Latest Geologic time scale Stories
In the March issue of GSA Today, seven scientists from six countries, led by Jan Zalasiewicz of the University of Leicester, propose a realignment of the terms "geochronology" and "chronostratigraphy" in an attempt to resolve the debate of whether units of the Geological Time Scale should have a single (time) or dual (time and time-rock) hierarchy.
For the first time, scientists have found fossils that let them see through the head of the "fuxianhuiid" arthropod, revealing one of the earliest evolutionary examples of limbs used for feeding along with the oldest nervous system to stretch beyond the head in fossil record.
While we never managed to find the lost city of Atlantis, an international group of scientists has found evidence of an ancient lost micro-continent resting beneath two islands in the Indian Ocean.
Scientists have winnowed the precision of the dates regarding the extinction of the dinosaur and the well-known impact that occurred around the same time.
Microscopic ocean algae called coccolithophores are providing clues about the impact of climate change both now and many millions of years ago.
Of all the famous fossil localities in the world — Mongolia’s Flaming Cliffs, Tanzania’s Olduvai Gorge, Wyoming’s Green River, Germany’s Solnhöfn Quarry — perhaps none is as widely celebrated as British Columbia’s Burgess Shale.
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Paleontologists have been riddled by the fossil of a creature they dubbed Necrolestes Patagonensis, or Grave Robber. Now, another, much older fossil has been found, and paleontologists believe this creature was somehow able to survive the mass extinction event which killed the dinosaurs over 65 million years ago.
A mass extinction, wiping out numerous species including the dinosaurs, marked the end of the Cretaceous Period. A new study reveals that the structure of North American ecosystems made the extinction worse than it might have been.
1.8 million years ago, hippos were a prominent part of European wildlife along with other mega-fauna such as woolly mammoths and giant cave bears.
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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