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Latest Fossil Stories

2009-02-05 14:48:02

U.S. scientists say they have found fossil evidence of animals living on Earth more than 635 million years ago, the oldest such finds. Researchers from the University of California-Riverside, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other institutions used compounds preserved in sedimentary rocks to confirm the existence of demosponges. Demosponges appeared during the Neoproterozoic era, 1,000 to 542 million years ago, an era of climatic extremes and biological evolutionary developments...

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2009-02-04 17:29:32

Scientists announced on Wednesday the discovery of the earliest evidence of animal life to date. Chemical traces found in 635-million-year-old rocks in Oman provide key evidence to support Darwin's theory that simple organisms existed before the evolution of more complex creatures, researchers said in the Feb. 5 issue of the journal Nature. "Basically we have found a thread of that evidence that he predicted should be there," Roger Summons, a geobiologist at the Massachusetts Institute of...

2009-02-02 14:17:16

U.S. geologists say they have found the fossil of a tropical, freshwater Asian turtle in Arctic Canada. The researchers from the University of Rochester in New York said their discovery suggests animals migrated from Asia to North America not around Alaska, as once thought, but directly across a freshwater sea floating atop the warm, salty Arctic Ocean. Professor John Tarduno, who led the researchers, said the finding also suggests a rapid influx of carbon dioxide some 90 million years ago...

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2009-01-27 08:05:00

A recent study by researchers at the University of Bath and London's Natural History Museum has found that scientists' knowledge of the evolution of dinosaurs is remarkably complete. Evolutionary biologists use two ways to study the evolution of prehistoric plants and animals: firstly they use radioactive dating techniques to put fossils in chronological order according to the age of the rocks in which they are found (stratigraphy); secondly they observe and classify the characteristics of...

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2009-01-08 16:50:00

The evolutionary history of diatoms -- abundant oceanic plankton that remove billions of tons of carbon dioxide from the air each year -- needs to be rewritten, according to a new Cornell study. The findings suggest that after a sudden rise in species numbers, diatoms abruptly declined about 33 million years ago -- trends that coincided with severe global cooling.The study is published in the Jan. 8 issue of the journal Nature.The research casts doubt on the long-held theory that diatoms'...

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2008-12-23 13:01:43

Life got bigger in two, million-fold leaps, scientists say Extremes are exciting. Does anyone really think dinosaurs would capture our imagination the way they do if they hadn't been so huge? You don't see natural history museums vying for fossil skeletons of prehistoric rodents. It's the Tyrannosaurus rex fossils they salivate and squabble over. And would the Hollywood glitterati cart around those little teacup pups if they weren't so dang tiny and cute? Not likely. Earth's creatures come in...

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2008-10-14 12:25:10

300 million-year-old discovery in an unlikely setting -- a suburban strip mall While paleontologists may scour remote, exotic places in search of prehistoric specimens, Tufts researchers have found what they believe to be the world's oldest whole-body fossil impression of a flying insect in a wooded field behind a strip mall in North Attleboro, Mass. During a recent exploration as part of his senior project, Richard J. Knecht, a Tufts geology major, and Jake Benner, a paleontologist and...

2008-09-25 16:54:39

An analysis of the gut contents from an exceptionally well-preserved juvenile dinosaur fossil suggests that the hadrosaur's last meal included plenty of well-chewed leaves digested into tiny bits. The fossil, Brachylophosaurus canadensis aka "Leonardo," is the second well-substantiated case in which the gut contents of a plant-eating dinosaur have been revealed, said Justin S. Tweet, who was a graduate student at the University of Colorado at Boulder when he studied the fossil with...

2008-09-13 03:00:11

By Perkins, Sid New study questions analyses of T. rex remains Three years ago, a team of scientists rocked the paleontology world by reporting the recovery of flexible tissue resembling blood vessels from a 68- million-year-old dinosaur fossil. Now, another group suggests that such pliable material could be something more mundane: a modern-day film of bacterial slime. The techniques used to assess such pliable materials are new to paleontologists, comments Matthew T. Carrano of the...

2008-09-10 00:00:19

Massive fossil forests dating back millions of years have been found in Illinois coal mines, a British researcher says. Howard Falcon-Lang told the British Association Science Festival in Liverpool the fossil forests are the largest ever found, the BBC reported Tuesday. He said the fossils cover an area the size of Bristol. The discovery of the first fossil forest in the region along the Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky borders was reported last year. Scientists have since found five more,...


Latest Fossil Reference Libraries

Atrypa
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Atrypa (lampshell) is an extinct genus of brachiopod from the Late Ordovician stage (444 million years ago) to the Carboniferous stage (318 mya). It occurs abundantly as fossils in marine rocks. Fossils have been found on all continents except Antarctica. This animal has distinctive concentric growth lines and is unusual in that in some Devonian beds there are numerous remains of the pedicle (foot) valve, but very few of the brachial (upper) valve -- scientists speculate that strong ocean...

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2010-09-30 18:58:57

Seitaad, derived from a Navajo legend of a san monster with the same name -- "Seit'aad," is a genus of prosauropod dinosaur from the Early Jurassic Period. The type species, S. ruessi, was described in 2010 based on fossils recovered from the Navajo Sandstone Formation in southern Utah. It is known from a nearly complete fossil that appears to have been entombed by the collapse of a sand dune about 185 million years ago. Based on the fossil, the dinosaur would have been 10 to 15 feet long...

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