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Latest Paleontology Stories

Jurassic Ecosystem
2013-01-09 06:26:57

Rayshell Clapper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online According to Southern Methodist University paleontologists Timothy S. Myers, Louis L. Jacobs, and SMU sedimentary geologist Neil J. Tabor, the modern relationship between animals and vegetation is similar to millions of years ago. In their study, the SMU scientists used fossil soils from the Late Jurassic age gathered from locations where animal fossils were previously found to determine the levels of carbon isotopes. The team...

Fossil Bird Discovered With Teeth For A Tough Diet
2013-01-07 11:02:26

Alan McStravick for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A trip to the Galapagos islands will bring you face to face with 14 closely related species of finch that Charles Darwin discovered on his adventure abroad in the 1830s. The finches he noted, still referenced in essentially every biology textbook, had beak sizes of varying lengths and sizes. This was true of both the ground- and tree-dwelling birds, and Darwin postulated that differing diets might have required the birds´ unique...

Early Human Ancestors May Have Walked And Climbed Trees
2013-01-01 09:48:25

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Many researchers believe that one of the pivotal events in becoming human was the development of terrestrial bipedalism, or the ability to walk on two legs. Much has been made of our ancestors "coming down out of the trees." After all, the majority of our living primate relatives — for example, the great apes — still spend a great deal of their time in trees. In the primate family, humans are the only branch devoted to the...

Climate Changes After Mass Extinction Modeled By Researchers
2012-12-22 07:09:20

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online While it has long been assumed plant and animal life took a long time to recover following the largest mass extinction to date, researchers from the University of Zurich have discovered new evidence to suggest they may have bounced back sooner than previously believed. The mass extinction in question took place at the end of the Permian geological period some 252 million years ago, and scientists had long believed it took roughly...

Bone Study Reveals Dinosaur Size
2012-12-20 19:57:17

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online A new study published in the journal PLOS ONE states dinosaurs may have been bigger than we thought, in terms of ratio. Scientists have always understood dinosaurs were the largest animals to roam the Earth, but now they find they also had a greater number of larger species compared to all other back-boned animals. For the study, Queen Mary, University of London researchers compared the size of the femur bone of 329 different...

Ediacaran Fossils A 'First-class Scientific Mystery'
2012-12-13 08:50:07

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Mysterious multicellular fossils believed to be ancient sea creatures may actually be some of the earliest land-dwelling organisms, according to a paper published online on Wednesday in the journal Nature. The controversial hypothesis has been fiercely criticized, with some paleontologists flatly rejecting the idea, but if true, the finding would push back life's transition from sea to land by as much as 100 million years or more....

New Ostracod Species Discovered In Ancient Fossil Record
2012-12-12 13:44:19

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A team of British and American scientists have discovered the fossils of a tiny new species of animal in 425-million-year-old rocks located along the England-Wales border, according to the their report published in the journal Proceedings of The Royal Society B. The new species is an ostracod — a small crustacean related to crabs, lobsters and shrimps — and was exceptionally well preserved. Its fossil included a...

Fossil Discovery May Be Of Earliest Living Dinosaur
2012-12-05 09:40:27

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Some of the earliest known dinosaurs to have walked the planet were considered to be small dinosaurs like the swift-footed Eoraptor. But researchers have discovered a new dinosaur-like fossil that may be even older. Called Nyasasaurus parringtoni, the specimen is thought to have existed 10 to 15 million years earlier than dinosaur fossils have previously shown, originating in the Middle rather than the Late Triassic Period. Study...

Evolution Of Theropods Linked To Environmental Factors
2012-11-29 05:41:02

Alan McStravick for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The heaviest flying bird tops out at between 40-42 pounds. And sure, some of the flightless birds can grow to upwards of 300 pounds. But to imagine ancestors of these modern day creatures tipping the scales at upwards of 7,000 pounds is hard to do, indeed. A recent study out of North Carolina State University (NCSU) and the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, looks specifically at the feathered herbivores of the Cretaceous period...

Fish Ear Bones Can Offer Clues To Impacts Of Climate Change In Aquatic Environments
2012-11-28 11:38:09

CSIRO Australia The earbones, or 'otoliths', help fish to detect movement and to orient themselves in the water. Otoliths set down annual growth rings that can be measured and counted to estimate the age and growth rates of fish. "Otoliths can form the basis of new techniques for modelling fish growth, productivity and distribution in future environments," said Dr John Morrongiello of CSIRO's Wealth from Oceans Flagship, lead author of a paper published online in Nature Climate Change...


Latest Paleontology Reference Libraries

Robert Thomas Bakker
2014-04-22 14:27:45

Robert Thomas Bakker (born March 24, 1945) is an American Paleontologist known for his contribution to the “Dinosaur Renaissance” and his support of his mentor Ostrom’s theory that some dinosaurs were warm-blooded. He specializes in the ecological context and behavior of dinosaurs. Bakker was born in Bergen County, New Jersey. As a young boy, he developed an interest in dinosaurs following his first trip to the dinosaur exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History – he was...

Northern Sun Star, Solaster endeca
2013-11-14 11:54:31

The northern sun star (Solaster endeca), also known as the purple sun star or the smooth sun star, is a species of starfish that is classified within the Solasteridae family. It can be found in the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean with a range that includes coastlines of Greenland, Canada, and the United States. It prefers a habitat in areas with adequate to heavy shelter and muddy or rocky sediment, at depths of up to 1,480 feet. The northern sun star is large, reaching a diameter of 7.9...

Morning Sun Star, Solaster dawsoni
2013-11-11 11:20:37

The morning sun star (Solaster dawsoni) is a species of starfish that is classified within the Solasteridae family. It can be found in northern areas of the Pacific Ocean with a range that extends from the coasts of China, Japan, and Siberia to the coasts of California in the United States. It prefers a habitat in rocky areas at depths of up to 1,380 feet. This species has two subspecies known as Solaster dawsoni dawsoni and Solaster dawsoni arcticus. It has a wide body with eight to thirteen...

Paleontology
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Paleontology or Palaeontology is the scientific study of prehistoric life, including the study of fossils to determine the organisms evolution and interactions with each other and their environments. Paleontological observations have been documented as far back as 5th century BC. The science became established in the 18th century as a result of Georges Cuvier’s work on comparative anatomy, and it developed quickly within the 19th century. The term itself comes from Greek palaios, meaning...

John R. “Jack” Horner
2013-10-14 13:35:47

John R. “Jack” Horner (born June 15, 1946) is an American paleontologist known for his research on dinosaur growth, and for discovering evidence that some dinosaurs nested and cared for their young.  He is perhaps the most famous paleontologist due to his role as technical advisor for all three Jurassic Park films, and his providing inspiration for Dr. Alan Grant, the film's lead character. He also advised on the FOX television show Terra Nova. Horner was born and raised in the small...

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Word of the Day
malpais
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'