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12 amazing fossil finds of 2015

Meet the oldest supershark, the newest Arctic dinosaur, the Carolina Butcher and more

By
5:30pm, December 29, 2015
Archaeornithura meemannae illustration

FOSSIL FINDS  Archaeornithura meemannae, a 130-million-year-old bird, was one of several fossil finds to dazzle and intrigue scientists in 2015.

From a spongelike speck to a bird built to terrify, 2015’s fossil finds added details, drama — and some real characters — to the story of life on Earth. These specimens flesh out life’s timeline too, spanning nearly 600 million years of history.

600 million years ago


Ancient sponge ancestor
Barely the size of a pinhead, this tiny creature (called Eocyathispongia qiania) had tubular chambers and surface cells that resemble those of modern sponges (SN: 4/4/15, p. 12). 

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