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  • Siberian Traps
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Your search has returned 568 articles:
  • News

    Volcanic eruptions that depleted ocean oxygen may have set off the Great Dying

    A massive series of volcanic eruptions in Earth’s distant past left ocean creatures gasping for breath. Greenhouse gases emitted by the volcanoes dramatically lowered oxygen levels in the oceans, a deadly scenario that may have been the main culprit in the Great Dying, researchers report.

    Earth scientist Justin Penn of the University of Washington in Seattle and colleagues mapped out...

    12/06/2018 - 14:00 Oceans, Climate, Earth, Paleontology
  • Introducing

    This huge plant eater thrived in the age of dinosaurs — but wasn’t one of them

    A new species of hulking ancient herbivore would have overshadowed its relatives.

    Fossils found in Poland belong to a new species that roamed during the Late Triassic, a period some 237 million to 201 million years ago, researchers report November 22 in Science. But unlike most of the enormous animals who lived during that time period, this new creature isn’t a dinosaur — it’s a...

    11/22/2018 - 14:00 Paleontology, Animals
  • Feature

    How mammoths competed with other animals and lost

    The Gray Fossil Site, a sinkhole in northeastern Tennessee, is full of prehistoric treasures. Between 7 million and 4.5 million years ago, rhinoceroses, saber-toothed cats and other creatures, even red pandas, perished here by the edge of a pond. But that bounty of fossils pales next to the site’s biggest find: a mastodon’s skeleton, nearly 5 million years old, preserved in exquisite detail...

    11/13/2018 - 12:30 Ecosystems, Archaeology, Paleontology
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘End of the Megafauna’ examines why so many giant Ice Age animals went extinct

    End of the MegafaunaRoss D.E. MacPhee and Peter Schouten (illustrator)W.W. Norton & Co., $35

    Today’s land animals are a bunch of runts compared with creatures from the not-too-distant past. Beasts as big as elephants, gorillas and bears were once much more common around the world. Then, seemingly suddenly, hundreds of big species, including the woolly mammoth, the giant ground...

    11/06/2018 - 09:00 Paleontology, Animals, Climate
  • News

    Eggs evolved color and speckles only once — during the age of dinosaurs

    The colorful, speckled eggs of modern birds are an innovation inherited from their nonavian dinosaur ancestors.

    A new analysis of the pigmentation in modern and fossilized eggshells suggests that eggs evolved to be colorful only once — in modern birds’ dinosaur ancestors, a team of vertebrate paleontologists report online October 31 in Nature. Color patterns found in the eggshells of...

    10/31/2018 - 16:05 Paleontology
  • News

    The first vertebrates on Earth arose in shallow coastal waters

    The cradle of vertebrate evolution was limited to a zone of shallow coastal waters, no more than 60 meters deep.

    In those waters, fish — the first vertebrates — appeared roughly 480 million years ago, a study finds. For nearly 100 million years, those creatures rarely strayed from that habitat, where they diversified into a dizzying array of new forms, scientists report in the Oct. 26...

    10/25/2018 - 14:08 Paleontology, Animals, Ecology
  • News in Brief

    T. rex pulverized bones with an incredible amount of force

    ALBUQUERQUE — Tyrannosaurus rex had a special way of crunching bones.

    A lethal combination of a powerful bite, strong teeth and repeated crunching allowed these giant predators to pulverize the bones of their prey, researchers reported October 20 at the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology’s annual meeting.

    Bones have a nutritious inner cavity containing marrow and phosphate salts....

    10/22/2018 - 08:00 Paleontology, Animals, Biophysics
  • News

    In a first, scientists spot what may be lungs in an ancient bird fossil

    ALBUQUERQUE — Fossilized lungs found preserved along with an ancient bird may breathe new life into studies of early avian respiration. If confirmed as lungs, the find marks the first time that researchers have spotted the respiratory organs in a bird fossil.

    Scientists have previously described four fossils of Archaeorhynchus spathula, an early beaked and feathered bird that lived about...

    10/19/2018 - 12:13 Paleontology
  • News

    These ancient mounds may not be the earliest fossils on Earth after all

    Tiny mounds touted as the earliest fossilized evidence of life on Earth may just be twisted rock.

    Found in 3.7-billion-year-old rocks in Greenland, the mounds strongly resemble cone-shaped microbial mats called stromatolites, researchers reported in 2016. But a new analysis of the shape, internal layers and chemistry of the structures suggests that the mounds weren’t shaped by microbes...

    10/17/2018 - 13:00 Earth, Paleontology, Microbes
  • News

    Cholesterol traces suggest these mysterious fossils were animals, not fungi

    Cholesterol clinched it: A group of strange Precambrian fossils are among the oldest known animals in the rock record.

    Organic molecules preserved with fossils of the genus Dickinsonia confirm that the creatures were animals rather than fungi or lichen, a study in the Sept. 21 Science says. Researchers led by paleontologist Ilya Bobrovskiy of Australian National University in Canberra...

    09/20/2018 - 14:06 Paleontology