30 Jun 2015

Big dinosaurs steered clear of the tropics

For more than 30 million years after dinosaurs first appeared, they remained inexplicably rare near the equator, where only a few small-bodied meat-eating dinosaurs made a living.

Collinsium ciliosum, a Collins’ monster-type lobopodian from the early Cambrian Xiaoshiba biota of China Credit: Jie Yang
30 Jun 2015

Spiky monsters: new species of ‘super-armoured’ worm discovered

A newly-identified species of spike-covered worm with legs, which lived 500 million years ago, was one of the first animals on Earth to develop armour for protection.

29 Jun 2015

New Sesotho-named dinosaur from South Africa

South African and Argentinian palaeontologists have discovered a new 200 million year old dinosaur from South Africa, and named it Sefapanosaurus, from the Sesotho word “sefapano”.

Nils Knötschke from Dinosaur Park Münchehagen, excavating the footprints in 2003. In order to keep the footprints from breaking while they were chiseled out of the rock, they were coated in plaster before removing them. Photo: Holger Lüdtke/2003
24 Jun 2015

Researchers Reconstruct Dinosaur Tracks

Twelve years ago, footprints of carnivorous dinosaurs were discovered and excavated in a quarry near Goslar.

This is Hallucigenia sparsa from the Burgess Shale (Royal Ontario Museum 61513). The fossil is 15 mm long. Credit : Jean-Bernard Caron
24 Jun 2015

Newly found ring of teeth uncovers what common ancestor of molting animals looked like

A new study of an otherworldly creature from half a billion years ago – a worm-like animal with legs, spikes and a head difficult to distinguish from its tail – has definitively identified its head for the first time, and revealed a previously unknown ring of teeth and a pair of simple eyes.

This is a computer model and virtual development of the tooth plate of Romundina stellina, with colors gold through purple indicating the first up to the final tooth addition. Credit : Martin Rücklin, Naturalis Biodiversity Center
24 Jun 2015

Forgotten fossil indicates earlier origin of teeth

The tooth plate of just some millimeters in size had been in a box for more than 40 years, without being recognized after the discovery and preparation of the fish it belonged to.

08 Jun 2015

Paleo-engineering: New study reveals complexity of Triceratops’ teeth

When it comes to the three-horned dinosaur called the Triceratops, science is showing the ancient creatures might have been a little more complex than we thought.

05 Jun 2015

New species of horned dinosaur with ‘bizarre’ features revealed

About 10 years ago, Peter Hews stumbled across some bones sticking out of a cliff along the Oldman River in southeastern Alberta, Canada.

02 Jun 2015

Yorkshire’s oldest new addition to the ‘Jurassic World’

Experts from the University of Manchester have identified Britain’s oldest sauropod dinosaur from a fossil bone discovered on the Yorkshire coast.

21 May 2015

Paleontologists discover the first dinosaur fossil in Washington State

The fossils of the first dinosaur fossil from Washington State were collected along the shores of Sucia Island State Park in the San Juan Islands.

15 May 2015

Clues contained in 500 million-year-old brain point to the origin of heads in early animals

A new study from the University of Cambridge has identified one of the oldest fossil brains ever discovered – more than 500 million years old – and used it to help determine how heads first evolved in early animals.

15 May 2015

Did ocean acidification from the asteroid impact that killed the dinosaurs cause the extinction of marine molluscs?

New research, led by the University of Southampton, has questioned the role played by ocean acidification, produced by the asteroid impact that killed the dinosaurs, in the extinction of ammonites and other planktonic calcifiers 66 million years ago

12 May 2015

Retracing the bird’s beak to its dinosaur origins, in the laboratory

Scientists have successfully replicated the molecular processes that led from dinosaur snouts to the first bird beaks.

17 Apr 2015

How ancient species survived or died off in their old Kentucky home

Researchers at an old geological site talk ‘dirt’ about how Ice Age climate change led to the extinction of mammoths and mastodons, but to the evolution and survival of bison, deer and other present-day species.

13 Apr 2015

What life was like for newborn giant sea lizards during the age of the dinosaur

Many scientists have studied fossils from gigantic marine lizards called mosasaurs that lived at the time of the dinosaurs and flourished in ancient seas, but little is known about aspects of their breeding and birth.

08 Apr 2015

X-raying the past: New insights into the life of extinct marine creatures

Using state-of-the-art imaging techniques, palaeontologists at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) have been examining extinct marine creatures.

07 Apr 2015

Brontosaurus is back!

Although well known as one of the most iconic dinosaurs, Brontosaurus (the ‘thunder lizard’) has long been considered misclassified.

01 Apr 2015

Discovery of 2 new species of primitive fishes

Saurichthys is a predatory fish characterized by a long thin body and a sharply pointed snout with numerous teeth.

31 Mar 2015

New lobster-like predator found in 508 million-year-old fossil-rich site

What do butterflies, spiders and lobsters have in common?

19 Mar 2015

Crocodile Ancestor Was Top Predator Before Dinosaurs Roamed North America

A newly discovered crocodilian ancestor may have filled one of North America’s top predator roles before dinosaurs arrived on the continent.

18 Mar 2015

Beetles beat out extinction

Today’s rich variety of beetles may be due to an historically low extinction rate rather than a high rate of new species emerging, according to a new study. These findings were revealed by combing through the fossil record.

12 Mar 2015

Skull reconstruction sheds new light on tetrapod transition from water to land

360 million-year-old tetrapods may have been more like modern crocodiles than previously thought, according to 3D skull reconstruction.

26 Feb 2015

Kenyan fossils show evolution of hippos

A French-Kenyan research team has just described a new fossil ancestor of today’s hippo family. This discovery bridges a gap in the fossil record separating these animals from their closest modern-day cousins, the cetaceans.

24 Feb 2015

International team of scientists launches fossil database

This week a groundbreaking new resource for scientists will go live, and it is designed to help answer just those kinds of questions.

21 Feb 2015

Secret of extinct British marine reptile uncovered

A new type of ichthyosaur, an extinct marine reptile which was alive at the same time as the dinosaurs, has been identified from a fossil found on Dorset’s Jurassic coast.

19 Feb 2015

Rust preserves fossils from early Earth

Tübingen geomicrobiologists show experimentally how microbial fossils resist the conditions of rock formation

17 Feb 2015

Plants survive better through mass extinctions than animals

At least 5 mass extinction events have profoundly changed the history of life on Earth. But a new study led by researchers at the University of Gothenburg shows that plants have been very resilient to those events.

10 Feb 2015

Amber fossil links earliest grasses, dinosaurs and fungus used to produce LSD

A perfectly preserved amber fossil from Myanmar has been found that provides evidence of the earliest grass specimen ever discovered – about 100 million years old – and even then it was topped by a fungus similar to ergot, which for eons has been intertwined with animals and humans.

05 Feb 2015

US scientists find 15-million-year-old mollusk protein

Washington, D.C.– A team of US scientists have found “beautifully preserved” 15 million-year-old thin protein sheets in fossil shells from southern Maryland.

22 Jan 2015

Doubt cast on global firestorm generated by dino-killing asteroid

Pioneering new research has debunked the theory that the asteroid that is thought to have led to the extinction of dinosaurs also caused vast global firestorms that ravaged planet Earth.

22 Jan 2015

Fossils survive volcanic eruption to tell us about the origin of the Canary Islands

The most recent eruption on the Canary Islands – at El Hierro in 2011 – produced spectacularly enigmatic white “floating rocks” that originated from the layers of oceanic sedimentary rock underneath the island.

21 Jan 2015

Paleontologist names 9-foot-long ‘predator croc’ that preceded dinosaurs

Finding a new species of dinosaur is pretty rare. Getting a hand in the discovery and naming of one – that’s rarer still.

20 Jan 2015

Fossil ankles indicate Earth’s earliest primates lived in trees

Earth’s earliest primates have taken a step up in the world, now that researchers have gotten a good look at their ankles.

19 Jan 2015

Preserved fossil represents oldest record of parental care in group of prehistoric reptiles

New research details how a preserved fossil found in China could be the oldest record of post-natal parental care from the Middle Jurassic.

16 Jan 2015

Tiny plant fossils a window into Earth’s landscape millions of years ago

Minuscule, fossilized pieces of plants could tell a detailed story of what the Earth looked like 50 million years ago.

15 Jan 2015

Out of the pouch: Ancient DNA from extinct giant roos

Scientists have finally managed to extract DNA from Australia’s extinct giant kangaroos – the mysterious marsupial megafauna that roamed Australia over 40,000 years ago.

13 Jan 2015

Dinosaurs wiped out rapidly in Europe 66 million years ago

Dinosaurs flourished in Europe right up until the asteroid impact that wiped them out 66 million years ago, a new study shows.

05 Jan 2015

Study puts new perspective on snake evolution

Snakes may not have shoulders, but their bodies aren’t as simple as commonly thought, according to a new study that could change how scientists think snakes evolved.

24 Dec 2014

110-million-year-old crustacean holds essential piece to evolutionary puzzle

University of Alberta PhD student Javier Luque has found the oldest crown-group true higher crab ever discovered, deep in the tropics of Colombia. The discovery of Telamonocarcinus antiquus pushes back the oldest known record of true higher crabs into the Early Cretaceous, dating about 110 million years ago.

24 Dec 2014

Insight into the evolution of vertebrate visionAdd to my bookmarks

The first discovery of fossilised rods and cones, receptors in the visual system, is reported online this week in Nature Communications.