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Latest Paleontology Stories

New Technique Fills In Fossil Record Gaps
2011-09-20 04:53:20

  University of Pennsylvania evolutionary biologists have resolved a long-standing paleontological problem by reconciling the fossil record of species diversity with modern DNA samples. Cataloging the diversity of life on earth is challenging enough, but when scientists attempt to draw a phylogeny – the branching family tree of a group of species over their evolutionary history – the challenge goes from merely difficult to potentially impossible. The fossil record is...

Beaver Have Experienced Little Change Over 7 Million Years
2011-09-19 10:01:11

  The fossilized teeth of a beaver found by Bureau of Land Management (BLM) employees on federal land represents the earliest record of the animal in North America and are estimated to be 7 to 7.3 million years old. The teeth come from the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, a protected area with an abundance of fossils, Fox News is reporting. Surprisingly, the fossil teeth are almost identical to the chompers of living beavers and illustrate that the animal has changed little...

Image 1 - New Ancient Crocodile Named
2011-09-15 12:48:29

  Did an ancient crocodile relative give the world's largest snake a run for its money? In a new study appearing Sept. 15 in the journal Palaeontology, University of Florida researchers describe a new 20-foot extinct species discovered in the same Colombian coal mine with Titanoboa, the world's largest snake. The findings help scientists better understand the diversity of animals that occupied the oldest known rainforest ecosystem, which had higher temperatures than today, and could...

Image 1 - Researchers Find New Species Of Ancient Predatory Fish
2011-09-12 11:14:53

  The Academy of Natural Sciences today announced the discovery of a new species of large predatory fish that prowled ancient North American waterways during the Devonian Period, before backboned animals existed on land. Drs. Edward "Ted" Daeschler and Jason Downs of the Academy and colleagues from the University of Chicago and Harvard University describe the new denizen of the Devonian they named Laccognathus embryi in the current issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology....

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2011-08-25 11:05:58

  A well-preserved fossil discovered in China provides new evidence that the split between placental mammals and marsupials may have occurred 35 million years earlier than previously believed, according to a new study published Wednesday in the journal Nature. The scientists, led by Carnegie Museum of Natural History paleontologist Zhe-Xi Luo, said the discovery fills an important gap in the fossil record, and helps to calibrate modern, DNA-based methods of dating evolution. The...

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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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2011-08-10 06:50:00

By Carol Clark, Emory University Paleontologists have discovered a group of more than 20 polar dinosaur tracks on the coast of Victoria, Australia, offering a rare glimpse into animal behavior during the last period of pronounced global warming, about 105 million years ago. The discovery, reported in the journal Alcheringa, is the largest and best collection of polar dinosaur tracks ever found in the Southern Hemisphere. "These tracks provide us with a direct indicator of how these dinosaurs...

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2011-08-07 06:46:43

By Evelyn Boswell, MSU News Service Dog-sized dinosaurs that lived near the South Pole, sometimes in the dark for months at a time, had bone tissue very similar to dinosaurs that lived everywhere on the planet, according to a doctoral candidate at Montana State University. That surprising fact falsifies a 13-year-old study and may help explain why dinosaurs were able to dominate the planet for 160 million years, said Holly Woodward, MSU graduate student in the Department of Earth Sciences and...

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2011-07-30 06:10:00

The remains of a rare, prehistoric marine reptile that was discovered by Alaskan scientists is being called the most complete fossil representation of this creature ever located in North America, according to Daily Mail and Reuters reports on Friday. According to the Daily Mail newspaper, the remains are of a nearly-complete thalattosaur, which is a three-to-ten foot long sea creature, with a long, flat tail, which had died out approximately 200 million years ago. They note that the fossils...

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2011-07-21 09:15:00

Rare find alters origins and distribution of Terminonaris; first home was Texas and North America "” not Europe By Margaret Allen, SMU Making its first appearance in Texas, a prehistoric crocodile thought to have originated in Europe now appears to have been a native of the Lone Star State. The switch in origins for the genus known as Terminonaris is based on the identification of a well-preserved, narrow fossil snout that was discovered along the shoreline of a lake near Dallas. The...


Latest Paleontology Reference Libraries

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...

Barnum Brown
2013-10-14 11:03:30

Barnum Brown (February 12, 1873 – February 5, 1963) was an American Paleontologist best known for his contributions to the American Museum of Natural History, and his discovery of the first documented Tyrannosaurus rex remains. Brown was known less as a published paleontologist and more often as an energetic excavator, perhaps the greatest fossil collector of all time. Barnum Brown was born in Carbondale, Kansas, and was named after P.T. Barnum – of traveling circus fame, but no...

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