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Latest Paleontology Stories

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2011-04-13 08:45:00

Birds are known in present time more for their vision and hearing than their sense of smell. However, a new study reveals that millions of years ago, their ancestors had a better sense for scents. Scientists at the University of Calgary, the Royal Tyrrell Museum and the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine tested a long-standing view that the sense of smell for birds declined as they developed heightened senses of vision, hearing and balance for flight during evolution. The...

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2011-04-06 13:51:03

A new study louses up a popular theory of animal evolution and opens up the possibility that dinosaurs were early "“ perhaps even the first "“ animal hosts of lice. The study, in Biology Letters, uses fossils and molecular data to track the evolution of lice and their hosts. It offers strong evidence, the researchers said, that the ancestors of lice that today feed on birds and mammals began to diversify before a mass extinction event killed off the dinosaurs about 65 million...

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2011-03-26 08:28:02

The bones of a dinosaur thought to be around 110 million years old were discovered Monday in the Canadian oil sands, a vast expanse of tar and sand being minded for crude oil.An employee of Suncor Energy was credited with the discovery of the fossil in a place where there shouldn't be a fossil. Officials from the Royal Tyrrell Museum made it to the site to document the find. They believe the bones to belong to an ankylosaur.Ankylosaurus was the best known of the armored dinosaurs. Its skin...

2011-03-16 23:57:20

Paleontologists agree that it's difficult to observe behavior in fossil specimens that are dead "“ even extinct "“ and petrified. One method is to find a modern, living, species that has some similarities to the ancient animal. That's the strategy adopted by David L. Meyer, University of Cincinnati professor of geology and colleagues as they study a group of ancient shellfish known as brachiopods. Although they resemble clams or other shelled mollusks, brachiopods are more closely...

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2011-03-03 09:15:00

Steep decline of many animal species warns that Earth is on the brink With the steep decline in populations of many animal species, scientists have warned that Earth is on the brink of a mass extinction like those that have occurred just five times during the past 540 million years. Each of these "Big Five" saw three-quarters or more of all animal species go extinct. In results of a study published in this week's issue of journal Nature, researchers report on an assessment of where mammals...

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2011-02-17 12:45:23

Scientists have discovered that a community of seaweeds and worm-like animals lived in a quiet deep-water niche under the sea about 600 million years ago near what is now Lantian, which is a small village in Anhul Province of South China. The scientists identified about 15 different species at the site, in addition to the ancient versions of algae and worms. The researchers said that the fossils suggest that morphological diversification of macroscopic eukaryotes may have occurred only tens...

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2011-02-12 07:25:00

3D digital dinosaur track download: A roadmap for saving at-risk natural history resources Paleontologists propose the new term "digitype" for full-resolution three-dimensional digital models that preserve and archive endangered fossils Portable laser scanning technology allows researchers to tote their latest fossil discovery from the field to the lab in the form of lightweight digital data stored on a laptop. But sharing that data as a 3D model with others requires standard formats that are...

2011-02-09 23:48:09

Two groups of lowly marine worms are related to complex species including vertebrates (such as humans) and starfish, according to new research. Previously thought to be an evolutionary link between simple animals such as jellyfish and the rest of animal life - the worms' surprising promotion implies that they have not always been as simple as they now appear. Although the marine worms Xenoturbella and Acoelomorpha are very simple animals "“ they lack a developed nervous system or gut...

2011-02-07 15:55:13

Surprising new research shows that, contrary to conventional belief, remains of chitin-protein complex"”structural materials containing protein and polysaccharide"”are present in abundance in fossils of arthropods from the Paleozoic era. Previously the oldest molecular signature of chitin-protein complex was discovered in 25 million year old Cenozoic fossils and remnants of structural protein have also been discovered in 80 million-year-old Mesozoic fossils. Carnegie's George Cody...

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2011-02-03 13:11:08

Researchers have discovered the 100 million-year-old ancestor of a group of large, carnivorous, cricket-like insects that still live today in southern Asia, northern Indochina and Africa. The new find, in a limestone fossil bed in northeastern Brazil, corrects the mistaken classification of another fossil of this type and reveals that the genus has undergone very little evolutionary change since the Early Cretaceous Period, a time of dinosaurs just before the breakup of the supercontinent...


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
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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