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Latest Lagerstätten Stories

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2010-05-14 07:24:56

Paleontologists have discovered a rich array of exceptionally preserved fossils of marine animals that lived between 480 million and 472 million years ago, during the early part of a period known as the Ordovician. The specimens are the oldest yet discovered soft-bodied fossils from the Ordovician, a period marked by intense biodiversification. The findings, which appear in the May 13 issue of the journal Nature, greatly expand our understanding of the sea creatures and ecosystems that...

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2010-03-22 13:15:00

A geologist from the University of Leicester is part of a team that has uncovered an ancient water flea-like creature from 425 million years ago "“ only the third of its kind ever to be discovered in ancient rocks. Professor David Siveter, of the Department of Geology at the University of Leicester worked with Professor Derek Siveter at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Professor Derek Briggs at Yale University USA and Dr Mark Sutton at Imperial College to make the rare...

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2009-08-14 11:05:00

Not only the world-famous primeval horse browsed at the shores of the lake in the warm, wet climate prevailing at that time (average annual temperature, 25°C). Around Lake Messel, which emerged in a volcanic crater and was surrounded back then by dense primeval forest, lived early ungulates and rodents; the ancestors of today's birds flew over the cloudy water; insects buzzed through the air; and cold-blooded reptiles basked lazily in the sun. 47 million years ago, Messel was located at...

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2009-02-18 13:42:43

In Los Angeles, scientists are studying the largest known cache of fossils from the ice age. Researchers from the George C. Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits expect the cache to double the size of the museum's ice age collection, which is currently the world's largest, according to the LA Times. Since 1906, more than one million bones have been found at the historic site. Scientists have already reported the discovery of a skull of an American lion and bones of saber-toothed cats, dire...

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2008-11-13 10:45:00

Scientists from the universities of Leicester and Cambridge and from the British Geological Survey have published new research in the journal Geology this month (November) shedding new light on a 500-million year old mystery. The 500 million year-old fossils of the Burgess Shale in Canada, discovered over a century ago, still provide one of the most remarkable insights into the dawn of animal life. The beautiful silvery fossils show the true nature of the life of that time, just after the...

2008-08-16 00:00:09

U.S. researchers said the bones of wolves can provide scientists with a better picture of environmental change than tree rings can. "Since the widespread combustion of fossil fuels, we have put a human fingerprint on atmospheric carbon dioxide," Joseph Bump, a forest science researcher at Michigan Technological University, said in a release. "That fingerprint shows up in trees, and it shows up in animals that eat trees, but it shows up with the least variation in the top predators." Bump...

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2008-02-26 11:55:00

The rise of oxygen and the oxidation of deep oceans between 635 and 551 million years ago may have had an impact on the increase and spread of the earliest complex life, including animals, according to a study reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences online Early Edition during the week of February 25 - 29.Today, we take oxygen for granted. But the atmosphere had almost no oxygen until 2.5 billion years ago, and it was not until about 600 million years ago when the...

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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...