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Latest Micropaleontology Stories

Late Meroitic grave
2014-07-18 04:00:15

University of York An international team of researchers has found new evidence that our prehistoric ancestors had a detailed understanding of plants long before the development of agriculture. By extracting chemical compounds and microfossils from dental calculus (calcified dental plaque) from ancient teeth, the researchers were able to provide an entirely new perspective on our ancestors’ diets. Their research suggests that purple nut sedge (Cyperus rotundus) – today regarded as a...

3 billion-year-old Rocks Contain Microfossils Of Plankton
2013-06-06 21:18:25

Penn State Spindle-shaped inclusions in 3 billion-year-old rocks are microfossils of plankton that probably inhabited the oceans around the globe during that time, according to an international team of researchers. "It is surprising to have large, potentially complex fossils that far back," said Christopher H. House, professor of geosciences, Penn State, and lead author. However, the researchers not only showed that these inclusions in the rocks were biological in origin, but also...

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2011-08-22 12:30:28

Researchers from the University of Western Australia and the University of Oxford have unearthed what they believe are the oldest fossils ever discovered-single-celled organisms that are thought to be 3.4 billion years old, according to a Sunday article by Nicholas Wade of the New York Times. The discovery, which is detailed in the latest edition of the journal Nature Geoscience, took place in a remote location known as Strelley Pool, which is located in Western Australia. The team that...

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2011-08-08 09:07:48

By Robert Sanders, UC Berkeley The demise of the world's forests some 250 million years ago likely was accelerated by aggressive tree-killing fungi triggered by global climate change, according to a new study by a University of California, Berkeley, scientist and her Dutch and British colleagues. The researchers do not rule out the possibility that today's changing climate could cause a similar increase in pathogenic soil bacteria that could devastate forests already stressed by a warming...

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2009-12-15 10:51:34

The analysis of microfossils found in ocean sediment cores is illuminating the environmental conditions that prevailed at high latitudes during a critical period of Earth history. Around 55 million years ago at the beginning of the Eocene epoch, the Earth's poles are believed to have been free of ice. But by the early Oligocene around 25 million years later, ice sheets covered Antarctica and continental ice had developed on Greenland. "This change from greenhouse to icehouse conditions...

2009-10-01 12:05:20

Palynomorphs from sediment core give proof to sudden warming in mid-Miocene era For Sophie Warny, LSU assistant professor of geology and geophysics and curator at the LSU Museum of Natural Science, years of patience in analyzing Antarctic samples with low fossil recovery finally led to a scientific breakthrough. She and colleagues from around the world now have proof of a sudden, remarkably warm period in Antarctica that occurred about 15.7 million years ago and lasted for a few thousand...

2009-07-23 09:06:19

The Micropalaeontology team at the Department of Stratigraphy and Paleontology at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) is working on the study of microfossils under the direction of Mr Julio Rodríguez Lázaro. The concentrations of these types of fossils and the composition of their shells can provide much information about the conditions of life thousands or even millions of years ago. These microfossils once belonged to aquatic organisms and their analysis...

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2009-05-26 15:17:08

New fossil findings discovered by scientists at UC Santa Barbara challenge prevailing views about the effects of "Snowball Earth" glaciations on life, according to an article in the June issue of the journal Nature Geoscience. By analyzing microfossils in rocks from the bottom of the Grand Canyon, the authors have challenged the view that has been generally assumed to be correct for the widespread die-off of early life on Earth. "Snowball Earth" is the popular term for glaciations that...

2008-08-07 03:00:10

Most of us think fossils are fascinating evidence of life in the past, eons before the first person appeared. People are usually captivated by the large fossils - dinosaurs, mammals and sharks - but only a few ever look at the microfossils. Dinoflagellates, calcareous nanofossils, diatoms, pollen and numerous other microscopic plants and animals are present in the Earth's layers, or strata. In fact, each stratum has its own unique assemblage of fossils. If you learn what fossils are in each...

2007-11-05 12:00:16

A U.S. study suggests violent volcanic eruptions in India might have killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, not a meteor impact. The eruptions created India's gigantic Deccan Traps lava beds and the research by Princeton University paleontologist Gerta Keller marks the first time a study has directly linked the main phase of the Deccan Traps' creation to the mass extinction. Keller said she made the linkage using microscopic marine fossils that are known to have evolved immediately...


Word of the Day
jument
  • A beast of burden; also, a beast in general.
'Jument' ultimately comes from the Latin 'jugum,' yoke.
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