Latest Transitional fossil Stories

2009-04-18 14:00:00

New research from Duke University suggests a reversal in the order in which two four-limbed creatures transitioned from water to land.The Ichthyostega and Acanthostega, lived some 360-370 million years ago in modern-day Greenland.Scientists had previously considered Acanthostega to be the first vertebrate animal to possess limbs with digits rather than fish fins, but Viviane Callier, a Duke University graduate student, found fossilized evidence to suggest that Acanthostega may have had a...

2009-02-16 09:02:37

About 150 million years ago, an evolutionarily hybrid creature, a dinosaur on its way to becoming a bird, died in what is now Germany, and become fossilized in limestone. About 150 years ago, the fossil of this "dinobird" was discovered and celebrated as proof of Charles Darwin's new theory of evolution. Now fast forward to a few weeks ago: The famous fossil, the Thermopolis specimen of Archaeopteryx lithographica, made its way by truck from the Wyoming Dinosaur Center to the Stanford...

2009-02-09 14:42:31

A U.S.-led study of the fossil of an extinct pregnant whale discovered in Pakistan suggests primitive whales gave birth on land. Researchers said the 47.5-million-year-old fossil reveals how primitive whales gave birth and provides new insights into how whales made the transition from land to sea. The researchers who made the discovery said they were at first perplexed by adult female and fetal bones found together. When we first saw the small teeth, we thought we were dealing with a small...

2009-02-07 07:35:00

Digital X-rays of Lucy, the skeletal remains of a human who lived 3.2 million years ago, could provide answers about how our ancestors began walking, said scientists at the University of Texas in Austin on Friday. Lucy, discovered in 1974 in Ethiopia, is the best-preserved example of the pre-human species Australopithecus.  Scientists hope that examining a "virtual" Lucy might provide clues about her lifestyle. The researchers, who collaborated with the Ethiopian government, obtained the...

2009-02-04 13:05:00

Scientists have uncovered two early whale fossils that may shed light on how these ancestors to modern whales evolved from walking on land to becoming sea dwellers. Experts say the fetal remains found along with the 47.5 million-year-old pregnant female fossil were positioned head down, suggesting these creatures gave birth on land, while spending much of the rest of their time in the water. Paleontologist Philip Gingerich, whose University of Michigan research team discovered the fossils in...

2009-01-25 15:03:38

Officials from the Seattle Science Center paid millions to show the fossil remains of one of the earliest known human ancestors, but the exhibit failed to produce the expected returns. President Bryce Seidl said on Friday the Pacific Science Center faces a half-million-dollar loss resulting in layoffs of 8 percent of the staff, furloughs and a wage freeze only halfway through the five-month exhibit. The museum spotlighted the 3.2 million-year-old fossilized partial skeleton of a species with...

2009-01-14 16:15:00

New British research finds that the Archaeopteryx lithographica seems to have been more like a bird than a reptile in terms of hearing ability. The researchers based their conclusion on their discovery that the length of a part of the inner ear of reptiles and birds can help predict their hearing ability. The team examined whether the length of the cochlear duct, which lies in the inner ear and is part of the cochlea, could be used to deduce hearing ability in a group of modern birds and...

2008-11-26 15:20:00

Researchers in China reported finding fossilized remains of the most primitive turtle to date, providing more insight into how reptiles evolved. The fossils depict an ancient turtle with teeth, a fully formed belly shell and a partially formed back shell. Researchers say the so-called Odontochelys (half-shelled turtle with teeth) lived some 220 million years ago. Scientists have lacked enough evidence to prove competing evolutionary theories because turtles have looked pretty much the same...

2008-11-19 13:29:29

Fossils found on the Isle of Skye indicate a primitive turtle may have moved from land to water 164 million years ago, scientists said. Paleontologists said the species, Eileanchelys waldmani, began swimming in the island's lakes and lagoons and represents the missing link in the turtles' evolution, The Times of London reported. Eileanchelys waldmani can be plausibly interpreted as the earliest known aquatic turtle, researchers said in their study published in the journal Proceedings of the...

2008-11-19 15:19:53

The Royal Society journals have reported that the earliest turtles known to live in water have been discovered on a Scottish island. The reptile fossils, thought to be some 164 million years old, were found on a beach in southern Skye, off the UK's west coast. A team from London's Natural History Museum and University College London (UCL) uncovered them. Experts say the new species"”embedded in a block of rock at the bay of Cladach a'Ghlinne, on the Strathaird peninsula"”forms a...

Latest Transitional fossil Reference Libraries

2007-12-21 13:22:00

Hyracotherium (Hyracotherium leporine), was once considered to be the earliest known member of the horse family. Now, though, it is considered to be part of the perissodactyl family related to both horses and brontotheres. Hyracotherium was a dog-sized perissodactyl ungulate that lived in the Northern Hemisphere, with species ranging throughout Asia, Europe, and North America during the Early to Mid Eocene, about 60 to 45 million years ago. The first fossils of this animal were found in...

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Word of the Day
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'