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Keyword: palentology

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  • Shallow Waters Allowed Early Fish-Like Creatures to Experiment With Evolution

    10/26/2018 8:13:54 AM PDT · by C19fan · 33 replies
    Gizmodo ^ | October 25, 2018 | George Dvorsky
    The conditions under which early lifeforms originated and exploded into the many animal groups we see today is a mystery that has confounded scientists for decades. New research suggests shallow marine environments were a critical testbed for these early animals, providing the perfect space for them to evolve the physical characteristics required for them to move beyond their nearshore cradle.
  • Prehistoric 'Sea Monster' May Be Largest That Ever Lived

    04/10/2018 5:23:45 AM PDT · by C19fan · 13 replies
    National Geographic ^ | April 9, 2019 | John Pickrell
    The ancient remains of a gigantic marine reptile have been found in southwestern England. Known as an ichthyosaur, the animal lived about 205 million years ago and was up to 85 feet long—almost as big as a blue whale, say the authors of a study describing the fossil published today in PLOS ONE. Biology textbook have long touted the modern blue whale as the largest animal that ever lived, but this and other fascinating fossil finds hint that there may once have been even bigger creatures swimming Earth’s seas.
  • 'Best ever' view of what a dinosaur really looked like

    03/01/2017 8:18:00 AM PST · by C19fan · 23 replies
    BBC ^ | March 1, 2017 | Helen Briggs
    A dinosaur that lived 160 million years ago had drumstick-shaped legs much like living birds, according to palaeontologists. The feathered dinosaur also had bird-like arms similar to wings. Scientists used high-powered lasers to reveal invisible details of what the creature looked like.
  • The terrifying bobbit worm has a huge ancient cousin

    02/22/2017 9:59:43 AM PST · by C19fan · 9 replies
    Earth Touch News ^ | February 22, 2017 | David Moscato
    In the tropical oceans of the Indo-Pacific, buried beneath the seafloor, dwells a nightmare predator named the bobbit worm. Known to grow up to three metres long, these worms are famous for swinging their bear-trap jaws so forcefully that they sometimes cut fish clean in half. And it turns out the "terror worm" has a long family history. Fossil remains from Ontario, Canada reveal that a similarly huge snap-jawed relative of the bobbit worm, named Websteroprion armstrongi, lurked in prehistoric seas around 400 million years ago.
  • Stunning fossil discovery: Giant otter was size of wolf

    01/23/2017 10:03:26 AM PST · by C19fan · 14 replies
    Fox News ^ | January 23, 2017 | Staff
    Millions of years ago, a wolf-sized otter swam around ancient swampy China, scientists have discovered. The huge otter would have weighed about 110 pounds, and lived about 6.24 million years ago, according to a new report. The fossilized remains of this now-extinct ancient otter— one of the largest otters known— were discovered in a mine in China’s Yunnan Province, and part of what makes it remarkable is that the find included a nearly-complete cranium.
  • Early human ancestor Lucy 'died falling out of a tree'

    08/29/2016 1:04:19 PM PDT · by C19fan · 76 replies
    BBC ^ | August 29, 2016 | Jonathan Webb
    New evidence suggests that the famous fossilised human ancestor dubbed "Lucy" by scientists died falling from a great height - probably out of a tree. CT scans have shown injuries to her bones similar to those suffered by modern humans in similar falls. The 3.2 million-year-old hominin was found on a treed flood plain, making a branch her most likely final perch. It bolsters the view that her species - Australopithecus afarensis - spent at least some of its life in the trees.
  • Dogs Don't Remember

    03/02/2015 10:55:47 AM PST · by Red Badger · 133 replies ^ | May 01, 2010 | by Ira Hyman
    Dogs Don't Remember: Episodic Memory May Distinguish Humans Dogs are wonderful creatures. Our dogs recognize me and are always happy to see me. Dogs are also smart and successful creatures. Our dogs have learned several cute tricks. But dogs (and other non-human animals) are missing something we take for granted: episodic memory. Dogs don't remember what happened yesterday and don't plan for tomorrow. In defining episodic memory, Endel Tulving argued that it is unique to humans. Experience influences all animals. Most mammals and birds can build complex sets of knowledge or semantic memory. You and I also remember the experience...
  • Fossils reveal felines drove 40 species of canines to extinction after arriving in North [tr]

    08/13/2015 6:14:53 AM PDT · by C19fan · 26 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | August 13, 2015 | Jack Millner
    You may think your dog has an irrational hatred of cats, but their instinct to chase felines out of their territory might be more reasonable than you think. Fossils have revealed the two species have a rocky past after the introduction of cats to the Americas had a devastating effect on the continent's species of wild dogs. In fact, it is thought that competition from cats caused up to 40 species of dog to become extinct in the region millions of years ago.
  • Giant Ocean Arthropod Rivals Largest in History

    03/11/2015 12:36:46 PM PDT · by C19fan · 43 replies
    Real Clear Science ^ | March 11, 2015 | Ross Pomeroy
    A trio of paleontologists has announced the discovery of a fossil belonging to a new species of ancient arthropod that rivals the largest ever found. They detail their finding in Wednesday's publication of the journal Nature. Hundreds of millions of years ago, arthropods, which include modern-day spiders, insects, and crustaceans, were much larger, and we're not talking the size of a small dog. An extinct millipede called Arthropleura reached up to 8.5 feet in length, making it the largest land invertebrate ever known to exist. Jaekelopterus rhenaniae, which extended 8.2 feet, dwelled in the water (pictured right).
  • New evidence that stegosaur tails were thigh-goring killing machines

    10/22/2014 6:29:16 AM PDT · by C19fan · 19 replies
    Washington Post ^ | October 21, 2014 | Rachel Feltman
    They may have been plant-eaters, but stegosaurs were no easy prey: Researchers have found the fossil remains of what might be a deadly wound inflicted by the creature's spiked tail. Stegosaur tails have been a matter of some debate. While paleontologists used to say they were only for decoration, recent studies have suggested that the spiked, dexterous tails were actually used in combat. In 2005, researchers reported that a non-fatal wound found in the fossil of an allosaur -- a fearsome predator of stegosaurus's age -- was most likely inflicted by a stegosaur tail. But it turns out that those...
  • Spinosaurus fossil: 'Giant swimming dinosaur' unearthed

    09/12/2014 6:01:43 AM PDT · by C19fan · 26 replies
    BBC ^ | September 11, 2014 | Rebecca Morelle
    The 95-million-year-old remains confirm a long-held theory: that this is the first-known swimming dinosaur. Scientists say the beast had flat, paddle-like feet and nostrils on top of its crocodilian head that would allow it to submerge with ease. The research is published in the journal Science. Lead author Nizar Ibrahim, a palaeontologist from the University of Chicago, said: "It is a really bizarre dinosaur - there's no real blueprint for it.
  • The 520-million-year-old gentle giant: Fossil reveals bizarre new species of ..filtered plankton

    03/27/2014 8:03:52 AM PDT · by C19fan · 11 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | March 27, 2014 | Staff
    Evidence of gentle giants that swam in the oceans more than 500 million years ago has been discovered. Fossils found in northern Greenland show that ancient, giant marine creatures used bizarre, whale-like facial appendages to filter food from the ocean. The study described how the strange species, named Tamisiocaris, used huge, specialised facial parts to filter plankton - similar to the way some modern whales feed today.
  • New dinosaur called the Chicken From Hell

    03/20/2014 6:15:25 AM PDT · by C19fan · 49 replies
    Washington Post ^ | March 19, 2014 | Joel Achenbach
    Scientists have discovered a freakish, birdlike species of dinosaur — 11 feet long, 500 pounds, with a beak, no teeth, a bony crest atop its head, murderous claws, prize-fighter arms, spindly legs, a thin tail and feathers sprouting all over the place. Officially, it’s a member of a group of dinosaurs called oviraptorosaurs. Unofficially, it’s the Chicken From Hell.
  • Discovered: The 128million-year-old grandfather of the modern squid..

    06/01/2012 6:42:36 AM PDT · by C19fan · 17 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | June 1, 2012 | Eddie Wrenn
    Scientists have managed to re-create the appearance of a previously unknown fossil - a spiky creature thought to be the ultimate ancestor of the modern-day squid and octopus. The Austria National History Museum team used 3D scanning technology to unearth the fossil of 'Dissimilites intermedius' a layer at a time, and then created a video of how the creature lived and moved. The ammonite was discovered in sediment which formed at the bottom of the ocean during the Cretaceous period - on a surface which, 128 million years, later would lie at the top of the Dolomite mountains in the...
  • Discovered: The turtle the size of a SmartCar..

    05/18/2012 6:35:17 AM PDT · by C19fan · 28 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | May 18, 2012 | Eddie Wrenn
    Picture a turtle the size of a Smart car, with a shell large enough to double as a children's pool. Paleontologists from North Carolina State University have found just such a specimen – the fossilised remains of a 60-million-year-old South American giant that lived in what is now Colombia. The turtle in question is Carbonemys cofrinii, which means 'coal turtle', and it is part of a group of turtles known as pelomedusoides. The specimen's skull measures 24 centimeters, and the shell, which was recovered nearby and is believed to belong to the same animal - measures 172 centimeters, or about...
  • Meet Earth's earliest animal with a skeleton

    03/09/2012 5:19:09 AM PST · by C19fan · 9 replies
    MSNBC ^ | March 9, 2012 | Charles Choi
    The oldest animal with a skeleton has been discovered, a creature shaped like a thimble that lived on the seafloor more than a half-billion years ago, researchers say. These findings shed light on the evolution of early life on Earth, and could also help scientists recognize life elsewhere in the universe.
  • 'Thunder-Thighs' Dinosaur Discovered

    03/09/2011 10:40:36 PM PST · by Immerito · 24 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | February 23, 2011 | Unknown
    'Thunder-Thighs' Dinosaur Discovered: Brontomerus May Have Used Powerful Thigh Muscles to Kick Predators ScienceDaily (Feb. 23, 2011) — A new dinosaur named Brontomerus mcintoshi, or "thunder-thighs" after its enormously powerful thigh muscles, has been discovered in Utah, USA. The new species is described in a paper recently published in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica by an international team of scientists from the UK and the US. A member of the long-necked sauropod group of dinosaurs which includes Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus, Brontomerus may have used its powerful thighs as a weapon to kick predators, or to help travel over rough, hilly...
  • T. Rex More Hyena Than Lion

    03/09/2011 10:34:09 PM PST · by Immerito · 15 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | February 22, 2011 | Unknown
    T. Rex More Hyena Than Lion: Tyrannosaurus Rex Was Opportunistic Feeder, Not Top Predator, Paleontologists Say ScienceDaily (Feb. 22, 2011) — The ferocious Tyrannosaurus rex has been depicted as the top dog of the Cretaceous, ruthlessly stalking herds of duck-billed dinosaurs and claiming the role of apex predator, much as the lion reigns supreme in the African veld. But a new census of all dinosaur skeletons unearthed over a large area of eastern Montana shows that Tyrannosaurus was too numerous to have subsisted solely on the dinosaurs it tracked and killed with its scythe-like teeth. Instead, argue paleontologists John "Jack"...
  • Rare 89-Million-Year-Old Flying Reptile Fossil from Texas May Be World's Oldest Pteranodon

    03/09/2011 10:26:34 PM PST · by Immerito · 11 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | March 1, 2011 | Unknown
    ScienceDaily (Mar. 1, 2011) — Fossilized bones discovered in Texas from a flying reptile that died 89 million years ago may be the earliest occurrence of the prehistoric creature known as Pteranodon. Previously, Pteranodon bones have been found in Kansas, South Dakota and Wyoming in the Niobrara and Pierre geological formations. This likely Pteranodon specimen is the first of its kind found in Texas, according to paleontologist Timothy S. Myers at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, who identified the reptile. The specimen was discovered north of Dallas by an amateur fossil hunter who found various bones belonging to the left...
  • Breakthrough gives 3-D vision of life’s dawn

    08/09/2006 2:40:31 PM PDT · by TChris · 14 replies · 598+ views
    MSNBC ^ | Augut 9, 2006 | MSNBC News Services
    A new technique allowing virtual dissections of half-billion-year-old fossil embryos is producing the first three-dimensional images of the dawn of life. It reveals a universe of detail impossible using previous methods, and researchers said it was pushing back the frontiers of science much as the scanning electron microscope did half a century ago. [SNIP] In contrast to those methods, synchroton-radiation X-ray tomographic microscopy, or SRXTM, leaves the tiny fossils untouched but gives graphic details of their structure.