Feature Channels: Paleontology

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Released: 9-Jul-2020 11:50 AM EDT
Researcher reconstructs skull of two million year-old giant dormouse
University of York

A PhD student has produced the first digital reconstruction of the skull of a gigantic dormouse, which roamed the island of Sicily around two million years ago.

Newswise: Dilophosaurus-Puppet-Low-front-mouth-open-scaled-1200x800-c-default.jpg
Released: 8-Jul-2020 9:45 AM EDT
Famous ‘Jurassic Park’ Dinosaur is Less Lizard, More Bird
University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin)

From movies to museum exhibits, the dinosaur Dilophosaurus is no stranger to pop culture. Many probably remember it best from the movie “Jurassic Park,” where it’s depicted as a venom-spitting beast with a rattling frill around its neck and two paddle-like crests on its head.

Newswise: 236463_web.jpg
Released: 2-Jul-2020 1:45 PM EDT
Arctic plants may not provide predicted carbon sequestration potential
University of Stirling

The environmental benefits of taller, shrubbier tundra plants in the Arctic may be overstated, according to new research involving the University of Stirling.

Newswise: 235904_web.jpg
Released: 26-Jun-2020 11:20 AM EDT
Tiny Japanese dinosaur eggs help unscramble Cretaceous ecosystem
University of Tsukuba

When most of us think of dinosaurs, we envision large, lumbering beasts, but these giants shared their ecosystems with much smaller dinosaurs, the smaller skeletons of which were generally less likely to be preserved.

Newswise: Bizarre saber-tooth predator from South America was no saber-tooth cat
24-Jun-2020 9:00 AM EDT
Bizarre saber-tooth predator from South America was no saber-tooth cat
University of Bristol

A new study led by researchers from the University of Bristol has shown that not all saber-tooths were fearsome predators.

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Released: 17-Jun-2020 12:50 PM EDT
Tracking Australia's gigantic carnivorous dinosaurs
University of Queensland

North America had the T. rex, South America had the Giganotosaurus and Africa the Spinosaurus - now evidence shows Australia had gigantic predatory dinosaurs.

Newswise: 234302_web.jpg
Released: 15-Jun-2020 11:55 AM EDT
Ancient crocodiles walked on two legs like dinosaurs
University of Queensland

An international research team has been stunned to discover that some species of ancient crocodiles walked on their two hind legs like dinosaurs and measured over three meters in length.

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Released: 3-Jun-2020 3:05 PM EDT
Western Canadian scientists discover what an armoured dinosaur ate for its last meal
University of Saskatchewan

More than 110 million years ago, a lumbering 1,300-kilogram, armour-plated dinosaur ate its last meal, died, and was washed out to sea in what is now northern Alberta. This ancient beast then sank onto its thorny back, churning up mud in the seabed that entombed it--until its fossilized body was discovered in a mine near Fort McMurray in 2011.

Newswise: 233129_web.jpg
Released: 28-May-2020 6:05 PM EDT
Chinese pterodactyl wings its way to the United Kingdom
University of Portsmouth

The first ever specimen of a pterodactyl, more commonly found in China and Brazil, has been found in the United Kingdom.

Newswise: 233005_web.jpg
Released: 27-May-2020 3:55 PM EDT
Finding a genus home for Alaska's dinosaurs
Hokkaido University

A re-analysis of dinosaur skulls from northern Alaska suggests they belong to a genus that lived over a broad latitudinal range extending into the Arctic.

Newswise: iX0OVC4Z6dvBBJS7iKIQmpro1OPwuVvs_93Jqp5Y8Q_YNZi7vi4rIUUt96eE4luAxERxuoQ5YOcI8yDb51NuyGAuHMf90l6wxvu4NbmvVOxHKx3P717rJcalzzFeOrHU07epzpEsRR96lKxhZIBWQrJCwdosVBAm1ivQtBOORbkomBrWYRvqHQJqKL6bGiVMYIQPn-7Q_-yRyCJiSP4=s0-
21-May-2020 10:50 AM EDT
In stressed ecosystems Jurassic dinosaurs turned to scavenging, maybe even cannibalism
PLOS

Among dinosaurs of ancient Colorado, scavenging and possibly cannibalism were responses to a resource-scarce environment, according to a study published May 27, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Stephanie Drumheller of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and colleagues.

Newswise: 232705_web.jpg
Released: 22-May-2020 12:50 PM EDT
First fossil nursery of the great white shark discovered
University of Vienna

The great white shark is one of the most charismatic, but also one of the most infamous sharks.

Newswise: First fossil nursery of the great white shark discovered
Released: 22-May-2020 7:50 AM EDT
First fossil nursery of the great white shark discovered
University of Vienna

An international research team led by Jaime A. Villafaña from the Institute of Palaeontology at the University of Vienna discovered the first fossil nursery area of the great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias in Chile. This discovery provides a better understanding of the evolutionary success of the largest top predator in today's oceans in the past and could contribute to the protection of these endangered animals. The study is published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Newswise: Ancient giant armoured fish fed in a similar way to basking sharks
18-May-2020 9:00 AM EDT
Ancient giant armoured fish fed in a similar way to basking sharks
University of Bristol

Scientists from the University of Bristol and the University of Zurich have shown that the Titanichthys – a giant armoured fish that lived in the seas and oceans of the late Devonian period 380-million-years ago – fed in a similar manner to modern day basking sharks.

Newswise: heTIfupAXHg0RJCc5c7iSFmqD3z2kg_-M-Duh9skv8tTYQvKVuMtghjPx1MVQqq_r4AYSTbC5HkuVyVF7xuHQeEoLP-FUBeXAzuagZ86OGUv-KwiHSngwmEycxe_QttJ83rTEvaj6B08g0EKAqTMZettMlhR4X_fnlQplCOmj8rpS4LE4425U6gosK6IgP26G8Demg6HlcMxIJKvUNs=s0-
Released: 13-May-2020 2:20 PM EDT
T. rex was a champion walker, super-efficient at lower speeds
PLOS

While smaller dinosaurs needed speed, huge predators like T. rex were optimized for energy-efficient walking, according to a study published May 13, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Alexander Dececchi of Mount Marty College, South Dakota and colleagues.

Newswise: 231160_web.jpg
Released: 8-May-2020 12:15 PM EDT
Prehistoric sea creatures evolved pebble-shaped teeth to crush shellfish
Field Museum

As bad as things might seem here in 2020, they could be worse: we could be living 252 million years ago during the Permian mass extinction.

Newswise: 230995_web.jpg
Released: 7-May-2020 4:40 PM EDT
Fossil reveals evidence of 200-million-year-old 'squid' attack
University of Plymouth

Scientists have discovered the world's oldest known example of a squid-like creature attacking its prey, in a fossil dating back almost 200 million years.

Newswise: 230121_web.jpg
Released: 24-Apr-2020 1:10 PM EDT
Palaeontologists reveal 'the most dangerous place in the history of planet Earth
University of Portsmouth

100 million years ago, ferocious predators, including flying reptiles and crocodile-like hunters, made the Sahara the most dangerous place on Earth.

Newswise: Giant teenage shark from the Dinosaur-era
Released: 23-Apr-2020 8:45 AM EDT
Giant teenage shark from the Dinosaur-era
University of Vienna

Scientists of the University of Vienna examined parts of a vertebral column, which was found in northern Spain in 1996, and assigned it to the extinct shark group Ptychodontidae. In contrast to teeth, shark vertebrae bear biological information, like body size, growth, and age and allowed the team surrounding Patrick L.

Newswise: 228463_web.jpg
Released: 3-Apr-2020 3:25 PM EDT
Lacustrine ecosystems needed 10 million years to recover after end-permian mass extinction
Chinese Academy of Sciences

The end-Permian mass extinction (EPME), approximately 252 million years ago (Ma), caused a serious marine and terrestrial ecosystem crisis, and about 75% of terrestrial biological species disappeared. How long did it take for terrestrial ecosystems to recover?

Newswise: 228184_web.jpg
Released: 1-Apr-2020 1:45 PM EDT
Traces of ancient rainforest in Antarctica point to a warmer prehistoric world
Imperial College London

Researchers have found evidence of rainforests near the South Pole 90 million years ago, suggesting the climate was exceptionally warm at the time.

Newswise: 227811_web.jpg
Released: 27-Mar-2020 12:50 PM EDT
New feathered dinosaur was one of the last surviving raptors
University of Pennsylvania

A new feathered dinosaur that lived in New Mexico 67 million years ago is one of the last known surviving raptor species, according to a new publication in the journal Scientific Reports.

Newswise: Fossil Finds Give Clues about Flying, Spike-toothed Reptiles in the Sahara 100 Million Years Ago
Released: 25-Mar-2020 5:05 AM EDT
Fossil Finds Give Clues about Flying, Spike-toothed Reptiles in the Sahara 100 Million Years Ago
Baylor University

Three new species of toothed pterosaurs — flying reptiles of the Cretaceous period, some 100 million years ago — have been identified in Africa by an international team of scientists led by Baylor University.

Newswise: 227506_web.jpg
Released: 23-Mar-2020 2:55 PM EDT
Christmas Island discovery redraws map of life
University of Queensland

The world's animal distribution map will need to be redrawn and textbooks updated, after researchers discovered the existence of 'Australian' species on Christmas Island.

Newswise: 227286_web.jpg
Released: 19-Mar-2020 12:15 PM EDT
Late Cretaceous dinosaur-dominated ecosystem
Geological Society of America (GSA)

A topic of considerable interest to paleontologists is how dinosaur-dominated ecosystems were structured, how dinosaurs and co-occurring animals were distributed across the landscape, how they interacted with one another, and how these systems compared to ecosystems today.

Newswise: 227157_web.jpg
Released: 17-Mar-2020 11:05 AM EDT
'Little Foot' skull reveals how this more than 3 million year old human ancestor lived
University of the Witwatersrand

High-resolution micro-CT scanning of the skull of the fossil specimen known as "Little Foot" has revealed some aspects of how this Australopithecus species used to live more than 3 million years ago.

Newswise: Dinosaur stomping ground in Scotland reveals thriving Middle Jurassic ecosystem
5-Mar-2020 12:30 PM EST
Dinosaur stomping ground in Scotland reveals thriving Middle Jurassic ecosystem
PLOS

During the Middle Jurassic Period, the Isle of Skye in Scotland was home to a thriving community of dinosaurs that stomped across the ancient coastline, according to a study published March 11, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Paige dePolo and Stephen Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and colleagues.

Newswise: Bronze Age diet and farming strategy reconstructed using integrative carbon/nitrogen isotope analysis
5-Mar-2020 12:05 PM EST
Bronze Age diet and farming strategy reconstructed using integrative carbon/nitrogen isotope analysis
PLOS

Isotope analysis of two Bronze Age El Algar sites in present-day south-eastern Spain provides a integrated picture of diets and farming strategies, according to a study published March 11, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Corina Knipper from the Curt Engelhorn Center for Archaeometry, Germany, and colleagues.

Newswise: 224965_web.jpg
Released: 21-Feb-2020 12:15 PM EST
Frozen bird turns out to be 46,000-year-old horned lark
Stockholm University

Scientists have recovered DNA from a well-preserved horned lark found in Siberian permafrost.

Newswise: Earliest interbreeding event between ancient human populations discovered
20-Feb-2020 11:50 AM EST
Earliest interbreeding event between ancient human populations discovered
University of Utah

The study documented the earliest known interbreeding event between ancient human populations— a group known as the “super-archaics” in Eurasia interbred with a Neanderthal-Denisovan ancestor about 700,000 years ago. The event was between two populations more distantly related than any other recorded.

Newswise: Fish in the Sahara? Yes, in the early Holocene
12-Feb-2020 3:50 PM EST
Fish in the Sahara? Yes, in the early Holocene
PLOS

Animal remains at the Takarkori rock shelter suggest human occupants shifted to a more mammal-heavy diet over time, as aridity of the region increased

Newswise: 223992_web.jpg
Released: 13-Feb-2020 10:20 AM EST
Extinct giant turtle had horned shell of up to three meters
University of Zurich

The tropical region of South America is one of the world's hot spots when it comes to animal diversity.

Newswise: 223998_web.jpg
Released: 11-Feb-2020 1:55 PM EST
Disease found in fossilized dinosaur tail afflicts humans to this day
American Friends of Tel Aviv University

The fossilized tail of a young dinosaur that lived on a prairie in southern Alberta, Canada, is home to the remains of a 60-million-year-old tumor.

Newswise: 223351_web.jpg
Released: 4-Feb-2020 2:10 PM EST
New Thalattosaur Species Discovered in Southeast Alaska
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks have identified a new species of thalattosaur, a marine reptile that lived more than 200 million years ago.

Newswise: The “Firewalkers” of Karoo: Dinosaurs and Other Animals Left Tracks in a “Land of Fire”
22-Jan-2020 2:05 PM EST
The “Firewalkers” of Karoo: Dinosaurs and Other Animals Left Tracks in a “Land of Fire”
PLOS

Several groups of reptiles persisted in Jurassic Africa even as volcanism ruined their habitat

Newswise: New species of Allosaurus discovered in Utah
22-Jan-2020 5:55 PM EST
New species of Allosaurus discovered in Utah
University of Utah

A remarkable new species of meat-eating dinosaur, Allosaurus jimmadseni, was unveiled at the Natural History Museum of Utah. The huge carnivore inhabited the flood plains of western North America during the Late Jurassic Period, between 157-152 million years ago, making it the geologically oldest species of Allosaurus, predating the more well-known state fossil of Utah, Allosaurus fragilis.

Newswise: 221872_web.jpg
Released: 17-Jan-2020 1:20 PM EST
Human-caused biodiversity decline started millions of years ago
University of Gothenburg

The human-caused biodiversity decline started much earlier than researchers used to believe. According to a new study published in the scientific journal Ecology Letters the process was not started by our own species but by some of our ancestors.

Newswise: Fossil Is the Oldest-Known Scorpion
Released: 16-Jan-2020 1:00 PM EST
Fossil Is the Oldest-Known Scorpion
Ohio State University

Scientists studying fossils collected 35 years ago have identified them as the oldest-known scorpion species, a prehistoric animal from about 437 million years ago. The researchers found that the animal likely had the capacity to breathe in both ancient oceans and on land.

Newswise: xsi9yIwWA-9P0HdEl-h5dRqsI7b9n95JTATy8XIUZ8z6QZ0VX_plfoBZh5jHgV0jSLitL3mhGlNnAmZffBI3T4yJnEi7FzjGi9iawU9VeEAeNpQgw4C4hNRz-enMOYVzzQrwjmU1mcJh_OYl0Aw7jSBXecC9pLYor7Ig30i7mT2ZTl-tgeqDe5iOjl2q_vQHmRZGqiaJR2c7xhJiTVM=s0-
9-Jan-2020 12:40 PM EST
Neandertals Went Underwater for Their Tools
PLOS

Neandertals collected clam shells and volcanic rock from the beach and coastal waters of Italy during the Middle Paleolithic, according to a study published January 15, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Paola Villa of the University of Colorado and colleagues.

Newswise: 221277_web.jpg
Released: 10-Jan-2020 1:30 PM EST
Scientists Find Oldest-Known Fossilized Digestive Tract -- 550 Million Years
University of Missouri, Columbia

A 550 million-year-old fossilized digestive tract found in the Nevada desert could be a key find in understanding the early history of animals on Earth.

Released: 10-Jan-2020 6:05 AM EST
Scientists use ancient marine fossils to unravel long-standing climate puzzle
Cardiff University

Cardiff University scientists have shed new light on the Earth's climate behaviour during the last known period of global warming over 14 million years ago.

Newswise: 220998_web.jpg
Released: 8-Jan-2020 1:40 PM EST
100 million years in amber: Researchers discover oldest fossilized slime mold
University of Göttingen

Most people associate the idea of creatures trapped in amber with insects or spiders, which are preserved lifelike in fossil tree resin.

Newswise: 220746_web.jpg
Released: 6-Jan-2020 2:05 PM EST
Over-Hunting Walruses Contributed to the Collapse of Norse Greenland, Study Suggests
University of Cambridge

The mysterious disappearance of Greenland's Norse colonies sometime in the 15th century may have been down to the overexploitation of walrus populations for their tusks, according to a study of medieval artefacts from across Europe.

Released: 2-Jan-2020 12:15 PM EST
Researchers learn more about teen-age T.Rex
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences

Without a doubt, Tyrannosaurus rex is the most famous dinosaur in the world. The 40-foot-long predator with bone crushing teeth inside a five-foot long head are the stuff of legend.

Newswise:Video Embedded modern-trees-emerged-earlier-than-previously-believed-new-research-reveals
VIDEO
12-Dec-2019 12:05 PM EST
Modern Trees Emerged Earlier Than Previously Believed, New Research Reveals
Binghamton University, State University of New York

A research team led by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York has uncovered evidence that the transition toward forests as we know them today began earlier than typically believed.

Newswise: 75 Million-Year-Old Sea Turtle Fossil Discovery Is a New Genus and Species That Sheds Light on the Evolution of Its Modern Relatives
Released: 18-Dec-2019 11:25 AM EST
75 Million-Year-Old Sea Turtle Fossil Discovery Is a New Genus and Species That Sheds Light on the Evolution of Its Modern Relatives
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Scientists are racing to determine which genealogy most accurately represents the evolutionary history of sea turtles — a challenging proposition.

Newswise: Decayed-Deer_6x4.jpg
Released: 18-Dec-2019 10:50 AM EST
Fossils of the Future to Mostly Consist of Humans, Domestic Animals
University of Illinois at Chicago

In a co-authored paper published online in the journal Anthropocene, University of Illinois at Chicago paleontologist Roy Plotnick argues that the fossil record of mammals will provide a clear signal of the Anthropocene era.

Released: 5-Dec-2019 12:05 PM EST
Carbon emissions from volcanic rocks can create global warming -- study
University of Birmingham

Greenhouse gas emissions released directly from the movement of volcanic rocks are capable of creating massive global warming effects

Newswise: How flowers adapt to their pollinators
Released: 5-Dec-2019 10:25 AM EST
How flowers adapt to their pollinators
University of Vienna

The first flowering plants originated more than 140 million years ago in the early Cretaceous. They are the most diverse plant group on Earth with more than 300,000 species. In a new study in Communications Biology, evolutionary biologists around Agnes Dellinger and Jürg Schönenberger from the University of Vienna have analysed 3-dimensional models of flowers and found that flower shapes can evolve in a modular manner in adaptation to distinct pollinators.

Newswise: Inbreeding, Small Populations, and Demographic Fluctuations Alone Could Have Led to Neanderthal Extinction
20-Nov-2019 3:35 PM EST
Inbreeding, Small Populations, and Demographic Fluctuations Alone Could Have Led to Neanderthal Extinction
PLOS

Small populations, inbreeding, and random demographic fluctuations could have been enough to cause Neanderthal extinction, according to a study published November 27, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Krist Vaesen from Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands, and colleagues.


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