Latest Geologic time scale Stories
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Smithsonian researchers working in Colombia's CerrejÃ³n coal mine have unearthed the first megafossil evidence of a neotropical rainforest.
The strikingly banded rocks scattered across the upper Midwest and elsewhere throughout the world are actually ambassadors from the past, offering clues to the environment of the early Earth more than 2 billion years ago.
Princeton University scientists have shown that, in ancient times, the Earth's magnetic field was structured like the two-pole model of today, suggesting that the methods geoscientists use to reconstruct the geography of early land masses on the globe are accurate.
After decades of debate and four years of investigation an international body of earth scientists has formally agreed to move the boundary dates for the prehistoric Quaternary age by 800,000 years.
Palaeovespa is a genus of wasps that holds seven species, all of which are extinct. Two of the species were discovered in Baltic amber deposits from Europe dating back to the middle Eocene era, while the other five were found in Florissant Formation amber from the Priabonian stage era in Colorado in the United States. This genus, and four of its species, was first described in 1906 by Dr. Theodore Cockerell in the Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. Cockerell described all but one...
Australopithecus africanus was an early hominid, an australopithecine that lived between roughly 3.03 and 2.04 million years ago in the later Pliocene and early Pleistocene. Au. africanus was of slender build and was thought to have been a direct ancestor of modern humans. Fossil remains signify that Au. africanus was considerably more like modern humans that Au. afarensis, with a more human-like cranium permitting a larger brain and more humanoid facial features. This hominid has only been...
Image Caption: Head of Tenontosaurus, Institut de paléontologie humaine, Paris, France. Credit: Rémih/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0) Tenontosaurus, meaning “sinew lizard”, is a genus of medium to large sized ornithopod dinosaur. The genus is known from the late Aptian to Albian ages of the middle Cretaceious period sediments of western North America, dating roughly between 115 to 108 million years ago. It was formerly thought to be a ‘hypsilophodont’, but since Hypsilophodontia is no...
The Neoproterozoic is the third of three subdivisions of the Proterozoic Eon (occurring from 1 billion years ago to 542 million years ago). This terminal era of the Proterozoic is itself divided into three sub-periods called the Tonian, Cryogenian, and Ediacaran Periods. The most severe glaciation known in the geologic record occurred during the Cryogenian Period, when ice sheets reached the equator and formed a possible “Snowball Earth.” And the earliest fossils of multi-cellular life...
The Paleoproterozoic is the first of three subdivisions of the Proterozoic Eon (occurring from 2.5 billion to 1.6 billion years ago (Ga). This period is marked by the first stabilization of the continents, and also when cyanobacteria--a type of bacteria that uses biochemical processes of photosynthesis to produce oxygen--evolved. Experts have found paleontological evidence that during at least part of the Paleoproterozoic era, about 1.8 Ga, the earth year was about 450 days long, with days...
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