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Latest Fossil Stories

Image 1 - Ancient Crickets Hint At The Origins Of Insect Hearing
2012-01-04 04:53:04

How did insects get their hearing? A new study of 50 million year-old cricket and katydid fossils – sporting some of the best preserved fossil insect ears described to date– help trace the evolution of the insect ear, says a new study by researchers working at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center. Insects hear with help from unusual ears, said co-author Roy Plotnick of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Grasshoppers have ears on their abdomens. Lacewings have ears on...

Image 1 - Ancient Bug-Repellant Plant Bedding Discovered
2011-12-09 06:07:57

Researchers report that they have uncovered and analyzed human bedding believed to be 77,000 years old. The bedding material gives a look into how humans lived in South Africa. Lyn Wadley of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa says, “Domestic activities, like preparing and destroying plant bedding, can provide important information.” Some of the important information provided in the plant-based bedding materials, according to the National...

Image 1 - Ancient Environment Led To Current Marine Biodiversity
2011-11-28 05:49:20

Changes in global carbon, sulfur cycles and to sea-level fueled biological responses Much of our knowledge about past life has come from the fossil record, but how accurately does that record reflect the true history and drivers of biodiversity on Earth? "It's a question that goes back a long way to the time of Darwin, who looked at the fossil record and tried to understand what it tells us about the history of life," says Shanan Peters, a geoscientist at the University of...

Image 1 - Human, AI Join Forces To Pinpoint Fossil Locations
2011-11-22 10:33:21

WUSTL paleoanthropologist, colleagues develop artificial neural network model to predict location of fossil sites In 1991, a team led by Washington University in St. Louis paleoanthropologist Glenn Conroy, PhD, discovered the fossils of the first – and still the only – known pre-human ape ever found south of the equator in Africa after only 30 minutes of searching a limestone cave in Namibia. Traditionally, fossil-hunters often could only make educated guesses as to where...

Image 1 - Ancient Moths Reveal Wing Colors
2011-11-16 07:58:25

New research is allowing scientists to learn what the colors of fossilized moths would have been. Maria McNamara, a paleobiologist and postdoctoral researcher at Yale University was examining fossils from oil shale in Germany when she came across the remains of several moth species, all belonging to a group called lepidopterans, which also includes butterflies. “Until now, we had no idea what colors ancient moths and butterflies had,” McNamara relates to Stephanie Pappas of...

Image 1 - Prehistoric Mite Caught Hitching A Ride On A Spider
2011-11-09 05:34:27

Scientists have produced amazing three-dimensional images of a prehistoric mite as it hitched a ride on the back of a 50 million-year-old spider. At just 176 micrometers long and barely visible to the naked eye, University of Manchester researchers and colleagues in Berlin believe the mite, trapped inside Baltic amber (fossil tree resin), is the smallest arthropod fossil ever to be scanned using X-ray computed tomography (CT) scanning techniques. They say their study — published...

Image 1 - Aquatic Beetle Found In 20-million-year-old Sediments
2011-10-06 08:46:47

The fossil beetle discovered in the 16-23 million years old sediments of the Irtysh River in southern Siberia belongs to the modern species Helophorus sibiricus, a member of the water scavenger beetles (Hydrophiloidea), which is at present widely distributed in Eurasia and reaches even North America. The species was originally described in 1860 by the Russian entomologist Victor Motschulsky based on specimens collected at Lake Baikal. It is aquatic and inhabits various kinds of standing...

New Technique Fills In Fossil Record Gaps
2011-09-20 04:53:20

  University of Pennsylvania evolutionary biologists have resolved a long-standing paleontological problem by reconciling the fossil record of species diversity with modern DNA samples. Cataloging the diversity of life on earth is challenging enough, but when scientists attempt to draw a phylogeny – the branching family tree of a group of species over their evolutionary history – the challenge goes from merely difficult to potentially impossible. The fossil record is...

Beaver Have Experienced Little Change Over 7 Million Years
2011-09-19 10:01:11

  The fossilized teeth of a beaver found by Bureau of Land Management (BLM) employees on federal land represents the earliest record of the animal in North America and are estimated to be 7 to 7.3 million years old. The teeth come from the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, a protected area with an abundance of fossils, Fox News is reporting. Surprisingly, the fossil teeth are almost identical to the chompers of living beavers and illustrate that the animal has changed little...

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2011-07-30 06:10:00

The remains of a rare, prehistoric marine reptile that was discovered by Alaskan scientists is being called the most complete fossil representation of this creature ever located in North America, according to Daily Mail and Reuters reports on Friday. According to the Daily Mail newspaper, the remains are of a nearly-complete thalattosaur, which is a three-to-ten foot long sea creature, with a long, flat tail, which had died out approximately 200 million years ago. They note that the fossils...


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...

45_d90d7517475790ab9d0e7b112e243a9d
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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Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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