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Keyword: fossils

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  • A surprise find: 99-million-year-old frog encased in amber

    06/15/2018 10:22:59 PM PDT · by Simon Green · 44 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | 06/15/18 | Allyson Chiu
    At first glance, the oddly shaped splotches darkening a vibrant yellow piece of amber appear to be amorphous blobs. But upon closer examination, a shape emerges. There are two forelimbs. At the end of each limb are four smaller bones, forming a distinctly handlike shape. Within the largest dark spot, which has a rounded top, eye sockets become distinguishable. It’s a skull. Encased within the smooth chunk of amber is the body of a tiny young tropical frog. Scientists say the diminutive critter, measuring less than an inch long, lived about 99 million years ago before it became entombed in...
  • Remarkable spider with a tail found preserved in amber after 100 million years

    02/05/2018 1:43:42 PM PST · by Red Badger · 17 replies
    phys.org ^ | February 5, 2018 | University of Kansas
    The Cretaceous arachnid Chimerarachne yingi was found trapped in amber after 100 million years. Credit: University of Kansas ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ An extraordinary new species of arachnid, resembling a spider with a tail, has been discovered in amber from Myanmar (formerly Burma), of mid-Cretaceous age, around 100 million years ago. The finding is described in a paper appearing Monday in Nature Ecology & Evolution by an international team including Paul Selden of the Paleontological Institute and Department of Geology at the University of Kansas and colleagues from China, Germany, Virginia and the United Kingdom. "There's been a lot of amber being produced...
  • Ticks Trapped in Amber Were Likely Sucking Dinosaur Blood

    12/12/2017 11:09:48 AM PST · by G Larry · 34 replies
    NYT ^ | 12-12-17 | NICHOLAS ST. FLEUR
    Paleontologists have found entombed in amber a 99-million-year-old tick grasping the feather of a dinosaur, providing the first direct evidence that the tiny pests drank dinosaur blood. Immortalized in the golden gemstone, the bloodsucker’s last supper is remarkable because it is rare to find parasites with their hosts in the fossil record. The finding, which was published Tuesday, gives researchers tantalizing insight into the prehistoric diet of one of today’s most prevalent pests.
  • Ticks That Fed on Dinosaurs Found Trapped in Amber

    12/12/2017 11:08:03 AM PST · by Red Badger · 43 replies
    news.nationalgeographic.com ^ | 12/12/2017 | John Pickrell
    Tiny fossils preserved in Cretaceous resin include one parasite that was engorged when it died. Blood-filled parasites trapped in amber have been igniting imaginations since the 1990s, when the resurrected dinosaurs of Jurassic Park burst out of Michael Crichton’s novels and onto the big screen. Now, scientists say they have found the real deal: chunks of Burmese amber carrying ticks that drank the blood of feathered dinosaurs some 99 million years ago. One of these parasites is tangled up in a possible dinosaur feather found encased in a lump of amber. Another was found in a separate piece of amber...
  • New Cretaceous Fossils Shed Light On The Early Evolution Of Ants

    06/18/2016 2:33:15 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    Eurekalert! ^ | May 30, 2016 | Current Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
    The vast majority of Cretaceous ants belong to stem-group Formicidae and comprise workers and reproductives of largely generalized morphologies... recent discoveries from the Cretaceous suggest relatively advanced social levels. Remarkable exceptions to this pattern of generalized morphologies are ants with bizarre mouthparts in which both female castes have modified heads and bladelike mandibles that uniquely move in a horizontal rather than vertical plane... with the mandibles apparently acting as traps triggered by sensory hairs in a way distinct from that of modern trap-jaw ants... some of the most effective predatory ants are solitary hunters with powerful trap jaws... Dr. WANG...
  • Ancient flowering plant was beautiful -- but probably poisonous

    02/16/2016 9:19:40 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | Monday, February 15, 2016 | Oregon State University
    Researchers today announced in the journal Nature Plants the discovery of the first-ever fossil specimens of an "asterid" - a family of flowering plants that gave us everything from the potato to tomatoes, tobacco, petunias and our morning cup of coffee. But these two 20-30 million-year-old fossil flowers, found perfectly preserved in a piece of amber, came from the dark side of the asterid family - they belong to the genus Strychnos, which ultimately gave rise to some of the world's most famous poisons, including strychnine and curare. Poisons that would later find their way into blow-gun weapons, rat control,...
  • Scientists Have Found An Ancient Fossilized Mosquito Full Of Blood (46 Million Years OLD)

    10/14/2013 8:54:39 PM PDT · by blam · 22 replies
    BI ^ | 10-14-2013 | Jennifer Welsh
    Scientists Have Found An Ancient Fossilized Mosquito Full Of Blood Jennifer Welsh Oct. 14, 2013, 5:37 PMBlood engorged mosquito Researchers have just published an exciting find: a 46-million-year-old mosquito full of blood. Next stop "Jurassic Park"? Not so fast. The find is really interesting because it's the first example of blood-feeding in these ancient insects. We hadn't had clear evidence of when this began until now. They found the mosquito in shale sediments in Montana. They first found the presence of iron in the female mosquito's belly, then used a non-destructive technique to study the molecules inside the find. They...
  • Dinosaur Feathers Discovered in Canadian Amber

    09/16/2013 10:35:49 PM PDT · by Mike Darancette · 57 replies
    io9 ^ | 9/15/2013 | Analee Newitz
    Pictures of Dinofuzz at Source.
  • A Fossilized Scene of a Spider Attacking a Wasp, Preserved for 110 Million Years

    10/09/2012 2:04:50 PM PDT · by DogByte6RER · 67 replies
    IO9 ^ | October 9, 2012 | George Dvorsky
    A Fossilized Scene of a Spider Attacking a Wasp, Preserved for 110 Million Years Paleontologists have discovered beautifully preserved species trapped in amber before — but this one is extraordinary. It features a parasitic wasp that has become ensnared in a spider's web, with the owner bearing down on it for an attack. But just before the spider was about to have its meal, a drop of resin flowed down from above, freezing the moment in time. Researchers date the scene to the Early Cretaceous between 97 to 110 million years ago in the Hukawng Valley of Myanmar — a...
  • Prehistoric tiny bugs found trapped in amber

    08/28/2012 8:29:13 AM PDT · by null and void · 26 replies
    WTOP ^ | 8/28/12 | SETH BORENSTEIN
    This undated handout photo provided by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the University of Göttingen shows photomicrographs of the two new species of ancient gall mites in 230-million-year-old amber droplets from northeastern Italy. The gall mites were named: Triasacarus fedelei, left, and Ampezzoa triassica. (AP Photo/A. Schmidt, University of Göttingen, Proceedings of the National Academy) • WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have found three well preserved ancient insects frozen in amber — and time — in what is Earth's oldest bug trap. The discoveries of amber-encased insects in Italy may sound like something out of "Jurassic Park"...
  • 'Dinofuzz' Found in Canadian Amber

    09/15/2011 10:55:17 AM PDT · by Renfield · 19 replies
    Sciencemag.org ^ | 9-15-2011 | Sid Perkins
    Fluffy structures trapped in thumbnail-sized bits of ancient amber may represent some of the earliest evolutionary experiments leading to feathers, according to a new study. These filaments of "dinofuzz" are so well preserved that they even provide hints of color, the researchers say. The oldest bird, Archaeopteryx, lived in what is now Germany about 150 million years ago, and the oldest known feathered dinosaur, Anchiornis huxleyi, lived in northeastern China between 151 million and 161 million years ago. Both creatures had modern-style feathers, each of which had a central shaft; barbs, which made up the feather's vane; and substructures called...
  • Peru researchers make rare ancient insect find

    08/09/2011 7:59:49 PM PDT · by Pharmboy · 76 replies
    AFP ^ | 8-9-11 | Anon
    Detailed fossilized insect remains preserved in amber for over 23 million years (AFP/HO) Peru researchers make rare ancient insect find (AFP) – 3 hours ago LIMA — Researchers in Peru said Tuesday they have discovered the remains of ancient insects and sunflower seeds trapped inside amber dating from the Miocene epoch, some 23 million years ago. The rare find was made in the remote mountainous jungle region near Peru's northern border with Ecuador, paleontologist Klaus Honninger told AFP. "These new discoveries are very important, because the insects and sunflower seeds confirm the type of climate that existed during the Miocene...
  • Prehistoric mammal hair found in Cretaceous amber

    06/14/2010 2:14:31 PM PDT · by JoeProBono · 51 replies · 1,140+ views
    bbc ^ | 14 June 2010 | Matt Walker
    Palaeontologists have discovered two mammal hairs encased in 100 million-year-old amber. While older 2D fossilised hairs are known, those preserved in the amber are the oldest 3D specimens known. The hairs, found alongside a fly pupa in amber uncovered in southwest France, are remarkably similar to hair found on modern mammals. That implies that the shape and structure of mammal hair has remained unchanged over a vast period of time.
  • Marine plankton found in amber

    11/15/2008 10:24:14 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 57 replies · 698+ views
    PhysOrg ^ | 11/13/08
    (PhysOrg.com) -- Marine microorganisms have been found in amber dating from the middle of the Cretaceous period. The fossils were collected in Charente, in France. This completely unexpected discovery will deepen our understanding of these lost marine species as well as providing precious data about the coastal environment of Western France during the Cretaceous.This work was carried out by researchers at the Géosciences Rennes laboratory (CNRS/Université de Rennes 1), together with researchers from the Paléobiodiversité et Paléoenvironnement laboratory in Paris (CNRS/Muséum national d'histoire naturelle/Université Pierre et Marie Curie) and the Centre de Géochimie de la Surface in Strasbourg (CNRS/Université de...
  • Scientists Discover 356 Animal Inclusions Trapped In Opaque Amber 100 Million Years Old

    04/01/2008 1:07:06 PM PDT · by blam · 20 replies · 91+ views
    Science Daily ^ | 4-1-2008 | European Synchrotron Radiation Facility.
    Scientists Discover 356 Animal Inclusions Trapped In Opaque Amber 100 Million Years OldExamples of virtual 3D extraction of organisms embedded in opaque amber: a) Gastropod Ellobiidae; b) Myriapod Polyxenidae; c) Arachnid; d) Conifer branch (Glenrosa); e) Isopod crustacean Ligia; f) Insect hymenopteran Falciformicidae. (Credit: M. Lak, P. Tafforeau, D. Néraudeau (ESRF Grenoble and UMR CNRS 6118 Rennes)) ScienceDaily (Apr. 1, 2008) — Paleontologists from the University of Rennes (France) and the ESRF have found the presence of 356 animal inclusions in completely opaque amber from mid-Cretaceous sites of Charentes (France). The team used the X-rays of the European light source...
  • Dino-Era Feathers Found Encased In Amber (100 Million Years Old)

    03/12/2008 5:37:43 PM PDT · by blam · 51 replies · 1,982+ views
    National Geographic News ^ | 3-11-2008 | James Owens
    Dino-Era Feathers Found Encased in Amber James Owen for National Geographic NewsMarch 11, 2008 Seven dino-era feathers found perfectly preserved in amber in western France highlight a crucial stage in feather evolution, scientists report. The hundred-million-year-old plumage has features of both feather-like fibers found with some two-legged dinosaurs known as theropods and of modern bird feathers, the researchers said. This means the fossils could fill a key gap in the puzzle of how dinosaurs gave rise to birds, according to a team led by Vincent Perrichot of the Museum für Naturkunde-Berlin in Germany. The find provides a clear example "of...
  • How Amber Becomes Death Trap For Watery Creatures

    10/21/2007 6:44:05 PM PDT · by blam · 32 replies · 71+ views
    Science Daily ^ | 10-20-2007 | University of Florida.
    How Amber Becomes Death Trap For Watery Creatures ScienceDaily (Oct. 20, 2007) — Shiny amber jewelry and a mucky Florida swamp have given scientists a window into an ancient ecosystem that could be anywhere from 15 million to 130 million years old. Scientists at the University of Florida and the Museum of Natural History in Berlin made the landmark discovery that prehistoric aquatic critters such as beetles and small crustaceans unwittingly swim into resin flowing down into the water from pine-like trees. Their findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The resin with its entombed...
  • Scientist: Frog Could Be 25M Years Old

    02/14/2007 6:47:47 PM PST · by Alouette · 34 replies · 1,215+ views
    Myway ^ | Feb. 14, 2007
    MEXICO CITY (AP) - A Mexican researcher announced the rare find of a tiny tree frog completely preserved in amber on Wednesday that he estimates lived about 25 million years ago. The chunk of amber containing the 0.4-inch frog was uncovered by a miner in southern Chiapas states in 2005 and was bought by a private collector, who lent it to scientists for study. Only a few preserved frogs have been found in chunks of amber - a stone formed by ancient tree sap - mostly in the Dominican Republic. Like those, the frog found in Chiapas was of the...
  • Scientist finds 100 million-year-old bee

    10/30/2006 8:19:35 AM PST · by presidio9 · 42 replies · 433+ views
    A scientist has found a 100 million-year-old bee trapped in amber, making it possibly the oldest bee ever found. "I knew right away what it was, because I had seen bees in younger amber before," said George Poinar, a zoology professor at Oregon State University. The bee is about 40 million years older than previously found bees. The discovery of the ancient bee may help explain the rapid expansion and diversity of flowering plants during that time. Poinar found the bee in amber from a mine in the Hukawng Valley of northern Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. Many researchers buy...
  • Spider 'is 20 million years old'

    09/30/2005 9:17:27 AM PDT · by bigmac0707 · 212 replies · 4,248+ views
    BBCNews ^ | 9/30/05 | BBCNEWS
    A scientist has described a spider that was trapped and preserved in amber 20 million years ago. Palaeontologist Dr David Penney, of the University of Manchester, found the 4cm long by 2cm wide fossil during a visit to a museum in the Dominican Republic. Since the discovery two years ago, he has used droplets of blood in the amber to reveal the age of the specimen. It is thought to be the first time spider blood has been found in amber and scientists hope to extract its DNA. Dr Penney, of the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, said...