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Latest Triassic Stories

2011-01-25 11:26:13

Careful dating of new dinosaur fossils and volcanic ash around them by researchers from UC Davis and UC Berkeley casts doubt on the idea that dinosaurs appeared and opportunistically replaced other animals. Instead -- at least in one South American valley -- they seem to have existed side by side and gone through similar periods of extinction. Geologists from Argentina and the United States announced earlier this month the discovery of a new dinosaur that roamed what is now South America 230...

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2011-01-10 13:22:20

Geologists at Brown University and the University of Washington have a cautionary tale: Lose enough species in the oceans, and the entire ecosystem could collapse. Looking at two of the greatest mass extinctions in Earth's history, the scientists attribute the ecosystems' collapse to a loss in the variety of species sharing the same space. It took up to 10 million years after the mass extinctions for the ecosystem to stabilize. The findings appear in Geology. The world's oceans are under...

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2010-12-22 09:25:00

A massive new fossil site discovered in southwestern China marks the first discovery of a complete ecosystem which recovered following a mass extinction. According to Guardian Science Correspondent Ian Sample, "the spectacular haul of 20,000 fossils," which was discovered at a hillside in what it now Luoping county in the Yunnan Province of China, were "beautifully preserved" and included "mollusks, sea urchins and arthropods, alongside much larger animals that occupied the top of the food...

2010-10-28 15:15:13

More than 251 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period, Earth almost became a lifeless planet. Around 90 percent of all living species disappeared then, in what scientists have called "The Great Dying." Thomas J. Algeo, has spent much of the past decade investigating the chemical evidence buried in rocks formed during this major extinction. The University of Cincinnati professor of geology has worked with a team of scientific colleagues to understand the ancient catastrophe. Algeo...

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2010-03-23 12:05:00

Volcanic activity more than 200 million years ago may have helped dinosaurs become and remain the world's dominant species by causing the mass extinction of rivals, researchers claim in a recent study. The paper, which was completed by a five-person team of researchers from the United States and Taiwan and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), suggests that it was mass volcanic eruptions that wiped out the crurotarsans, the crocodile-like creatures that were...

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2010-03-22 14:21:34

A scientific team led by Brown University has learned how dinosaurs became rulers of Earth more than 200 million years ago. Widespread volcanism and a spike in atmospheric carbon dioxide wiped out half of all plant species, and extinguished early crocodile relatives that had competed with the earliest dinosaurs. Results appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A shade more than 200 million years ago, the Earth looked far different than it does today. Most land on the...

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2010-03-03 13:00:00

Paleontologists have discovered a dinosaur-like animal that lived 10 million years earlier than the oldest known dinosaurs, suggesting that dinosaurs and close relatives such as pterosaurs (flying reptiles) originated much earlier than scientists previously thought. The research also suggests that at least three times in the evolution of dinosaurs and their closest relatives, meat-eating animals evolved into animals with diets that included plants. These shifts all occurred in less than 10...

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2009-12-03 14:00:00

The largest known mass extinction in Earth's history, about 252 million years ago at the end of the Permian Period, may have been caused by global warming. A new fossil species suggests that some land animals may have survived the end-Permian extinction by living in cooler climates in Antarctica. Jörg Fröbisch and Kenneth D. Angielczyk of The Field Museum together with Christian A. Sidor from the University of Washington have identified a distant relative of mammals, Kombuisia...

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2009-11-04 10:04:16

Data for 110-million-year old track will be available for download Using portable 3D laser technology, scientists have electronically preserved a rare 110 million-year-old fossilized dinosaur footprint that was previously excavated and built into the wall of a bandstand at a Texas courthouse in the 1930s. The laser image preserves a "type specimen" footprint "” an original track used to describe a species of dinosaur identified in the 1930s as ichnospecies Eubrontes glenrosensis, says...

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2009-10-02 13:11:47

Tiny organisms that covered the planet more than 250 million years ago appear to be a species of ancient fungus that thrived in dead wood, according to new research published October 1 in the journal Geology. The researchers behind the study, from Imperial College London and other universities in the UK, USA and The Netherlands, believe that the organisms were able to thrive during this period because the world's forests had been wiped out. This would explain how the organisms, which are...