Feature Channels: Paleontology

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Released: 26-May-2022 3:50 PM EDT
Scientists shine new light on role of Earth’s orbit in the fate of ancient ice sheets
Cardiff University

Scientists have finally put to bed a long-standing question over the role of Earth’s orbit in driving global ice age cycles.

Newswise: Hot-blooded T. rex and cold-blooded Stegosaurus: chemical clues reveal dinosaur metabolisms
Released: 25-May-2022 5:50 PM EDT
Hot-blooded T. rex and cold-blooded Stegosaurus: chemical clues reveal dinosaur metabolisms
Field Museum

For decades, paleontologists have debated whether dinosaurs were warm-blooded, like modern mammals and birds, or cold-blooded, like modern reptiles.

Newswise: Paleontologists have discovered the jaws of a rare bear in Taurida Cave
Released: 20-May-2022 5:05 PM EDT
Paleontologists have discovered the jaws of a rare bear in Taurida Cave
Ural Federal University

A group of paleontologists, included researchers from the Ural Federal University (UrFU), discovered the jaws of an Etruscan bear from the early Pleistocene period (2–1.5 million years ago) in the Taurida cave.

Newswise: What the new Jurassic Park movie gets wrong: Aerodynamic analysis causes a rethink of the biggest pterosaur
Released: 20-May-2022 4:05 PM EDT
What the new Jurassic Park movie gets wrong: Aerodynamic analysis causes a rethink of the biggest pterosaur
Nagoya University

One of the most exciting moments of the new Jurassic Park sequel, Jurassic World Dominion, is when the Quetzalcoatlus swoops down from the sky and attacks the heroes’ aircraft.

Newswise: Discovered: 150-year-old platypus and echidna specimens that proved some mammals lay eggs
Released: 12-May-2022 3:35 PM EDT
Discovered: 150-year-old platypus and echidna specimens that proved some mammals lay eggs
University of Cambridge

Jars of tiny platypus and echidna specimens, collected in the late 1800s by the scientist William Caldwell, have been discovered in the stores of Cambridge’s University Museum of Zoology.

Newswise: What Caused This Megatooth Shark’s Massive Toothache?
Released: 12-May-2022 12:05 PM EDT
What Caused This Megatooth Shark’s Massive Toothache?
North Carolina State University

Did the world’s largest prehistoric shark need an orthodontist, or did it just have a bad lunch?

Newswise: How Shark Teeth Can Decipher Evolutionary Processes
Released: 12-May-2022 4:05 AM EDT
How Shark Teeth Can Decipher Evolutionary Processes
University of Vienna

From embryo to turtle cracker: a team led by palaeobiologist Julia Türtscher from the University of Vienna studied the multiple changes in tooth shape in the tiger shark. The study, recently published in the Journal of Anatomy, is also central in drawing conclusions about extinct species from the myriad of preserved shark teeth in the field of palaeontology.

Released: 3-May-2022 4:35 PM EDT
Study of ancient predators sheds light on how humans did – or didn’t – find food
Rice University

A new Rice University-led analysis of the remains of ancient predators reveals new information about how prehistoric humans did – or didn’t – find their food.

Newswise: Precipitation and temperature helped drive abundant dinosaur populations in ancient Alaska
Released: 3-May-2022 9:50 AM EDT
Precipitation and temperature helped drive abundant dinosaur populations in ancient Alaska
Southern Methodist University

A new study led by SMU paleontologist Anthony Fiorillo identifies the key role precipitation and temperature play in structuring vertebrate herbivore dinosaur populations in Alaska. The findings, which are published in the journal Geosciences, may also provide historical insights into the consequences of climate change.

Newswise: Large Bodies Helped Extinct Marine Reptiles with Long Necks Swim, New Study Finds
27-Apr-2022 10:05 AM EDT
Large Bodies Helped Extinct Marine Reptiles with Long Necks Swim, New Study Finds
University of Bristol

Scientists at the University of Bristol have discovered that body size is more important than body shape in determining the energy economy of swimming for aquatic animals.

Newswise: Glowing spider fossils prompt breakthrough study of how they were preserved at Aix-en-Provence
Released: 21-Apr-2022 6:05 PM EDT
Glowing spider fossils prompt breakthrough study of how they were preserved at Aix-en-Provence
University of Kansas

A geologic formation near Aix-en-Provence, France, is famed as one of the world’s chief treasure troves of fossil species from the Cenozoic Era. Since the late 1700s, scientists there have been unearthing amazingly well-preserved fossilized plants and animals.

Newswise: Pterosaur discovery solves ancient feather mystery
Released: 21-Apr-2022 2:45 PM EDT
Pterosaur discovery solves ancient feather mystery
University College Cork

Flying reptiles could change the colour of their feathers, research finds.

Newswise: Natural History Museum of Utah releases Triceratops Traits, a new investigation for middle school science classes
Released: 20-Apr-2022 1:10 PM EDT
Natural History Museum of Utah releases Triceratops Traits, a new investigation for middle school science classes
University of Utah

In Triceratops Traits, students work alongside paleontologists to solve an evolutionary mystery by analyzing and interpreting data from the fossil record under the premise that natural laws have operated the same throughout the history of life on Earth to fit 7th grade learning standards in Utah and 6th-8th grades around the U.S.

Released: 6-Apr-2022 12:55 PM EDT
Cross-College Researchers Unravel Mummy Bird Mystery
Cornell University

Over the last several months, a certain bird – believed to be a sacred ibis – has been drawing a lot of attention, and covering a lot of ground, at Cornell University.

Newswise: T. rex's short arms may have lowered risk of bites during feeding frenzies
Released: 1-Apr-2022 1:05 PM EDT
T. rex's short arms may have lowered risk of bites during feeding frenzies
University of California, Berkeley

Over the two decades paleontologist Kevin Padian taught a freshman seminar called The Age of Dinosaurs, one question asked frequently by undergraduates stuck with him: Why are the arms of Tyrannosaurus rex so ridiculously short?

Newswise: Dense bones allowed Spinosaurus to hunt underwater
22-Mar-2022 2:00 PM EDT
Dense bones allowed Spinosaurus to hunt underwater
University of Portsmouth

Spinosaurus is the largest predatory dinosaur known - over two metres longer than the longest Tyrannosaurus rex - but the way it hunted has been a subject of debate for decades. In a new paper, published today in Nature, a group of palaeontologists have taken a different approach to decipher the lifestyle of long-extinct creatures: examining the density of their bones.

Newswise: Baltic amber reveals a lacewing that looks like a praying mantis
Released: 21-Mar-2022 4:55 PM EDT
Baltic amber reveals a lacewing that looks like a praying mantis
Pensoft Publishers

Lacewings (Neuroptera) are small predatory insects, whose larvae are sometimes used as pest control agents in agriculture. Few non-specialists, however, know that some lacewings can look a lot like praying mantises.

Released: 21-Mar-2022 1:50 PM EDT
A whale’s tale: the story hidden in their mouths
University of New South Wales

Baleen plates –the signature bristle-like apparatus toothless whales use to feed – reveal how these large aquatic mammals adapt to environmental changes over time.

Newswise: Ancient ancestors evolved to be strong and snappy, study finds
16-Mar-2022 7:05 AM EDT
Ancient ancestors evolved to be strong and snappy, study finds
University of Bristol

Researchers led by the University of Bristol show that the earliest jaws in the fossil record were caught in a trade-off between maximising their strength and their speed.

Newswise: New sabre-tooth predator precedes cats by millions of years
Released: 15-Mar-2022 10:45 AM EDT
New sabre-tooth predator precedes cats by millions of years
PeerJ

The fossil, housed in The Nat’s paleontology collection, offers a window into what the Earth was like during the Eocene Period, more than 40 million years ago.

Newswise: Giant impact crater in Greenland occurred a few million years after dinosaurs went extinct
Released: 10-Mar-2022 2:20 PM EST
Giant impact crater in Greenland occurred a few million years after dinosaurs went extinct
University of Copenhagen

Danish and Swedish researchers have dated the enormous Hiawatha impact crater, a 31 km-wide meteorite crater buried under a kilometer of Greenlandic ice.

Newswise: Cooler waters created super-sized Megalodon, latest study shows
Released: 7-Mar-2022 5:35 PM EST
Cooler waters created super-sized Megalodon, latest study shows
Taylor & Francis

A new study reveals that the iconic extinct Megalodon or megatooth shark grew to larger sizes in cooler environments than in warmer areas.

Newswise: New species of stegosaur is oldest discovered in Asia, and possibly the world
Released: 7-Mar-2022 12:05 AM EST
New species of stegosaur is oldest discovered in Asia, and possibly the world
Taylor & Francis

Relatively small, but fearsome-looking stegosaur measured about 2.8 metres (9 feet) from nose to tail—but scientists can’t tell whether the remains are those of an adult or juvenile.

Newswise: Cooler waters created larger Megalodon than warmer waters
3-Mar-2022 3:05 PM EST
Cooler waters created larger Megalodon than warmer waters
DePaul University

A new study reveals that the iconic extinct Megalodon or megatooth shark grew to larger sizes in cooler environments than in warmer areas. DePaul University paleobiology professor Kenshu Shimada and coauthors take a renewed look through time and space at the body size patterns of Otodus megalodon, the fossil shark that lived nearly worldwide roughly 3.6 million to 15 million years ago. The new study appears in the international journal Historical Biology.

Newswise: Researchers reconstruct ancient fish lizard
Released: 4-Mar-2022 4:05 AM EST
Researchers reconstruct ancient fish lizard
Lund University

Geologists at Lund University in Sweden have mapped 300 years of research on the prehistoric marine reptiles known as ichthyosaurs.

Released: 1-Mar-2022 4:05 PM EST
Tyrannosaurus remains hint at two possible species distinct from T. rex
Springer

A new analysis of Tyrannosaurus skeletal remains reveals physical differences in the femur, other bones and dental structures across specimens that could suggest Tyrannosaurus rex specimens need to be re-categorised into three distinct groups or species, reports a study published in Evolutionary Biology.

Newswise: The last day of the dinosaurs
Released: 23-Feb-2022 2:05 PM EST
The last day of the dinosaurs
Uppsala University

The asteroid which killed nearly all of the dinosaurs struck Earth during springtime. This conclusion was drawn by an international team of researchers after having examined thin sections, high-resolution synchrotron X-ray scans, and carbon isotope records of the bones of fishes that died less than 60 minutes after the asteroid impacted.

Newswise: New fossil birds discovered near China’s Great Wall – one had a movable, sensitive “chin”
Released: 18-Feb-2022 10:05 AM EST
New fossil birds discovered near China’s Great Wall – one had a movable, sensitive “chin”
Field Museum

Approximately 80 miles from the westernmost reach of China’s Great Wall, paleontologists found relics of an even more ancient world. Over the last two decades, teams of researchers unearthed more than 100 specimens of fossil birds that lived approximately 120 million years ago, during the time of the dinosaurs.

Newswise: Fossils excavated in the 1960s add missing link to crocodile evolution
Released: 9-Feb-2022 2:05 PM EST
Fossils excavated in the 1960s add missing link to crocodile evolution
University of Birmingham

A set of Triassic archosaur fossils, excavated in the 1960s in Tanzania, have been formally recognised as a distinct species, representing one of the earliest-known members of the crocodile evolutionary lineage.

Newswise: Latest study reveals no one still knows what the Megalodon really looked like
2-Feb-2022 11:55 AM EST
Latest study reveals no one still knows what the Megalodon really looked like
DePaul University

A new scientific study shows that all previously proposed body forms of the gigantic Megalodon, or megatooth shark, which lived nearly worldwide roughly 15-3.6 million years ago, remain in the realm of speculations.

Newswise: Low volcanic temperature ushered in global cooling and the thriving of dinosaurs
Released: 31-Jan-2022 11:55 AM EST
Low volcanic temperature ushered in global cooling and the thriving of dinosaurs
Tohoku University

Researchers in Japan, Sweden, and the US have unearthed evidence that low volcanic temperatures led to the fourth mass extinction, enabling dinosaurs to flourish during the Jurassic period.

Newswise: Ice-age remains near Sea of Galilee show ancient residents thrived as ice melted
Released: 27-Jan-2022 5:30 PM EST
Ice-age remains near Sea of Galilee show ancient residents thrived as ice melted
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

A new article published today in PLOS ONE by a Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU)’s Institute of Archaeology team and colleagues focused on the remains of a previously submerged fisher-hunter-gatherer camp on the shores of the Sea of Galilee from around 23,000 years ago.

Newswise: Muscular study provides new information about how the largest dinosaurs moved and evolved
Released: 19-Jan-2022 10:35 AM EST
Muscular study provides new information about how the largest dinosaurs moved and evolved
University of Bristol

New research led by the University of Bristol has revealed how giant 50-tonne sauropod dinosaurs, like Diplodocus, evolved from much smaller ancestors, like the wolf-sized Thecodontosaurus.

Newswise: Within a dinosaur’s head: ankylosaur was sluggish and deaf
Released: 11-Jan-2022 4:05 AM EST
Within a dinosaur’s head: ankylosaur was sluggish and deaf
University of Vienna

German and Austrian scientists took a closer look at the braincase of a dinosaur from Austria. The group examined the fossil with a micro-CT and found surprising new details: it was sluggish and deaf. The respective study got recently published in the scientific journal scientific reports.

Newswise: Researchers find low oxygen and sulfide in the oceans played greater role in ancient mass extinction
Released: 10-Jan-2022 5:00 PM EST
Researchers find low oxygen and sulfide in the oceans played greater role in ancient mass extinction
Florida State University

Florida State University researchers have new insight into the complicated puzzle of environmental conditions that characterized the Late Ordovician Mass Extinction (LOME), which killed about 85% of the species in the ocean.

Released: 7-Jan-2022 4:05 PM EST
Fossil research affected by significant colonial bias, study finds
University of Birmingham

The fossil record, which documents the history of life on Earth, is heavily biased by influences such as colonialism, history and global economics, argues a new study involving palaeontologists at the University of Birmingham and the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg.

Newswise: Exquisitely preserved embryo found inside fossilized dinosaur egg
Released: 22-Dec-2021 8:00 AM EST
Exquisitely preserved embryo found inside fossilized dinosaur egg
University of Birmingham

A 72 to 66-million-year-old embryo found inside a fossilised dinosaur egg sheds new light on the link between the behaviour of modern birds and dinosaurs, according to a new study.

Newswise: An ancient relative of Velociraptor is unearthed in Great Britain
Released: 21-Dec-2021 4:05 AM EST
An ancient relative of Velociraptor is unearthed in Great Britain
University of Portsmouth

A new bird-like dinosaur that used brute strength to overcome its prey has been found by paleontologists combing through fossils found on the Isle of Wight, on the south coast of Great Britain.

Newswise: Extinct reptile discovery reveals earliest origins of human teeth, study finds
Released: 21-Dec-2021 4:05 AM EST
Extinct reptile discovery reveals earliest origins of human teeth, study finds
University of Bristol

A new extinct reptile species has shed light on how our earliest ancestors became top predators by modifying their teeth in response to environmental instability around 300 million years ago.

Newswise: Sauropod dinosaurs were restricted to warmer regions of Earth
Released: 17-Dec-2021 1:40 PM EST
Sauropod dinosaurs were restricted to warmer regions of Earth
University College London

Giant, long-necked sauropods, thought to include the largest land animals ever to have existed, preferred to live in warmer, more tropical regions on Earth, suggesting they may have had a different physiology from other dinosaurs, according to a new study led by researchers at UCL and the University of Vigo.

Newswise: Dinosaurs’ Last Spring: Study Pinpoints Timing of Chicxulub Asteroid Impact
Released: 9-Dec-2021 5:40 PM EST
Dinosaurs’ Last Spring: Study Pinpoints Timing of Chicxulub Asteroid Impact
Florida Atlantic University

A groundbreaking study led by researchers at FAU and an international team of scientists conclusively confirms the time year of the catastrophic Chicxulub asteroid, responsible for the extinction of dinosaurs and 75 percent of life on Earth 66 million years ago. Springtime, the season of new beginnings, ended the 165 million year reign of dinosaurs and changed the course of evolution on Earth.

Newswise: Ancient DNA found in soil samples reveals mammoths, Yukon wild horses survived thousands of years longer than believed
7-Dec-2021 10:45 AM EST
Ancient DNA found in soil samples reveals mammoths, Yukon wild horses survived thousands of years longer than believed
McMaster University

New research finds megafaunal collapse occurred before major environmental shift, small pockets of mammoths and horse adapted to change.

Released: 2-Dec-2021 6:15 PM EST
A dinosaur trove in Italy rewrites the history, geography, and evolution of the ancient Mediterranean area
Universita di Bologna

Italy is not exactly renown for dinosaurs. In comparison to its excellent artistic and archaeological heritage, dinosaur fossils are very rare.

Newswise: woolly_mammoth_hig_res_w_watermark_cropped-for-website2_0.jpg
Released: 11-Nov-2021 8:25 AM EST
Humans hastened the extinction of the woolly mammoth
University of Adelaide

New research shows that humans had a significant role in the extinction of woolly mammoths in Eurasia, occurring thousands of years later than previously thought.

Newswise: Rapidly Evolving Species More Likely to Go Extinct, Study Suggests
8-Nov-2021 8:05 AM EST
Rapidly Evolving Species More Likely to Go Extinct, Study Suggests
University of Bristol

Researchers at the University of Bristol have found that fast evolution can lead to nowhere.

Released: 3-Nov-2021 8:25 AM EDT
Profound ecological change in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea
University of Vienna

Assemblages of tropical non-indigenous species in the Eastern Mediterranean have biological traits that markedly differ from those of native biological communities. This was shown by an international team of scientists led by Jan Steger from the Department of Palaeontology at the University of Vienna.

Newswise: what-big-teeth-you-hav.jpg
Released: 26-Oct-2021 10:10 AM EDT
What Big Teeth You Have: Tooth Root Surface Area Can Determine Primate Size
North Carolina State University

Researchers have developed formulas that can calculate the body size of a primate based on the root size of its teeth. The formulas could allow researchers to make use of partial and incomplete fossils in order to learn how ancient primates – including human ancestors – interacted with their environment.

Newswise: ‘Raptor-like’ dinosaur discovered in Australian mine, actually uncovered as a timid vegetarian
Released: 21-Oct-2021 11:15 AM EDT
‘Raptor-like’ dinosaur discovered in Australian mine, actually uncovered as a timid vegetarian
Taylor & Francis

Fossil footprints found in an Australian coal mine around 50 years ago have long been thought to be that of a large ‘raptor-like’ predatory dinosaur, but scientists have in fact discovered they were instead left by a timid long-necked herbivore.

Newswise: Crab found in 100-million-year-old amber is oldest modern-looking crab ever found
Released: 20-Oct-2021 4:05 PM EDT
Crab found in 100-million-year-old amber is oldest modern-looking crab ever found
Harvard University

Discovery provides new insights into the evolution of crabs and when they spread around the world.


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