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Latest Fossils Stories

2008-02-29 03:00:00

By Dong, Lin Xiao, Shuhai; Shen, Bing; Zhou, Chuanming Abstract: Horodyskia is one of the earliest known macroscopic life forms, with a fossil record dating from c. 1.4 Ga. Palaeopascichnus represents a key Ediacaran element with world-wide distribution. However, their body constructions and affinities are poorly understood, partly because previously described species are mostly preserved as casts and moulds in siliciclastic rocks. Silicified specimens from the upper Ediacaran Liuchapo...

2008-02-27 03:00:00

Many people believe fossils are petrified bone or impressions of a shell in rock. But fossils actually are any type of evidence of the existence of a once-living organism - plant or animal. Accurately dating the age of the Earth is commonplace today. Take a few rocks, analyze them on fancy machines, and presto, out pops the Earth's age. But these techniques are not new. A century ago, B.B. Boltwood outlined the basics. Boltwood got his doctorate from Yale University in 1897. A decade...

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2008-02-19 09:00:00

Geologists at the University of Leicester have solved a puzzle found in rocks half a billion years old. Some of the most important fossil beds in the world are the Burgess Shales in the Canadian Rockies. Once an ancient sea bed, they were formed shortly after life suddenly became more complex and diverse "“ the so-called Cambrian explosion "“ and are of immense scientific interest. Normally, only hard parts of ancient animals became fossilized; the bones, teeth or shells. Soft...

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2008-01-09 15:35:35

New Haven, Conn. -- Discovery of an exceptional fossil specimen in southeastern Morocco that preserves evidence of the animal's soft tissues has solved a paleontological puzzle about the origins of an extinct group of bizarre slug-like animals with rows of mineralized armor plates on their backs, according to a paper in Nature. While evolution has produced great diversity in the body designs of animals, over the course of history several highly distinct groups, such as trilobites and...

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2008-01-08 15:55:00

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Scientists have known for some time that most major groups of complex animals appeared in the fossils record during the Cambrian Explosion, a seemingly rapid evolutionary event that occurred 542 million years ago. Now Virginia Tech paleontologists, using rigorous analytical methods, have identified another explosive evolutionary event that occurred about 33 million years earlier among macroscopic life forms unrelated to the Cambrian animals. They dubbed this earlier event...

2007-11-11 03:00:00

By Shen, Bing Xiao, Shuhai; Dong, Lin; Zhou, Chuanming; Liu, Jianbo ABSTRACT- Upper Neoproterozoic successions in the North China and nearby Chaidam blocks are poorly documented. North China successions typically consist of a diamictite unit overlain by siltstone, sandstone, or slate. Similar successions occur in Chaidam, although a cap carbonate lies atop the diamictite unit. The diamictites in both blocks have been variously interpreted as Cryogenian, Ediacaran, or Cambrian glacial...

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2007-07-31 05:20:00

The abundant diversity of characteristics within species likely helped fuel the proliferation and evolution of an odd-looking creature that emerged from an unprecedented explosion of life on Earth more than 500 million years ago. University of Chicago paleontologist Mark Webster reports this finding in the July 27 issue of the journal Science. "From an evolutionary perspective, the more variable a species is, the more raw material natural selection has to operate on," said Webster, an...

2007-06-17 03:04:55

By Novack-Gottshall, Philip M Abstract.- The process of evolution hinders our ability to make large-scale ecological comparisons-such as those encompassing marine biotas spanning the Phanerozoic-because the compared entities are taxonomically and morphologically dissimilar. One solution is to focus instead on life habits, which are repeatedly discovered by taxa because of convergence. Such an approach is applied to a comparison of the ecological diversity of Paleozoic (Cambrian- Devonian)...

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2007-05-08 06:00:00

SOMEWHERE NEAR YAKIMA, Wash. -- Clyde Friend was bulldozing a driveway around his shop when he first saw them in the dirt: gleaming pieces of the past. A forest of stone, more than 15 million years old. For the past five years, on this hillside above Yakima, Friend has been pulling out pieces of rare petrified wood, no two pieces alike. Branches, trunks and slices in sunset colors. Pieces purple and blue as mussel shells. Pieces like winter sky, gray and white and all the tones in...

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2007-02-12 03:00:00

By Steve Connor Ancient bones and other fossilised remains have been known to humans for millennia but it is only over the past 300 years or so that their true origins have been revealed. Until then, a rich folklore sought to explain these enigmatic relics from the past. Every culture in every country, it seems, wanted an explanation for the unusual objects and bizarre shapes that often seemed to emerge, as if by magic, from the ground. Imagine a group of prehistoric hunters, whose trail...


Latest Fossils Reference Libraries

Paleontology
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Paleontology or Palaeontology is the scientific study of prehistoric life, including the study of fossils to determine the organisms evolution and interactions with each other and their environments. Paleontological observations have been documented as far back as 5th century BC. The science became established in the 18th century as a result of Georges Cuvier’s work on comparative anatomy, and it developed quickly within the 19th century. The term itself comes from Greek palaios, meaning...

Paleozoology
2013-09-30 13:34:57

Paleozoology, also spelled Palaeozoology, is a branch of many other sciences including zoology and paleontology that focuses on recovering cellular matter from animal remains that are large enough to be seen without the help of a microscope, known as macrofossils. This study is primarily used in the context of archeology and geology and aids in recreating ancient ecosystems and prehistoric environments. Paleozoologists study the tissues of many types of animals including sharks, echinoderms,...

Bennett’s feather star, Oxycomanthus bennetti
2013-08-04 08:28:29

Bennett's feather star is a suspension feeder that grows to be about 1 foot with 31-120 arms extending upward from the body. The star catches the food, usually phytoplankton and zooplankton, with tubed feet located on the outside of the arms. Yellow, Brown, Green and Purple are the most common colors for the Bennett's feather star. The star will remain attached to the seabed by a stalk until it reaches maturity and then becomes free-living by breaking off from the stalk. The Bennett's...

Variable bushy feather star, Comaster Schlegelii
2013-05-18 06:46:30

The Variable bushy feather star is commonly found concealed on shallow water reefs in the western Pacific Ocean. The parts that will be most often seen are the fern-like arms. The arms start at the base with five rays then begin to divide from there. The arms are flexible due to the multiple calcium filled joints, also called ossicle; therefore if needed these arms could coil up and provide protection to the main body. Interestingly, if one arm should fall off, or perhaps pulled off, then two...

Noble feather star, Comaster nobilis
2013-05-18 06:36:19

The noble feather star (also known as the yellow feather star) reaches up to 15.75 inches in diameter with a cup-shaped body. There can be 35-40 arms extending out of the central part of the body. The arms are primarily yellow with the underside having a variation to include black, green, or white. The noble feather star feeds on food debris, phytoplankton and zooplankton. Phytoplankton and zooplankton are microscopic organisms that are present mainly in the layer of the oceans that is...

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