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Keyword: paleontology

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  • Spiky monsters: New species of 'super-armored' worm discovered

    06/30/2015 9:59:45 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 29 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 06-29-2015 | Provided by University of Cambridge
    Collinsium ciliosum, a Collins' monster-type lobopodian from the early Cambrian Xiaoshiba biota of China. Credit: Javier Ortega-Hernández A new species of 'super-armoured' worm, a bizarre, spike-covered creature which ate by filtering nutrients out of seawater with its feather-like front legs, has been identified by palaeontologists. The creature, which lived about half a billion years ago, was one of the first animals on Earth to develop armour to protect itself from predators and to use such a specialised mode of feeding. The creature, belonging to a poorly understood group of early animals, is also a prime example of the broad variety...
  • Newly found ring of teeth uncovers what common ancestor of molting animals looked like

    06/25/2015 8:35:35 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 13 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 06-24-2015 | Provided by University of Cambridge
    Hallucigenia sparsa from the Burgess Shale (Royal Ontario Museum 61513). The fossil is 15 mm long. Credit: Jean-Bernard Caron 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. The results, published today in the journal Nature, have helped scientists reconstruct what the common ancestor of everything from tiny roundworms to huge lobsters might have looked like....
  • Jurassic World Called "Racist" Over Dinosaur Name

    06/21/2015 12:03:14 PM PDT · by rightistight · 76 replies
    The Social Memo ^ | 6/21/15 | Aurelius
    Some viewers of Jurassic World are taking offense to the film, calling one of the lines in the movie "racist." Specifically, the abbreviation of the dinosaur Pachycephalosaurus. During the course of the film, the Pachycephalosaurus escape from their enclosures, leading one character to shout, "The Pachys are out of containment!" This has led news outlets and Twitter users to call the film "racist." A British comedian originally brought attention to the line, offering a tongue-in-cheek rant against the dinosaur's name. However, people did not get the joke, and are actually calling the film racist. The Independent called the line "very...
  • Mystery solved: Why large dinosaurs avoided the tropics for millions of years

    06/20/2015 1:31:56 PM PDT · by ETL · 66 replies
    FoxNews.com/science ^ | June 17, 2015 | Walt Bonner
    New research has revealed why it took more than 30 million years for large Triassic dinosaurs to populate the tropics after they first appeared on Earth, ending a mystery that has kept researchers baffled for decades. Using new geological evidence culled from Ghost Ranch, N.M., researchers from the University of Southampton in the U.K. have found that an extremely unpredictable hot and arid climate due to elevated carbon dioxide levels (four to six times of what they are today) kept large herbivorous dinos at bay until after 200 million years ago.
  • Three-toed horses reveal the secret of the Tibetan Plateau uplift

    04/29/2012 3:17:02 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 34 replies
    PhysOrg ^ | Tuesday, April 24, 2012 | Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology
    The Tibetan Plateau has gradually risen since the Indian plate collided with the Eurasian plate at about 55 Ma. Regardless of the debates over the rising process and elevation of the plateau, there is no doubt that the Himalayas have appeared as a mountain range since the Miocene, with the appearance of vegetation vertical zones following thereafter. Open grasslands per se have no direct relationship to elevation, because they can have different elevations in different regions of the world, having a distribution near the sea level to the extreme high plateaus. On the other hand, the southern margin of the...
  • Five amazing extinct creatures that aren't dinosaurs

    06/19/2015 7:19:56 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 28 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 06-18-2015 | Staff Source: The Conversation
    The release of Jurassic World has reignited our love for palaeontology. Many of us share a longing to understand the dinosaurs that roamed the Earth long before we arrived. But palaeontology is a discipline much broader than this. Dinosaurs dominated the land for 135 million years, but what happened during the rest of the Earth's 4.6 billion-year history? The role of palaeontologists past and present has been to unravel the mysteries of life on Earth, and in doing so they've found a lot more than just dinosaur bones. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. The spiky-backed ocean dweller: Right side up? Credit: Natural Math/flickr,...
  • Signs of ancient cells and proteins found in dinosaur fossils

    06/15/2015 11:56:01 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 16 replies
    Science ^ | 06/15/2015 | By Robert F. Service
    The cupboards of the Natural History Museum in London hold spectacular dinosaur fossils, from 10-centimeter, serrated Tyrannosaurus rex teeth to a 4-meter-long hadrosaur tail. Now, researchers are reporting another spectacular find, buried in eight nondescript fossils from the same collection: what appear to be ancient red blood cells and fibers of ancient protein. Using new methods to peer deep inside fossils, the study in this week’s issue of Nature Communications backs up previous, controversial reports of such structures in dinosaur bones. It also suggests that soft tissue preservation may be more common than anyone had guessed. “It’s encouraging,” especially because...
  • Fibres and cellular structures preserved in 75-million–year-old dinosaur specimens

    06/10/2015 2:56:39 PM PDT · by Sopater · 42 replies
    Nature Communications ^ | 09 June 2015 | Sergio Bertazzo, Susannah C. R. Maidment, Charalambos Kallepitis, Sarah Fearn, Molly M. Stevens
    Abstract Exceptionally preserved organic remains are known throughout the vertebrate fossil record, and recently, evidence has emerged that such soft tissue might contain original components. We examined samples from eight Cretaceous dinosaur bones using nano-analytical techniques; the bones are not exceptionally preserved and show no external indication of soft tissue. In one sample, we observe structures consistent with endogenous collagen fibre remains displaying ~67 nm banding, indicating the possible preservation of the original quaternary structure. Using ToF-SIMS, we identify amino-acid fragments typical of collagen fibrils. Furthermore, we observe structures consistent with putative erythrocyte remains that exhibit mass spectra similar to emu...
  • Scientists just found soft tissue inside a dinosaur fossil. Here's why that's exciting.

    06/09/2015 12:22:24 PM PDT · by ETL · 167 replies
    Vox.com ^ | June 9, 2015 | Joseph Stromberg
    Dinosaur fossils, it was long thought, are simple objects. The fossilization process leaves the overall shape of a dinosaur's bones intact, but all the microscopic structures inside them — the blood cells, connective fibers, and other sorts of soft tissue — inevitably decay over time. The photo above, from a new study published today in Nature Communications and led by Sergio Bertazzo of Imperial College London, shows an extremely zoomed-in view of a 75-million-year-old theropod claw, taken from the London Natural History Museum's collection. When researchers scraped tiny pieces off the fossil and looked at them under an electron microscope,...
  • Fossils of previously unknown beaver species found in Oregon

    06/05/2015 10:07:52 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 61 replies
    Phys.org ^ | Jun 01, 2015 | Staff
    A fossilized skull and teeth from a newly described species of beaver that lived 28 million years ago have been unearthed in eastern Oregon. The fossils worked their way out of the soil within a mile of the visitor center at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, said the monument's paleontologist, Joshua Samuels. The find is significant, he said, because unlike the other species of ancient beavers found at the monument, this one appears related to the modern beaver, a symbol of Oregon found on the state flag. The others all went extinct. The species is named Microtheriomys brevirhinus....
  • Dinosaur-like snouts grown on chicken embryos

    05/12/2015 2:35:40 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 28 replies
    Birds are thought to have evolved from dinosaurs, but have very different jaws. Bird-like dinosaurs such as the velociraptor have two bones at the tip of their upper jaws. In birds, those bones are fused to form a beak. By blocking two proteins that are activated when chicken embryos grow their beaks, U.S. researchers caused their jaws to "revert" to a velociraptor-like snout. The changes were observed in chick embryos that developed until they were close to hatching. To their surprise, the birds' palates, on the roof of their mouths, also became dinosaur-like. "This was unexpected and demonstrates the way...
  • Ancient megadrought entombed dodos in poisonous fecal cocktail

    04/30/2015 7:13:19 AM PDT · by Utilizer · 55 replies
    AAAS ^ | 28 April 2015 5:15 pm | David Shultz
    Nine hundred kilometers off the east coast of Madagascar lies the tiny island paradise of Mauritius. The waters are pristine, the beaches bright white, and the average temperature hovers between 22°C and 28°C (72°F to 82°F) year-round. But conditions there may not have always been so idyllic. A new study suggests that about 4000 years ago, a prolonged drought on the island left many of the native species, such as dodo birds and giant tortoises, dead in a soup of poisonous algae and their own feces. The die-off happened in an area known as Mare aux Songes, which once held...
  • Bat-Like, Pigeon-Sized Dino Soared Over China

    04/29/2015 12:01:11 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 12 replies
    discovery.com ^ | Jennifer Viegas
    A dinosaur with bat-like wings once soared through the skies of what is now China, The Jurassic dinosaur, named Yi qi, has the shortest name ever given to a dino: Yi qi, pronounced "ee chee," means "strange wing." It also appears to be the earliest known flying non-avian dinosaur. At 160 million years old, it is older than the first known birds, such as Archaeopteryx. ... He and his colleagues unearthed the remains for Yi qi at Hebei Province in China. At first, the scientists puzzled over rod-like bones that extended from each wrist of the tiny dinosaur that weighed...
  • Sixth extinction, rivaling that of the dinosaurs, should join the big five, scientists say

    04/16/2015 10:10:24 PM PDT · by Utilizer · 25 replies
    American Association for the Advancement of Science ^ | 16 April 2015 5:15 pm | Eric Hand
    Earth has seen its share of catastrophes, the worst being the “big five” mass extinctions scientists traditionally talk about. Now, paleontologists are arguing that a sixth extinction, 260 million years ago, at the end of a geological age called the Capitanian, deserves to be a member of the exclusive club. In a new study, they offer evidence for a massive die-off in shallow, cool waters in what is now Norway. That finding, combined with previous evidence of extinctions in tropical waters, means that the Capitanian was a global catastrophe. “It’s the first time we can say this is a true...
  • Russian Hunters Discover 10,000-year-old Frozen Woolly Rhino in River

    04/09/2015 10:06:56 AM PDT · by Utilizer · 41 replies
    OutdoorHub ^ | 2/27/15 | Daniel Xu
    Paleontologists are calling a recent find in the Russian region of Yakutia a “sensation.” Last September, Aleksandr Banderov and his hunting party were traveling near the Semyulyakh River when they uncovered the preserved carcass of an adolescent wholly rhinoceros, a species that roamed the frozen landscapes of Europe and northern Asia during the last Ice Age. The hunters initially thought it was a reindeer frozen in the ice, but quickly realized it was something much older. “We were sailing past a ravine and noticed hair hanging on the top of it,’ Alexander told The Siberian Times. “At first we thought...
  • The Brontosaurus Is Back [it really is a separate species]

    04/08/2015 6:41:36 PM PDT · by grundle · 30 replies
    Scientific American ^ | April 7, 2015 | Charles Choi
    Some of the largest animals to ever walk on Earth were the long-necked, long-tailed dinosaurs known as the sauropods—and the most famous of these giants is probably Brontosaurus, the "thunder lizard." Deeply rooted as this titan is in the popular imagination, however, for more than a century scientists thought it never existed. The first of the Brontosaurus genus was named in 1879 by famed paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh. The specimen still stands on display in the Great Hall of Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural History. In 1903, however, paleontologist Elmer Riggs found that Brontosaurus was apparently the same as the...
  • Brontosaurus Finally Validated as a Distinct Dinosaur

    04/08/2015 4:11:18 AM PDT · by WhiskeyX · 18 replies
    ABC News ^ | Apr 7, 2015, 10:43 AM ET | ALYSSA NEWCOMB
    On the edge of the solar system, the dwarf planet Pluto, which knows what it feels like to be banished from an exclusive club, may be cheering for the brontosaurus. While the long-necked dinosaur's name may be known by legions of fans and even made it on to a postage stamp in the 1980s, most paleontologists would be quick to correct people that the brontosaurus is not a dinosaur. But the iconic dinosaur name may finally be reinstated more than a century after researchers found the long-necked brontosaurus and apatosaurus likely belonged to the same genus, according to an analysis...
  • Fact or Fiction?: Dark Matter Killed the Dinosaurs

    04/02/2015 10:15:04 PM PDT · by grundle · 58 replies
    Scientific American ^ | March 25, 2015 | Lee Billings
    A new out-of-this-world theory links mass extinctions with exotic astrophysics and galactic architecture Every once in a great while, something almost unspeakable happens to Earth. Some terrible force reaches out and tears the tree of life limb from limb. In a geological instant, countless creatures perish and entire lineages simply cease to exist. The most famous of these mass extinctions happened about 66 million years ago, when the dinosaurs died out in the planet-wide environmental disruption that followed a mountain-sized space rock walloping Earth. We can still see the scar from the impact today as a nearly 200-kilometer-wide crater in...
  • 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).
  • Archaeopteryx: X-rays shine new light on mystery 'bird'

    05/22/2014 2:17:38 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 24 replies
    bbc.com ^ | 21 May 2014 Last updated at 20:25 ET
    Using a new "camera obscura" technique - inspired by Leonardo da Vinci - scientists have captured some of the clearest ever images of Archaeopteryx. For the first time, they can see the complete skeleton in 3D. Not just the surface outlines, but all the hidden bones and feathers too. They hope to discover how "the first true birds" evolved from feathered dinosaurs and took flight. And what's more, to answer a riddle that has puzzled palaeontologists for 150 years. Could Archaeopteryx fly, or not? ... In the past, large fossil slabs were too bulky to be scanned in a synchrotron...
  • Elephant's sixth 'toe' discovered

    12/26/2011 8:28:17 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 57 replies
    BBC News ^ | Rebecca Morelle
    A mysterious bony growth found in elephants' feet is actually a sixth "toe", scientists report. For more than 300 years, the structure has puzzled researchers, but this study suggests that it helps to support elephants' colossal weight. Fossils reveal that this "pre-digit" evolved about 40 million years ago, at a point when early elephants became larger and more land-based. The research is published in the journal Science. Lead author Professor John Hutchinson, from the UK's structure and motion laboratory at the Royal Veterinary College, said: "It's a cool mystery that goes back to 1706, when the first elephant was dissected...
  • Ancient Crocodile Found in Australia

    02/23/2005 11:38:15 PM PST · by FairOpinion · 89 replies · 1,817+ views
    Yahoo News ^ | Feb. 23, 2005 | Reuters
    SYDNEY (Reuters) - A new species of crocodile which lived 40 million years ago has been discovered in tropical Australia, filling a gap in the evolution of the prehistoric-looking crocodile, researchers said on Thursday. Two nearly complete skulls and a lower jaw of a new species of crocodile that belonged to a group called Mekosuchinae were unearthed by miners in the northern state of Queensland, said Australia's Monash University researcher Lucas Buchanan. "There is a big gap from about 30 to 60 million years ago of which we have no clue, except for these guys," Buchanan told Reuters on Thursday....
  • Famed fossil isn't a bird after all, analysis says (Archaeopteryx)

    07/27/2011 1:55:41 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 82 replies
    http://www.physorg.com ^ | July 27, 2011 | By MALCOLM RITTER
    One of the world's most famous fossil creatures, widely considered the earliest known bird, is getting a rude present on the 150th birthday of its discovery: A new analysis suggests it isn't a bird at all. Chinese scientists are proposing a change to the evolutionary family tree that boots Archaeopteryx off the "bird" branch and onto a closely related branch of birdlike dinosaurs. Archaeopteryx (ahr-kee-AHP'-teh-rihx) was a crow-sized creature that lived about 150 million years ago. It had wings and feathers, but also quite un-birdlike traits like teeth and a bony tail. Discovered in 1861 in Germany, two years after...
  • Ocean hot in days of dinosaurs, study finds

    02/18/2006 7:38:53 AM PST · by worldclass · 43 replies · 935+ views
    Sometimes we make that first dash into the ocean on summer vacation and happily announce, "It's warm as bathwater." But a new study based on ancient sediments collected off South America indicates that the tropical Atlantic Ocean really did hit temperatures as high as 107 degrees Fahrenheit back when dinosaurs ruled. The finding, reported Friday by researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, also estimates that carbon dioxide made up as much as six times more of the atmosphere at that time than it does today.
  • Dinosaur footprint found in Alaska national park

    07/06/2005 1:37:52 AM PDT · by phoenix_004 · 11 replies · 464+ views
    Reuters ^ | Jul 5, 2005
    A recently discovered fossilized footprint shows that dinosaurs once roamed in what is now a national park in Alaska, scientists said on Tuesday. The footprint, estimated to be 70 million years old, was discovered on June 27, the first evidence of dinosaurs ever found in Denali National Park and Preserve, the National Park Service said. The find was made by a University of Alaska Fairbanks student attending a field camp in the park. The three-toed track, six inches wide and nine inches long, appears to be from the left foot of a therapod, a class of two-legged predators, said Anthony...
  • Maine Crater Related to Dino-Killer Asteroid?

    04/05/2003 9:39:18 PM PST · by SteveH · 19 replies · 493+ views
    Discovery News ^ | April 3, 2003 | Larry O'Hanlon
    Maine Crater Related to Dino-Killer Asteroid? By Larry O'Hanlon, Discovery News April 3, 2003 — The evidence is still skimpy, but there is a chance that the dino killer asteroid was not alone when it walloped the Earth 65 million years ago. A possible second crater, at least as big or bigger than the famous Chicxulub crater off Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, may have been created by a second hit moments after Chicxulub and off the coast of Maine. "It probably is a crater, but we really don't have age data," said marine geologist Dallas Abbott Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia...
  • A Pint-Size Polar Predator

    12/26/2014 7:25:45 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies
    Discover ^ | Wednesday, December 10, 2014 | Gemma Tarlach
    Nanuqsaurus hoglundi was the big little dinosaur find that nearly got left behind. Classified in a March study, the hobbit T. rex, barely two-thirds the size of its more famous relative, roamed the Arctic some 70 million years ago. It's the only tyrannosaur ever found outside temperate latitudes, rewriting our understanding of the animals' diversity... In 2006, Fiorillo's team was above the Arctic Circle, on Alaska's North Slope. The polar season for fieldwork is brief, and they were busy excavating horned dinosaurs. But they also noticed a few interesting-looking, basketball-size rocks lying around the site. Fiorillo set them aside, thinking...
  • Oldest Horned Dinosaur in North American Discovered

    12/26/2014 7:25:41 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    Paleontologists working in southern Montana unearthed a 3-inch beaked skull with pointed cheeks, which they believe is the oldest definitive evidence of a horned dinosaur in North America. Though small, the skull helps fill gaps in the evolutionary history of horned creatures on this continent... Fossil remains of horned dinosaurs, called neoceratopsian, have been found throughout North America, but the fossil record of these creatures is incredibly limited further back in time. That's been a hang-up for paleontologists because the late Early Cretaceous period (roughly 113 to 105 million years ago) was a time of important diversification for horned dinosaurs....
  • In fossilized fish eye, rods and cones preserved for 300 million years

    12/23/2014 5:11:08 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 46 replies
    LATimes ^ | Deborah Netburn
    Scientists have discovered a fossilized fish so well preserved that the rods and cones in its 300-million-year-old [sic]eyeballs are still visible under a scanning electron microscope..
  • 'Jurassic World' Dinosaurs Stuck in the 1980s, Experts Grumble

    11/27/2014 10:48:23 AM PST · by EveningStar · 38 replies
    National Geographic ^ | November 26, 2014 | Linda Qiu and Dan Vergano
    Who doesn't love a dinosaur flick? Well, paleontologists have a few fossil bones to pick with Jurassic World, the latest in a line of dinosaur movies that once bragged about its scientific credibility. The trailer for the new movie, a reboot of the popular 1990s Jurassic Park franchise, was released Tuesday and has already been viewed more than 14 million times on YouTube. Like the original movie, Jurassic World takes place in an island safari park, where tourists visit living dinosaurs cloned from ancient DNA—until one hybrid monster goes rogue. Despite global fervor among fans, dinosaur scientists are not thrilled...
  • 'Supersize' lions roamed Britain

    03/31/2009 11:38:03 PM PDT · by JoeProBono · 66 replies · 2,867+ views
    bbc.co ^ | 31 March 2009
    Giant lions were roaming around Britain, Europe and North America up to 13,000 years ago, scientists from Oxford University have found. Remains of giant cats previously discovered were thought to be a species of jaguar or tiger but after DNA analysis they were proved to be lions.
  • 'Missing link' fossil seal walked

    04/22/2009 2:09:09 PM PDT · by JoeProBono · 13 replies · 1,231+ views
    bbc ^ | 22 April 2009 | Richard Black
    It may look like a cross between a seal and an otter; but an Arctic fossil could, scientists say, hold the secret of seal evolution in its feet. A skeleton unearthed in northern Canada shows a creature with feet that were probably webbed, but were not flippers. Writing in the journal Nature, scientists suggest the 23 million-year-old proto-seal would have walked on land and swum in fresh water. It is the oldest seal ancestor found so far and has been named Pujilla darwini.
  • "Predator X" Arctic sea monster's giant bite

    03/17/2009 10:51:43 AM PDT · by JoeProBono · 34 replies · 3,664+ views
    news.bbc ^ | 17 March 2009
    A giant fossil sea monster found in the Arctic had a bite that would have been able to crush a 4x4 car, according to its discoverers. Researchers say the marine reptile, which measured an impressive 15m (50ft) long, had a bite force of about 45 tonnes (33,000lbs) per square inch. The creature's partial skull was dug up last summer in the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard by a Norwegian-led team. Dubbed "Predator X", it patrolled the oceans some 147 million years ago. Its jaws may have been more powerful than those of a Tyrannosaurus rex, though estimates of the dinosaur's bite...
  • US scientists may have resolved 'Darwin's dilemma'

    11/16/2014 8:04:49 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 272 replies
    Fox News ^ | 11/15/2014 | By Matt Cantor
    Charles Darwin worried about a possible hole in his theory of evolution, but some American scientists may just have plugged it. For about a billion years after the dawn of life on Earth, organisms didn't evolve all that much. Then about 600 million years ago came the "Cambrian explosion." Everything changed relatively quickly, with all kinds of plants and animals emerging—which doesn't quite seem to fit with Darwin's theory of slow change, hence "Darwin's dilemma." Now, within a few days of each other, two new studies have appeared that could explain the shift, ABC News reports. One, by scientists at...
  • Insects were the first creatures to fly: study

    11/09/2014 4:52:04 AM PST · by Bettyprob · 27 replies
    Uncover California ^ | November 09, 2014 | Andrea Cordell
    An evolutionary insect family tree created by a team of 100 researchers revealed that insects were the first creatures to fly around 400 million years ago. The comprehensive insect family tree covering insects from all around the globe was created as part of a project called 1K Insect Transcriptome Evolution (1KITE). According to researchers involved in the 1KITE project, insects came into existence around 500 million years ago, around the same time when plants started to emerge on Earth's surface. And, it was roughly 406 million years ago, in the early part of Devonian era, when insects got wings and...
  • Low Oxygen on Earth May Have Held Up Animal Evolution

    11/07/2014 9:54:01 AM PST · by JimSEA · 19 replies
    Washington Post ^ | Rachel Feltman
    Why did complex life evolve precisely when it did? According to a new study, simpler life forms may have been waiting on a proper oxygen supply -- for as long as a billion years.
  • Newly discovered fossil could prove a problem for creationists

    11/07/2014 2:43:53 PM PST · by Alter Kaker · 250 replies
    Washington Post ^ | November 5, 2014 | Rachel Feltman
    Researchers report that they've found the missing link between an ancient aquatic predator and its ancestors on land. Ichthyosaurs, the dolphin-like reptiles that lived in the sea during the time of the dinosaurs, evolved from terrestrial creatures that made their way back into the water over time. But the fossil record for the lineage has been spotty, without a clear link between land-based reptiles and the aquatic ichthyosaurs scientists know came after. Now, researchers report in Nature that they've found that link — an amphibious ancestor of the swimming ichthyosaurs named Cartorhynchus lenticarpus. "Many creationists have tried to portray ichthyosaurs...
  • Still Soft after 551 Million Years?

    10/26/2014 6:42:10 PM PDT · by lasereye · 16 replies
    ICR ^ | 2014 | Brian Thomas, M.S. *
    Original soft-tissue fossils continue to challenge mainstream understanding of how and when fossils formed. Secular researchers described dozens of them over the years, from mummified skin and dried red blood to still-purple retinas, and they assign them ages of tens of millions of years. However, the science of tissue decay clearly does not permit these long ages. For example, lab bench tests that accelerate tissue decay under high temperatures place a maximum age of fewer than one million years on some of the most resilient proteins, assuming the fossil proteins were kept cold and sterile during the entire process. These...
  • Rhinorex Condrupus: 75-Million-Year-Old Huge-Nosed 'Jimmy Durante' Dinosaur Discovered in Utah

    09/23/2014 11:59:55 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 36 replies
    International Business Times (UK) ^ | September 22, 2014 11:01 BST | By Lydia Smith
    Palaeontologists have discovered what they are calling the "Jimmy Durante" of dinosaurs, a type of hadrosaur with a distinctive nasal profile. Named Rhinorex condrupus, the fossil was found by researchers from North Carolina State University and Brigham Young University, and lived in what is now Utah approximately 75 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period. According to National Geographic, the date places the creature in the middle of a major dinosaur radiation, the process by which species adapt to new ecological niches. Rhinorex, which translates roughly into "King Nose", was a plant-eater and a close relative of other Cretaceous...
  • T. Rex Confirmed As Great Grandaddy Of All Birds

    04/24/2008 1:37:14 PM PDT · by blam · 33 replies · 3,796+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 4-24-2008 | Ewen Callaway
    T. rex confirmed as great granddaddy of all birds 19:00 24 April 2008 NewScientist.com news service Ewen Callaway John Asara, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Mary Schweitzer, North Carolina State University Thomas Holtz, University of Maryland Tyrannosaurus rex, meet the chicken – your third cousin more than 100 million years removed. A new family tree based on protein sequences recovered from dinosaur fossils firms up the dinosaur's avian lineage. "Palaeontologists have known this overall connection. We have now confirmed it with molecular data," says John Asara, a biochemist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, who led the study....
  • Ancient Birds Flew On All Fours

    09/22/2006 6:27:23 AM PDT · by Tokra · 181 replies · 2,650+ views
    eurekalert ^ | Spet. 22, 2006 | Nick Longrich
    The earliest known ancestor of modern-day birds took to the skies by gliding from trees using primitive feathered wings on their arms and legs, according to new research by a University of Calgary paleontologist. In a paper published in the journal Paleobiology, Department of Biological Sciences PhD student Nick Longrich challenges the idea that birds began flying by taking off from the ground while running and shows that the dinosaur-like bird Archaeopteryx soared using wing-like feathers on all of its limbs. "The discussions about the origins of avian flight have been dominated by the so-called 'ground up' and 'trees down'...
  • Discovery of the Oldest-Known Ceratopsian, an Ancestor of Triceratops and Other Horned Dinosaurs

    08/24/2006 10:49:15 PM PDT · by Virginia-American · 27 replies · 943+ views
    George Washington University Press Release ^ | May 16, 2006 | Wendy Carey, Matt Lindsay
    GW PROFESSOR JAMES M. CLARK LEADS DISCOVERY OF THE OLDEST-KNOWN CERATOPSIAN, AN ANCESTOR OF TRICERATOPS AND OTHER HORNED DINOSAURS New Find is Evolutionary Link Between Ceratopsians and Pachycephalosaurs, the "Bone-Headed" Dinosaurs WASHINGTON -- James M. Clark, Ronald B. Weintraub Associate Professor of Biology at The George Washington University, and Xu Xing of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) in Beijing, have discovered the oldest-known ceratopsian, a finding that solidifies the close evolutionary evidence between ceratopsians and pachycephalosarians, the "bone-headed" dinosaurs. Roaming the earth 160 million years ago, the new basal ceratopsian dinosaur, Yinlong downsi, appeared 20 million years...
  • Dover, PA Evolution Trial [daily thread for 07 Oct]

    10/07/2005 7:23:15 AM PDT · by PatrickHenry · 456 replies · 4,761+ views
    York Daily Record ^ | 07 October 2005 | Staff
    To keep this all in one daily thread, here are links to two articles in the York Daily Record (with excerpts from each), which has been doing a great job of reporting on the trial: Forrest cross-examination a rambling wonder. About the time that Richard Thompson, head law guy at the Thomas More center and chief defender of the Dover Area School Board, started his third year of cross-examination of philosopher Barbara Forrest, it was easy to imagine that at that moment, everyone in the courtroom, including Forrest, who doesn’t believe in God, was violating the separation of church and...
  • Hunters Claim to Find 4-Winged Dinosaur

    01/22/2003 11:38:37 AM PST · by Dallas · 56 replies · 748+ views
    Fossil hunters in China have discovered what may be one of the weirdest prehistoric species ever seen -- a four-winged dinosaur that apparently glided from tree to tree. The 128-million-year-old animal -- called Microraptor gui, in honor of Chinese paleontologist Gu Zhiwei -- was about 2 1/2 feet long and had two sets of feathered wings, with one set on its forelimbs and the other on its hind legs. Exactly where the creature fits into the evolution of birds and dinosaurs is not clear. But researchers speculated that it developed around the same time as or even later than...
  • Jurassic 'squirrels' push back clock on emergence of mammals

    09/17/2014 5:26:18 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    Christian Science Monitor ^ | September 10, 2014 | Pete Spotts
    In placing three newly discovered species along the mammal family tree, researchers conclude that mammals emerged and exploded in diversity between 235 million and 201 million years ago... Over the past three years, a team of researchers has uncovered six 160-million-year-old fossils that represent three new species who were living in trees at the time of the dinosaurs. In placing these creatures along the mammal family tree, the researchers conclude that mammals emerged and exploded in diversity between 235 million and 201 million years ago, during the Triassic period. If the results hold up to additional scrutiny, they imply a...
  • Ancient swamp creature had lips like Mick Jagger

    09/10/2014 10:14:01 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 27 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | Provided by Duke University
    Sir Mick Jagger has a new animal named after him. Scientists have named an extinct swamp-dwelling creature that lived 19 million years ago in Africa after the Rolling Stones frontman, in honor of a trait they both share—their supersized lips. "We gave it the scientific name Jaggermeryx naida, which translates to 'Jagger's water nymph,'" said study co-author Ellen Miller of Wake Forest University. The animal's fossilized jaw bones suggest it was roughly the size of a small deer and akin to a cross between a slender hippo and a long-legged pig. Researchers uncovered the fossils—consisting of multiple jawbone fragments—amid the...
  • Newly discovered dinosaur, Dreadnoughtus, takes title of largest terrestrial animal

    09/05/2014 8:11:22 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 28 replies
    The Washington Post's Speaking of Science ^ | September 4, 2014 | Meeri Kim
    Scientists have discovered the fossilized remains of a new long-necked, long-tailed dinosaur that has taken the crown for largest terrestrial animal with a body mass that can be accurately determined. Measurements of bones from its hind leg and foreleg revealed that the animal was 65 tons, and still growing when it died in the Patagonian hills of Argentina about 77 million years ago. “To put this in perspective, an African elephant is about five tons, T. rex is eight tons, Diplodocus is 18 tons, and a Boeing 737 is around 50 tons,” said study author and paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara at...
  • "Astoundingly huge" dinosaur skeleton unearthed in Argentina

    09/04/2014 11:29:26 AM PDT · by EveningStar · 69 replies
    CBS News ^ | September 4, 2014 | Agata Blaszczak-Boxe
    Scientists have unearthed the skeleton of a previously unknown, massive dinosaur species that may be the largest land animal ever found.The specimen named Dreadnoughtus schrani is exceptionally complete, with about 70 percent of its bones recovered. Scientists believe the creature, which lived about 77 million years ago, measured 85 feet (26 meters) long and weighed about 65 tons, heavier than a Boeing 737.
  • Strangest Creature of Ancient Earth linked to Modern Animals

    08/20/2014 9:14:51 PM PDT · by null and void · 47 replies
    Scientific Computing ^ | Tue, 08/19/2014 - 3:08pm | University of Cambridge
    Fossil Hallucigenia sparsa from the Burgess Shale Courtesy of M. R. Smith / Smithsonian InstituteThe spines along its back were thought to be legs, its legs thought to be tentacles along its back, and its head was mistaken for its tail. The animal, known as Hallucigenia due to its otherworldly appearance, had been considered an ‘evolutionary misfit’ as it was not clear how it related to modern animal groups. Researchers from the University of Cambridge have discovered an important link with modern velvet worms, also known as onychophorans, a relatively small group of worm-like animals that live in tropical...
  • West US cave with fossil secrets to be excavated

    07/27/2014 1:48:24 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 29 replies
    Phys dot org ^ | July 24, 2014 | unattributed
    For the first time in three decades, paleontologists are about to revisit one of North America's most remarkable troves of ancient fossils: The bones of tens of thousands of animals piled at the bottom of a sinkhole-type cave. Natural Trap Cave in Wyoming is 85 feet (25 meters) deep and almost impossible to see until you're standing right next to it. Over tens of thousands of years, many, many animals—including now-extinct mammoths, short-faced bears, American lions and American cheetahs—shared the misfortune of not noticing the 15-foot-wide (4 meters) opening until they were plunging to their deaths. Now, the U.S. Bureau...