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Latest Fossil Stories

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2011-02-03 13:11:08

Researchers have discovered the 100 million-year-old ancestor of a group of large, carnivorous, cricket-like insects that still live today in southern Asia, northern Indochina and Africa. The new find, in a limestone fossil bed in northeastern Brazil, corrects the mistaken classification of another fossil of this type and reveals that the genus has undergone very little evolutionary change since the Early Cretaceous Period, a time of dinosaurs just before the breakup of the supercontinent...

2011-01-28 00:05:50

University of Alberta researchers determined that a fossilized dinosaur bone found in New Mexico confounds the long established paradigm that the age of dinosaurs ended between 65.5 and 66 million years ago. The U of A team, led by Larry Heaman from the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, determined the femur bone of a hadrosaur as being only 64.8 million years old. That means this particular plant eater was alive about 700,000 years after the mass extinction event many...

219d6d58faa3dfcae095cceaf6176e70
2011-01-08 11:16:00

Entomologists of University Jena are the first to reconstruct a fossil insect completely in 3DIts stay on this planet was actually meant to be a very short one. Male twisted-wing parasites (Strepsiptera) usually have a life span of only few hours. However, accidentally a specimen of Mengea tertiara, about the size of an aphid, became preserved for "Ëœeternity': during its wedding flight about 42 million years ago it was caught in a drop of tree resin and subsequently almost...

6e8034918b32e3f235e53a13bad87b2e1
2010-12-13 11:15:10

Spanish researchers have found fossils of Ordovician conodonts dating to between 446 and 444 million years ago for the first time in the western Mediterranean. The discovery of these very primitive marine vertebrates has helped scientists to reconstruct the palaeogeography of the Cordillera B©tica mountain range. Their study shows that the mountain system in the south of the Iberian Peninsula was located alongside the Alps at that time. In 2006, a group of Andalusian geologists found the...

e49abf0b8e8a81bf0d0fe1178300fb921
2010-11-30 09:04:22

The mystery of how an abundance of fossils have been marvelously preserved for nearly half a billion years in a remote region of Africa has been solved by a team of geologists from the University of Leicester's Department of Geology. They have established that an ancient wind brought life to the region "“ and was then instrumental in the preservation of the dead. Sarah Gabbott, Jan Zalasiewicz and colleagues investigated a site near the Table Mountains in South Africa. Their findings...

2f719d997b53a45a0d65ddc8302cf2821
2010-11-10 08:38:28

One of America's favorite seafood is shrimp. Did you know that they fossilize as well? Rodney Feldmann, professor emeritus, and Carrie Schweitzer, associate professor, from Kent State University's Department of Geology report on the oldest fossil shrimp known to date in the world. The creature in stone is as much as 360 million years old and was found in Oklahoma. Even the muscles of the fossil are preserved. Their study will be published in Journal of Crustacean Biology. "The oldest known...

2010-11-06 02:40:58

Evolutionary divergence of humans from chimpanzees likely occurred some 8 million years ago rather than the 5 million year estimate widely accepted by scientists, a new statistical model suggests. The revised estimate of when the human species parted ways from its closest primate relatives should enable scientists to better interpret the history of human evolution, said Robert D. Martin, curator of biological anthropology at the Field Museum, and a co-author of the new study appearing in the...

b26d36526be8725df9ef9dfcf2653b131
2010-10-27 15:17:04

New paper appearing in Nature asks questions and frames future research Today in the journal Nature, a new discovery described by a team of international scientists, including Carnegie Museum of Natural History paleontologist Christopher Beard, suggests that anthropoids"”the primate group that includes humans, apes, and monkeys"”"colonized" Africa, rather than originally evolving in Africa as has been widely accepted. According to this paper, what is exceptional about these new...

d032519f17abb97417d2ca1f724d699e
2010-10-13 10:45:00

How can watching primitive fish rot away reveal answers to the fundamental questions of how, when and why our earliest vertebrate ancestors evolved? An innovative experiment at the University of Leicester that involved studying rotting fish has helped to create a clearer picture of what our early ancestors would have looked like. The scientists wanted to examine the decaying process in order to understand the decomposition of soft-body parts in fish. This in turn will help them reconstruct an...

2010-09-01 14:33:03

A team of researchers at the University of Bristol decided to find out, with investigations of dinosaur and human evolution. Their study, which is published this week in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, suggests most fossil discoveries do not make a huge difference, confirming, not contradicting our understanding of evolutionary history. This is especially true of the fossil record of human origins from their monkey relatives. Even though early human fossils are immensely rare, and new...


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
out-herod
  • In the phrase to out-herod Herod, to be more violent than Herod (as represented in the old mystery plays); hence, to exceed in any excess of evil.
Herod refers to 'Herod the Great,' a Roman client king and 'a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis.' According to the OED, the term is 'chiefly with allusion to Shakespeare's use' in Hamlet.
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