Latest Geologic time scale Stories
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.
The rise of the Rocky Mountains and the arrival of a seaway that divided North America into three distinct sections may have been the catalyst for the evolution of new species of dinosaurs.
In a first of its kind study, researchers from Vanderbilt University found that mammals’ best defense to adapting to climate change was diversity, and families with higher taxonomic diversity were better able to survive ongoing environmental changes.
The second-largest mass extinction in Earth's history coincided with a short but intense ice age during which enormous glaciers grew and sea levels dropped.
The April/May GSA Today science article is now online at www.geosociety.org/gsatoday/.
The dinosaurs of the Cretaceous may have faced an unexpected hazard: fire!
The world’s oceans may be acidifying more rapidly than they have at any time in the past 300 million years due to high levels of pollution, according to research published this week in the journal Science.
The ancient sifrhippus, the earliest known horse, lived around 50 million years ago. It was very distinct in its appearance because it was only about the size of a modern day house cat, weighing in around 12 pounds.
In a study published in the journal Geology, scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science suggest that the large changes in the carbon isotopic composition of carbonates which occurred prior to the major climatic event more than 500 million years ago, known as 'Snowball Earth,' are unrelated to worldwide glacial events.
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...
- A poem in which the author retracts something said in an earlier poem.