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Keyword: paleontology

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  • Dinosaur Puke Fossil Mystery Deepens

    11/16/2015 10:04:55 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 24 replies ^ | Alyssa Danigelis
    When researchers came across a unique fossil in Northern Italy in 1989, they concluded it was dinosaur vomit roughly 220 million years old. The fossil lacked the mineralization that would have put it in the dinosaur poop category — that’s “coprolite” if you want to be technical. They also identified the bones captured for eternity inside the puke as a tiny winged pterosaur. These reptilian dinosaur cousins evolved into dozens of species, and were the first animals after insects to evolve powered flight, according to the American Museum of Natural History. Vomit like this, usually from a predator regurgitating indigestible...
  • Leading Harvard physicist has a radical new theory for why humans exist

    11/15/2015 7:47:38 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 57 replies
    Business Insider ^ | 11/15/2015 | Jessica Orwig
    Where do we come from? There are many right answers to this question, and the one you get depends on who you ask. For example, an astrophysicist might say that the chemical components of our bodies were first forged in the nuclear fires of stars. On the other hand, an evolutionary biologist might look at the similarities between our DNA and that of other primates' and conclude we evolved from apes. Lisa Randall, a theoretical physicist at Harvard University, has a different, and novel answer, which she describes in her latest book, "Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs." Randall has written...
  • Fire frogs' and eel-like amphibians: The Field Museum's Brazilian fossil discovery

    11/08/2015 1:14:06 PM PST · by JimSEA · 15 replies
    Science Daily ^ | 11/05/2016 | Field Museum
    Two hundred and seventy-eight million years ago, the world was a different place. Not only were the landmasses merged into the supercontinent of Pangaea, but the land was home to ancient animals unlike anything alive today. But until now, very little information was available about what animals were present in the southern tropics. In a study published in Nature Communications, scientists from The Field Museum and colleagues from around the world describe several new amphibian species and a reptile from northeastern Brazil that help fill this key geographic gap and reveal how animals moved among regions in the supercontinent. "Almost...
  • Newly discovered dinosaur flaunts its feathers

    11/04/2015 12:41:20 PM PST · by sparklite2 · 35 replies
    Fox News ^ | November 04, 2015 | Michael Casey
    The remains of an ostrich-like creature with preserved feathers and soft tissue is shedding light on how dinosaurs used their plumage and further strengthens the linkages between these ancient beasts and modern birds. A paleontology student at the University of Alberta discovered the 75 million-year-old skeleton of an Ornithomimus dinosaur in the Upper Cretaceous Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta - one of only three feathered specimens found in the world. And while the feathers on the specimen were crushed, the researchers were surprised to see how similar they were to modern ostriches or emus.
  • The fiery world before dinosaurs: New research reveals fires were more common

    10/27/2015 12:40:54 PM PDT · by JimSEA · 32 replies
    Science Daily ^ | 10/26/205 | University of Royal Holloway London
    Scientists from the Department of Earth Sciences at Royal Holloway, University of London together with colleagues from the USA, Russia and China, have discovered that forest fires across the globe were more common between 300 and 250 million years ago than they are today. This is thought to be due to higher level of oxygen in the atmosphere at that time. The study which was published in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science, found that peats that were to become coal contained high levels of charcoal that could only be explained by the high levels of fire activity. The team...
  • 10,000-Year-Old Extinct Lion Cubs Discovered In Near-Perfect Condition In Siberian Permafrost

    10/27/2015 11:42:03 AM PDT · by zeestephen · 21 replies ^ | 27 October 2015 | Jeva Lange
    Cave lions lived during the Middle to Late Pleistocene eras in Eurasia, the British Isles, to the far east of Russia, and into Alaska and northwestern Canada. Their extinction remains something of a mystery because they had few predators and, due to their smaller size, they wouldn't get trapped in bogs like woolly mammoths and rhinos.
  • Now that really IS a mutant turtle: Archaeologists find bizarre pig snouted created once roamed Utah

    10/22/2015 5:15:40 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 31 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | October 21, 2015 | Mark Prigg
    The extinct turtle was about 2 feet long from head to tail. Its streamlined shell was adapted for living in a riverine environment. When it was alive, 76 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period, Southern Utah looked more like present-day Louisiana. The climate was wet and hot, and the landscape was dominated by rivers, bayous and lowland flood plains. It lived alongside tyrannosaurs, armored ankylosaurs, giant duck-billed dinosaurs such as Gryposaurus and Parasaurolophus, and other dinosaurs that left abundant fossil remains in the Upper Cretaceous Kaiparowits Formation of Southern Utah. But those fossil beds also hold the remains of...
  • Legend of monster of Laguna Lake comes to life

    09/10/2004 8:21:32 AM PDT · by SoCal Pubbie · 32 replies · 9,096+ views
    Orange County Register ^ | 9/10/04 | BARBARA GIASONE
    FULLERTON Rumors swirled around Laguna Lake for 40 years that a vicious snapping turtle named "Old Bob" lurked beneath its water lilies. Turns out the talk was not some exaggerated fish tale. On Thursday, dredging company workers snared the 100-pound snapper near a park dam in the north-central part of the city. A Santa Monica contractor, hired to scoop out fish during a $2 million restoration of the 7-acre lake, netted the 50-year-old, 36-inch alligator snapping turtle along with catfish, crappie and bluegills.
  • Pigs ruled the world 260 million years ago: Study

    09/17/2008 1:54:57 PM PDT · by decimon · 70 replies · 2,573+ views
    Newspost Online ^ | Sep 17, 2008 | Unknown
    Scientists from Leeds University have discovered that the world was ruled by pig-like creatures for a million years. The Age of the Porcine occurred around 260 million years ago - when the creatures called lystrosaurs were the few survivors of a mass extinction. Nearly 95 pct of the living species were destroyed by a series of volcanic eruptions leaving behind pigs in a golden age of no predators. They had Earths abundant plant-life all to themselves. We can only speculate on how lystrosaurs survived while the rest died. Perhaps its ability to burrow and hibernate protected it from the worst...
  • 125-million-year-old mammal fossil reveals the early evolution of hair and spines

    10/20/2015 10:47:15 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 33 replies ^ | October 14, 2015 | Provided by: University of Chicago Medical Center
    Skeleton of the Cretaceous mammal Spinolestes with preserved fur shadows. The outer ear can be seen at the upper edge of the photo (arrow). During preparation, the skeleton was transferred to a plastic matrix. Credit: Georg Oleschinski. With permission of Nature Publishing Group ====================================================================================================================== The discovery of a new 125-million-year-old fossil mammal in Spain has pushed back the earliest record of preserved mammalian hair structures and inner organs by more than 60 million years. The specimen, named Spinolestes xenarthrosus, was fossilized with remarkably intact guard hairs, underfur, tiny hedgehog-like spines and even evidence of a fungal hair infection. The unusually...
  • Discovery Of 47 Teeth In Chinese Cave Changes Picture Of Human Migration Out Of Africa

    10/17/2015 9:09:33 PM PDT · by zeestephen · 33 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | 15 October 2015 | Amina Khan
    Forty-seven smooth teeth dug out of a cave in southern China reveal that Homo sapiens may have arrived there 80,000 years ago...The findings, published this week in the journal Nature, may compel researchers to reconsider their theories about human migrations out of Africa.
  • Post-apocalyptic 'beaver' thrived after dinosaurs died

    10/05/2015 2:36:03 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 52 replies ^ | 10-05-2015 | By By Will Dunham
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The world had been wrecked. An asteroid impact in Mexico compounded by colossal volcanism in India 66 million years ago had killed about three-quarters of Earth's species including the dinosaurs. But relatively soon afterward, a plucky critter that looked like a beaver was thriving, exemplifying the resilience of the mammals that would arise from the margins of the animal kingdom to become Earth's dominant land creatures. Scientists on Monday announced the discovery in northwestern New Mexico's badlands of the fossil remains of Kimbetopsalis simmonsae, a plant-eating, rodent-like mammal boasting buck-toothed incisors like a beaver that lived just...
  • Giant prehistoric lizards co-existed with humans

    10/03/2015 7:44:05 AM PDT · by WhiskeyX · 23 replies ^ | October 01, 2015 | Walt Bonner
    While the concept of men battling 16foot prehistoric lizards sounds like something out of a 50s sci-fi flick, a new discovery in Australia has revealed that such encounters may have occurred. According to a study appearing in Quaternary Science Reviews, researchers from the University of Queensland have found a tiny fossil that belonged to a giant lizard bone 50,000 years ago, indicating that gigantic reptiles and humans once coexisted.
  • Why are there whale fossils in California mountains?

    09/22/2015 11:17:09 AM PDT · by george76 · 168 replies
    The Christian Science Monitor. ^ | September 21, 2015 | Story Hinckley,
    Construction workers in California's Santa Cruz mountains were subject to a surprise delay last week when a team of archaeologists took over the site to remove an ancient whale fossil. The project site was expected to have a high potential for archaeological finds, so a monitor was assigned to the Scotts Valley development and found the fossil amid construction vehicles on Sept. 4. This project site is not the only one in California with fossils ... Since the 19th century, paleontologists have been studying the Sharktooth Hill Bone Bed near Bakersfield, California, where fossils and bones of ancient whales, seals,...
  • Scientists dispute new species discovery: Critics say Lead Researcher's claim jumps the gun

    09/18/2015 6:52:32 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 30 replies
    WORLD ^ | 09/11/2015 | DANIEL JAMES DEVINE
    Deep inside a cave 30 miles from Johannesburg, South Africa, a tight crevasse guards the passageway to what was, until recently, the grave of at least 15 human-like individuals. Their bones and teethmore than 1,500 fragments in alllay in a heap in the bottom of a pitch-black chamber for ages, until two skinny spelunkers with flashlights squeezed into the earth deep enough to find them. Now those bones are in the hands of scientists who say they belong to a new species of prehumans, with a mix of features typically associated with modern man or fossils belonging to Australopithecina, a...
  • Mammoth bones found, reburied

    12/08/2006 8:15:53 PM PST · by Dysart · 17 replies · 535+ views
    Star-Telgram ^ | 12-8-06 | BILL TEETER
    GRAPEVINE These bones wont talk at least not until theyre unearthed again.Still smarting over the theft of dinosaur footprints this spring, the Army Corps of Engineers and the city of Grapevine have reburied parts of a Columbian mammoth that were found along the receding shore line.Visitors came across a jawbone and part of a tusk, and there may be more bones in the area, but there are no plans to study the location that is somewhere on 1,200 acres of Corps property under lease to the city, said Dale King, a conservation specialist with the corps. The find...
  • Bones Of Contention: Dinosaur Cells Survived Millions Of Years Trapped In Bone

    08/15/2015 8:58:12 AM PDT · by JimSEA · 46 replies
    Science 2.0 ^ | Mary Schwietzer
    Twenty years ago Mary Schweitzer found herself the closest that anyone has ever been to a living dinosaur. As she examined a thin slice of a T. Rex bone fragment under a microscope, she realized she was looking at what appeared to be preserved red blood cells- cells which had no place in a 65 million year old fossil. It was the first time that anyone had found evidence that biological material could survive the passage of millions of years and still retain its molecular structure, challenging one of the central beliefs of paleontologists. Proving that what she was seeing...
  • 'Loch Ness monster' dinosaur fossil found in Alaska

    08/08/2015 11:44:33 AM PDT · by NYer · 17 replies
    Telegraph ^ | August 7, 2015
    Elasmosaurs had extremely long necks, small heads and paddle-shaped limbs for swimming Photo: Nobu Tamura Researchers in Alaska have uncovered the bones of a prehistoric marine reptile dating back 70 million years. This is the first time an elasmosaur has ever been unearthed in this state. Its vertebrae were discovered embedded in an eroding cliff. Curvin Metzler (left) and Dr Patrick Druckenmiller on the cliff face where the elasmosaur was discovered  Photo: University of Alaska Museum of the North Elasmosaurs had extremely long necks, small heads and paddle-shaped limbs for swimming. • Scientists study remains of massive Dreadnoughtus dinosaur, in pics...
  • French teen finds 560,000 year-old tooth (Update)

    07/28/2015 12:23:38 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 25 replies
    A 16-year-old French volunteer archaeologist has found an adult tooth dating back around 560,000 years in southwestern France, in what researchers hailed as a "major discovery" Tuesday. "A large adult toothwe can't say if it was from a male or femalewas found during excavations of soil we know to be between 550,000 and 580,000 years old, because we used different dating methods," paleoanthropologist Amelie Viallet told AFP. "This is a major discovery because we have very few human fossils from this period in Europe," she said. The tooth was found in the Arago cave near the village of Tautavel, one...
  • Four-legged snake fossil found

    07/23/2015 12:12:45 PM PDT · by sparklite2 · 55 replies
    Science Daily ^ | July 23, 2015
    An "absolutely exquisite" fossil of a snake that had four legs has been discovered by a team of scientists and may help show how snakes made the transition from lizards to serpents. It is the first known fossil of a four-legged snake, and the team -- led by Dr Dave Martill from the University of Portsmouth -- say that this discovery could help scientists to understand how snakes lost their legs. Dr Martill said: "It is generally accepted that snakes evolved from lizards at some point in the distant past. What scientists don't know yet is when they evolved, why...
  • Old World Monkey Had Tiny, Complex Brain - Findings offer new clues to how primate brains changed...

    07/09/2015 8:58:00 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 11 replies
    Duke Today ^ | July 3, 2015 | Staff
    The brain hidden inside the oldest known Old World monkey skull has been visualized for the first time. The creatures tiny but remarkably wrinkled brain supports the idea that brain complexity can evolve before brain size in the primate family tree. The ancient monkey, known scientifically as Victoriapithecus, first made headlines in 1997 when its fossilized skull was discovered on an island in Kenyas Lake Victoria, where it lived 15 million years ago. Now, thanks to high-resolution X-ray imaging, researchers have peered inside its cranial cavity and created a three-dimensional computer model of what the animals brain likely looked like....
  • Scientist challenges interpretation of new find, the oldest primate fossil ever discovered

    01/04/2004 9:13:08 AM PST · by AdmSmith · 40 replies · 1,195+ views
    Nature Jan. 1, 2004, Nature ^ | 31 dec 2003 | Greg Borzo
    Find opens debate about whether man's earliest ancestors came from Asia and were diurnal or nocturnal CHICAGO--A skull and jawbones recently found in China is the oldest well-preserved primate fossil ever discovered ? as well as the best evidence of the presence of early primates in Asia. But the fossil raises the tantalizing possibility that remote human ancestors may have originated in Asia and stirs up debate about the nature of early primates. In the words of Robert D. Martin, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Chicago's Field Museum, "It was once thought that primates originated in North...
  • 50 million year old sperm cells found in fossilized cocoon

    07/15/2015 2:23:53 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 13 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | July 15, 2015 | Bob Yirka
    Diagram illustrating the inferred mode of fossilization of microorganisms in clitellate cocoons, exemplified by a common medicinal leech (reproductive stages modified from Sims). (a) Two leeches mate; (b) a cocoon is secreted from the clitellum; (c) eggs and sperm are released into the cocoon before the animal retracts and eventually deposits the sealed cocoon on a suitable substrate (d). Insets depict enlargements of the inner cocoon-wall surface showing how spermatozoa and microbes become encased in the solidifying inner cocoon wall. Credit: Biology Letters, DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2015.0431 ============================================================================================= ( small team of researchers with members from institutions in Sweden, Argentina and Italy,...
  • 50-Million-Year-Old Sperm Found in Antarctica

    07/15/2015 1:54:21 PM PDT · by dware · 26 replies
    Newsweek ^ | 07.15.2015 | Douglas Main
    Things without bones dont fossilize that well. This includes sperm and worms, and most definitely worm sperm. But scientists have now discovered fossilized sperm from a worm-like creature in Antarctica that is 50 million years old, as revealed in a study published Wednesday in the journal Biology Letters.
  • Creature that has not had sex for 100m years

    03/23/2007 11:59:02 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 41 replies · 553+ views
    Times Online - UK ^ | March 20, 2007 | Lewis Smith, Environment Reporter
    A tiny creature that has not had sex for 100 million years has overturned the theory that animals need to mate to create variety. Analysis of the jaw shapes of bdelloid rotifers, combined with genetic data, revealed that the animals have diversified under pressure of natural selection. Researchers say that their study refutes the idea that sex is necessary for diversification into evolutionary species. The microscopic animals, less than four times the length of a human sperm, are all female, yet have evolved into different species that fill different ecological niches. Two sister species were found to be living...
  • Support for a Young Earth? Scientists Baffled by Preserved Dinosaur Blood Cells [Psalms 85:11]

    07/09/2015 9:48:38 AM PDT · by Jan_Sobieski · 110 replies
    CNS News ^ | 6/15/2015 | Garrett Haley
    LONDON The discovery of well-preserved blood and proteins in a supposedly 75-million-year-old dinosaur fossil has stumped secular scientists and led one Christian apologist to herald the findings as evidence of a young Earth. A team of scientists at the U.K.s Imperial College London carefully examined eight Cretaceous dinosaur bones discovered in North America, scrutinizing the bones interiors with an electron microscope. The researchers were stunned when they discovered what appeared to be red blood cells in one of the specimens. Upon closer examination, the British scientists identified an internal structure within the dinosaur cells, complete with nuclei and amino...
  • BOFFIN: Will I soon be able to CLONE a MAMMOTH? YES. Should I? NO

    07/04/2015 1:40:42 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 34 replies ^ | ,3 Jul 2015 at 09:28, | Lewis Page
    It will definitely be possible within the foreseeable future to bring back the long-extinct woolly mammoth, a top geneticist has said. However, in his regretful opinion such a resurrection should not be carried out. The assertion comes in the wake of a new study of mammoth genetics as compared to their cousins the Asian and African elephants, which live in warm habitats very different from the icy northern realms of the woolly giant. The new study offers boffins many revelations as to the differences which let the elephants and mammoths survive in such different conditions. This is by far the...
  • Researcher unravels century-old woolly tale to find truth behind massive bones

    07/06/2015 8:16:58 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 9 replies
    PHYS.ORG ^ | Jul 03, 2015 | by Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
    Animals go extinct, places too. And stories change. Boaz, a small village in Richland County, Wis., has only 156 people these days. There are a half-dozen streets, a couple of taverns, a small park with a baseball diamond and, on the outskirts, a historic marker describing the village's lone claim to fame: "the Boaz Mastodon." The story on the marker is the one that's been told to schoolchildren for almost a century as they stare up at the mastodon skeleton, enshrined in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Geology Museum. It is a story that, until now, has endured largely unchanged: One...
  • 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-Hernndez 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 ^ | 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 weeks 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. Its encouraging, especially because...
  • Fibres and cellular structures preserved in 75-millionyear-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 ^ | 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 ^ | 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 22C and 28C (72F to 82F) 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 ^ | 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. Its 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 sauropodsand 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 ^ | 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....