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Keyword: paleontology

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  • New dinosaur sported a curious set of chompers

    10/29/2017 8:55:21 PM PDT · by ETL · 19 replies
    ScienceNews.com ^ | October 26, 2017 | Helen Thompson
    Fossils discovered in France linked to previously unknown Cretaceous species. An ancient vegetarian dinosaur from the French countryside has given paleontologists something to sink their teeth into. The most striking feature of a new species of rhabdodontid that lived from 84 million to 72 million years ago is its oversized, scissorslike teeth, paleontologist Pascal Godefroit, of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels, and his colleagues report October 26 in Scientific Reports. Compared with other dinos of its kind, Matheronodon provincialis’ teeth were at least twice as large but fewer in number. Some teeth reached up to 6...
  • Extremely rare 13 million-year-old primate skull found

    08/09/2017 1:54:20 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 37 replies
    www.cnbc.com ^ | 08-09-2017 | Robert Ferris | @RobertoFerris
    * This may be the most intact primate fossil skull ever discovered. * The fossil comes from a little-known period of primate evolutionary history. Source: Fred Spoor This is Alesi, the skull of the new extinct ape species Nyanzapithecus alesi (KNM-NP 59050). ================================================================================================================================ A group of scientists have found what may be the most intact fossilized primate skull ever discovered, and the find could shed light on the common evolutionary heritage shared by apes and humans. The lemon-sized skull was discovered in Kenya by an international team of researchers, and was dated to the middle of the Miocene era, a...
  • Ancient Giant ‘Ghost’ Crocodile With T-Rex-Sized Teeth Discovered in Madagascar

    07/05/2017 9:18:48 AM PDT · by C19fan · 9 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | July 4, 2017 | Hannah Osborne
    Scientists have discovered an ancient, giant, crocodile-like creature in Madagascar that had T-Rex-sized teeth it used for crunching bones,. The discovery helps to fill in the evolutionary gaps of a 74 million year long crocodilian “ghost lineage.” Researchers first discovered fossils of a giant predator on the island over a decade ago. At the time, scientists believed they had discovered a large predator from the Jurassic period and they named the creature Razanandrongobe sakalavae, meaning “giant lizard ancestor from Sakalava region.”
  • The death of the dinosaurs was good news for frogs

    07/05/2017 6:32:59 AM PDT · by C19fan · 15 replies
    Cosmos ^ | July 4, 2017 | Tim wallace
    The asteroid that crashed into the planet about 66 million years might have been the end of the line for much of life on Earth, but for a few frogs it allowed a great leap forward. Genetic analysis by an international team of researchers from the US and China indicates that 88% of existing frog species are descended from just three frog families that survived and prospered following the mass extinction event known as the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K–Pg) boundary, which wiped out an estimated three-quarters of animals including non-avian dinosaurs and most large mammals.
  • Dec 2016: Feathered dinosaur tail fragment trapped in amber amazes scientists

    04/15/2017 2:35:43 PM PDT · by ETL · 101 replies
    FoxNews.com ^ | December 09, 2016 | Rob Verger
    It’s a discovery that's straight out of “Jurassic Park.” Scientists have found a tiny section of a dinosaur’s tail trapped in amber, and not only that, it has feathers. Dating to about 99 million years ago, or the mid-Cretaceous period, the amber containing the eight dinosaur vertebrae originally came from Myanmar. While scientists have known since 1996 that some non-avian dinosaurs had feathers, and even suspected that fact 10 years before that, this new find can teach them more about how feathers have evolved over millions of years. The feathered tail in question came from a juvenile dinosaur, likely a...
  • Five million-year-old extinct 'super salmon' was 9 FEET long with a mouth full of spiked teeth

    10/31/2016 7:15:54 AM PDT · by C19fan · 24 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | October 31, 2016 | Ryan O'Hare
    A giant extinct salmon used a mouthful of spiked teeth to fight rivals more than five million years ago. The coastal waters of the Pacific were home to the bizarre species with huge teeth, a new study shows. The spike-toothed salmon reached sizes of three to nine feet in length (0.91 to 2.7m) - much larger than the typical salmon found in the Pacific today.
  • Ancient armored fish revises early history of jaws

    10/22/2016 3:56:17 PM PDT · by JimSEA · 20 replies
    Science News ^ | 10/20/16 | Meghan Rosen
    A freaky fish with a head like a dolphin and a body like a tank may be to thank for human jaws. The discovery of a 423-million-year-old armored fish from China suggests that the jaws of all modern land vertebrates and bony fish originated in a bizarre group of animals called placoderms, researchers report in the Oct. 21 Science. “We’ve suddenly realized we had it all wrong,” he says. The jaws of humans — and dogs, salmon, lizards and all other bony vertebrates — contain three key bones: the maxilla and premaxilla of the upper jaw, and the dentary of...
  • Forget what you thought dinosaurs looked like — this adorable bird–lizard just changed the game

    09/16/2016 11:45:38 AM PDT · by JimSEA · 21 replies
    Business Insider ^ | 9/15/2016 | L. Dodgson
    Paleontologists have teamed up with a paleoartist to create a model which challenges everything you thought you knew about the typical dinosaur. Dr. Jacob Vinther ofa Psittacosaurus — nicknamed a "parrot-lizard" — is about the size of a turkey, has bristles on its tail and a birdlike beak. In other words, a bit weird, but also pretty cute. It's also quite likely that the animal had feathers and a horn on each cheek, the experts say. Quite aptly, Psittacosaurus belongs to the group ceratopsians, which basically means "horned faces" in Greek. It's the same group that contains Triceratops. The scientists...
  • Illustrating Geology: Great images that transformed the field

    07/31/2016 7:47:42 AM PDT · by JimSEA · 2 replies
    Earth ^ | 7/17/2016 | Timothy Oleson
    Last year marked the 200th anniversary of the publication of what many consider the greatest geologic image ever produced: William Smith’s epic map, entitled “A Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales with Part of Scotland.” In striking color, scale and detail, the 1815 map laid bare the region’s bedrock — from tilted layers of slate and fossil-rich marls and sandstones to Carboniferous coal seams and granite plugs — as none had before. The bicentennial of the map’s publication was commemorated in several sessions and displays at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA) in Baltimore...
  • 'Descendents Of Dragon' Confirmed At Laiohe River Valley

    02/26/2004 12:30:26 PM PST · by blam · 51 replies · 1,717+ views
    Peoples Daily ^ | 2-26-2004
    'Descendants of the Dragon' confirmed at the Liaohe River ValleyIn thousands of years, the Chinese people have been deeming themselves as "the descendant of the dragon" though there is no enough solid proof to support the statement. But in this year, with continually findings of dragons in archeological work at the Liaohe River Valley, the statement that the Chinese people are "the descendant of the dragon" is further confirmed. In thousands of years, the Chinese people have been deeming themselves as "the descendant of the dragon" though there is no enough solid proof to support the statement. But in this...
  • Archaeologist: Many thousands of years ago life flourished in the Gobi desert

    06/23/2016 11:33:53 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    Science & Scholarship in Poland ^ | June 10, 2016 | Szymon Zdziebiowski (PAP) [szz/zan/mrt]
    Many thousands of years ago life flourished in the Mongolian Gobi desert... Archaeologists found many traces of old camps... located on the shores of lakes - now dried. Based on the findings, researchers concluded that thousands of years ago richness of species of animals lived in the study area, benefiting the ancient inhabitants of the desert. Archaeologists discovered mainly stone tools and the waste associated with their production... The oldest finds are represented by a massive stone tools made by the Middle Palaeolithic communities (200 thousand - 40 thousand years ago). Archaeologists have also discovered smaller stone products from later...
  • The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs almost got us, too

    06/29/2016 10:26:05 PM PDT · by Utilizer · 30 replies
    THE WEEK ^ | June 28, 2016 | Joshua A. Krisch
    The age of the dinosaurs ended 66 million years ago, when an asteroid six miles in diameter crashed into what is now southeastern Mexico. The world went up in flames. Dinosaurs, along with the massive reptiles that ruled the sea and the sky, perished as forest fires raged across the globe, dust blotted out the sun, and Earth experienced intense heat, frigid cooling, and then more heat. Conventional wisdom states that mammalian diversity emerged from the ashes of the mass extinction, ultimately giving rise to our own humble species. But according to a study in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology,...
  • Modulation of Ice Ages via Precession and Dust-Albedo Feedbacks

    06/28/2016 5:00:32 PM PDT · by norwaypinesavage · 21 replies
    Watts Up With That ^ | June 28, 2016 | Ralph Ellis
    CO2 is only a bit-player in the drama of world climate, while the main characters are ice, dust and albedo....Ice age cycles have something to do with precession: the slow wobble of the axis of the Earth. The ancient Egyptians and Greeks knew of precession and called it the Great Year, because it gives warm and cool seasons over its approximate 23,000-year cycle. But there is a problem with invoking the Great Year as the regulator of ice ages, because we should really get an interglacial warming every 23,000 years or so. And we don’t – they only happen every...
  • Did a supernova two million years ago brighten the night sky and give our ancestors cancer?

    06/17/2016 4:22:29 PM PDT · by rickmichaels · 39 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | June 17, 2016 | Cheyenne Macdonald
    Millions of years ago, a series of nearby supernovae sent radiation and debris raining down to Earth. The events left traces of radioactive iron-60 embedded in the sea floor and even on the Moon, and now, researchers are saying they may have had life-altering effects on the early inhabitants of our planet. At just hundreds of light-years away, two major stellar explosions may have spurred changes to the environment, and even increased the rates of cancer and mutation.
  • Ancient DNA Shows Perfect Storm Felled Ice Age Giants

    06/18/2016 2:53:34 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    Eurekalert! ^ | Friday, June 17, 2016 | University of Adelaide, Alan Cooper et al
    "Patagonia turns out to be the Rosetta Stone - it shows that human colonisation didn't immediately result in extinctions, but only as long as it stayed cold," says study leader Professor Alan Cooper, ACAD Director. "Instead, more than 1000 years of human occupation passed before a rapid warming event occurred, and then the megafauna were extinct within a hundred years." The researchers, including from the University of Colorado Boulder, University of New South Wales and University of Magallanes in Patagonia, studied ancient DNA extracted from radiocarbon-dated bones and teeth found in caves across Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego, to trace...
  • Current Diversity Pattern Of North American Mammals A 'Recent' Trend, Study Finds

    06/18/2016 3:05:57 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    Eurekalert! ^ | June 13, 2016 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    It's called the latitudinal diversity gradient, a phenomenon seen today in most plant and animal species around the world: Biodiversity decreases from the equator to higher latitudes. A new study of fossils representing 63 million of the past 65 million years reveals that -- for North American mammals, at least -- the modern LDG is the exception rather than the rule. The findings, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, point to the importance of not assuming that the way things are today is the way they've always been, the researchers say... It may seem obvious that...
  • 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...
  • Popcorn-like fossils provide evidence of environmental impacts on species numbers

    06/11/2016 5:42:04 PM PDT · by JimSEA · 9 replies
    Science Daily ^ | 6/10/2016 | University of Southampton
    The number of species that can exist on Earth depends on how the environment changes, according to new research led by the University of Southampton. By analysing the fossil record of microscopic aquatic creatures called planktonic foraminifera, whose fossil remains now resemble miniaturised popcorn and date back millions of years, the research provided the first statistical evidence that environmental changes put a cap on species richness. Dr Ezard added: "We used mathematical models to reveal how environmental changes influence both the rate of diversification among species and how many species can co-exist at once. Our results suggest that the world...
  • New Fossils Hint 'Hobbit' Humans Are Older Than Thought

    06/08/2016 7:56:06 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 12 replies
    National Geographic ^ | June 8, 2016 | Adam Hoffman
    For the past decade, a fossil human relative about the size of a toddler has loomed large in the story of our evolutionary history. This mysterious creature—found on the Indonesian island of Flores—has sparked a heated debate about its origins, including questions over its classification as a unique species. But now, a scattering of teeth and bone may at last unlock the mystery of the “hobbits,” also known as Homo floresiensis. The 700,000-year-old human remains are the first found outside Liang Bua cave, the site on Flores that yielded the original hobbit fossils. The much older samples show intriguing similarities...
  • 'Trickle of food' helped deep sea creatures survive asteroid strike that wiped out the dinosaurs

    04/25/2016 9:28:28 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | Thursday, April 14, 2016 | Cardiff University
    Study of fossil shells solves unanswered question of how deep sea creatures survived asteroid strike during immense upheaval of the world's oceans... Like the dinosaurs themselves, giant marine reptiles, invertebrates and microscopic organisms became extinct after the catastrophic asteroid impact in an immense upheaval of the world's oceans, yet deep sea creatures managed to survive. This has puzzled researchers as it is widely believed that the asteroid impact cut off the food supply in the oceans by destroying free-floating algae and bacteria. However, in a study published in the April issue of the journal Geology, a team led by researchers...