the rise throughout the world and they will continue to increase further due to global warming," said Aninun Nishat, an environment specialist. "We're part of the world. So, we're also feeling here the pinch of the global warming."

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