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Latest Paleontology Stories

New Dinosaur Species Is Largest Known Feathered Animal
2012-04-05 06:52:09

A new species of giant, feathered dinosaur discovered in northeastern China is the largest known feathered animal —- living or extinct -- ever to have existed, scientists reported on Wednesday. Xing Xu and from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and colleagues discovered three nearly-complete skeletons of the dinosaur, named Yutyrannus huali, meaning "beautiful feathered tyrant", in beds of sediment in Liaoning province.  The meat-eating creatures, known as...

2012-03-29 14:43:43

The dinosaurs of the Cretaceous may have faced an unexpected hazard: fire! In a paper published online today, researchers from Royal Holloway University of London and The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago have shown that during the Cretaceous (145-65 million years ago) fire was much more widespread than previously thought. The researchers traced fire activity in the fossil record through the occurrence of charcoal deposits, compiling a global database for this time interval....

139524037
2012-03-29 07:08:23

A 3.4-million-year-old fossil foot found in eastern Ethiopia appears to settle a long-standing debate about whether there was just one line of hominins 3 to 4 million years ago, scientists said on Wednesday. The fossil record for that period had been virtually limited to the species Australopithecus afarensis, the early human ancestor made famous by the 3.2-million-year-old Lucy skeleton. However, research on the new specimen, which was found in February 2009 in an area locally known as...

Mammals Flourished During Last 20 Million Years Of Dinosaur Era
2012-03-15 13:49:21

New research suggests that some mammals flourished during the last 20 million years of the dinosaurs' reign. University of Washington paleontologist Gregory P. Wilson suggests the multituberculates, a rodent-like creature, did so well during this time because they developed numerous tubercles on their back teeth that allowed them to feed on flowering plants back then. “These mammals were able to radiate in terms of numbers of species, body size and shapes of their teeth, which...

2012-03-14 22:03:04

In a brainless marine worm, MBL researchers find the developmental 'scaffold' for the vertebrate brain The origin of the exquisitely complex vertebrate brain is somewhat mysterious. "In terms of evolution, it basically pops up out of nowhere. You don't see anything anatomically like it in other animals," says Ariel Pani, an investigator at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole and a graduate student at the University of Chicago. But this week in the journal Nature, Pani...

2012-03-14 13:48:48

Conventional wisdom holds that during the Mesozoic Era, mammals were small creatures that held on at life's edges. But at least one mammal group, rodent-like creatures called multituberculates, actually flourished during the last 20 million years of the dinosaurs' reign and survived their extinction 66 million years ago. New research led by a University of Washington paleontologist suggests that the multituberculates did so well in part because they developed numerous tubercles (bumps, or...

138186811
2012-03-12 10:07:19

These days, only four species of Sirenian, more commonly known as the seacow, manatee or dugong exist in a given world region. Smithsonian scientists, however, have been studying fossil records of the ancient mammals and have discovered evidence that this hasn´t always been the case. According to these fossil records, which date back 50 million years ago, multiple species of seacow once existed together. The research also suggests the environment these seacows resided within, as well as...

Image 1 - Paleontologists Discover Oldest Organism With A Skeleton
2012-03-10 05:50:09

Paleontologists have discovered the oldest organism with a skeleton in Australia. The creature is called Coronacollina acula and is estimated to be between 550 and 560 million years old. Paleontologists estimate this animal is from the Ediacaran Period, before the diversification of organisms in the Cambrian Period. The study results appeared online February 14 in Geology. This important find could be the key to unlocking several questions about early life, evolution, and extinction....

505 Million Year Old Fossil Linked To Humans
2012-03-06 14:15:10

A team of researchers have discovered that a 505 million-year-old fossil is actually an ancient relative to humans. Researchers from the University of Cambridge, University of Toronto and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) confirmed that the extinct Pikaia gracilen found in Burgess Shale fossil beds in Canada's Yoho National Park is the most primitive form of all known vertebrates, including humans. Pikaia was first described by American paleontologist Charles Doolittle Walcott in 1911 as a...

Ancient Camels From Panama Canal Excavation Named
2012-03-01 05:03:30

The discovery of two new extinct camel species by University of Florida scientists sheds new light on the history of the tropics, a region containing more than half the world's biodiversity and some of its most important ecosystems. Appearing online this week in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, the study is the first published description of a fossil mammal discovered as part of an international project in Panama. Funded with a grant from the National Science Foundation, UF...


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
mundungus
  • A stinking tobacco.
  • Offal; waste animal product; organic matter unfit for consumption.
This word comes from the Spanish 'mondongo,' tripe, entrails.