Paleontologists in Germany have identified the fossilized remains of a horse-like animal that dates back 48 million years. Remarkably, the fossil still contains its unborn foal and traces of soft tissue—leading scientists to call it the earliest and best-preserved specimen of its kind. »
Birds have been around for a good 150 million years, but they likely looked very different from the birds we see today. Some paleontologists have wondered if early birds were even able to fly. A newly discovered fossil clears that up. »
For nearly 40 years, paleontologists have argued over what really killed the dinosaurs. Was it an massive asteroid impact, or a spate of volcanic eruptions? Or what if a powerful impact ignited volcanoes, walloping Earth’s biosphere with a deadly 1-2 punch?
The nearly intact fossil of a 4-million-year old whale has been unearthed at a construction site in Santa Cruz County. Discovered well above sea level, the bones made their way to the mountains through the shifting of tectonic plates. »
Behold Bunostegos akokanensis, an ancient “pre-reptile” that lived during the Permian era some 260 million years ago. Researchers studying its fossilized remains have concluded that it stood upright on all fours, making it the earliest known creature to do so. »
Fossilized feces, aka “coprolites,” are an uncommon paleontological find. But fossilized poop inside a fossilized creature? That’s rarer, still, and why researchers are so excited about the pterosaur fossil pictured above. »
Paleontologists working in the Caribbean have uncovered the first-ever salamander preserved in amber. It’s a discovery that’s shedding light not just on salamander evolution, but the ancient geology of the Caribbean itself. »
Paleontologists have known for years that Tyrannosaurus Rex and other closely related theropods had jagged teeth to help them chew through flesh. But close inspection of crack-like features at the base of these serrations has revealed there’s more to these fearsome teeth than previously believed.
Pterodactyls lived at the same time as the dinosaurs—but somehow, they’re not actually dinosaurs. They were flying creatures, and paleontologists keep telling us that dinosaurs are birds. But still, we’re supposed to call pterodactyls “pterosaurs.” This feels like a trick—why aren’t pterodactyls dinosaurs? »
Researchers working off the Shimokita Peninsula in Japan have discovered living microbes buried 8,000 feet below the seabed, a new record. And because they resemble those found in forest soils, these organisms likely survived for tens of millions of years after being buried under the seabed. »
The preserved remains of 50-million-year-old sperm has been discovered in the wall of a fossilized leech cocoon in Antarctica. That’s 30 million years older than the previous record. »
Two fossilized teeth (pictured above, left and center), recovered in Nagasaki, are believed to be from the lower jaw of a ten-meter tyrannosaur that lived some 81-million-years ago. Teeth from smaller tyrannosaurs have been found in Japan before, but this is reportedly the first evidence that so large a predator… »
This 105 million-year-old fly fed on nectar and pollinated gymnosperm plants during the Cretaceous period — an era before pollinating bees and butterflies existed. By studying fly fossils trapped in amber, researchers from the University of Barcelona discovered that these ancient insects took nectar from plants by… »
They look a little like model rockets or blown-glass Christmas ornaments, but these are the oceanic skeletons of the ancestor of a creature that you’re probably pretty familiar with. »
Paleontologists in Canada have uncovered a new species of horned dinosaur that’s the oldest known relative of Triceratops.
The 2,000-year-old remains of a carefully decorated and deliberately buried juvenile bobcat has scientists wondering if it’s the first example of feline domestication in the prehistoric Americas.
The discovery of Pappochelys, a Triassic-era reptile with a set of emerging turtle-like features, is helping scientists fill in an important evolutionary gap. »
The fossilized remains of Hallucigenia sparsa were so strange, that paleontologists originally mistook its tail for its head. Now, four decades after its discovery, a Cambridge University research team has corrected this error with an updated reconstruction (and for an ancient sea worm that featured a frightening row… »