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E.g., 06/16/2019
E.g., 06/16/2019
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  • Diplodocus in Smithsonian fossil hall
  • saber-toothed cat skulls
  • fish fossil
Your search has returned 1170 articles:
  • Exhibit

    The Smithsonian’s ‘Deep Time’ exhibit gives dinosaurs new life

    After five years, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., is finally reopening its dinosaur hall on June 8. Visitors may come for fan favorites like Tyrannosaurus rex and Stegosaurus — and these fossils are gorgeously presented. But the new, permanent exhibition, the “David H. Koch Hall of Fossils — Deep Time,” has a much grander story to tell about the history...

    06/04/2019 - 12:17 Science & Society, Paleontology, Climate
  • News in Brief

    Fossils reveal saber-toothed cats may have pierced rivals’ skulls

    Saber-toothed cats may sometimes have wielded their formidable canine teeth as deadly weapons to puncture the skulls of rival cats.

    It was already suspected that Smilodon cats used their huge canines to take down prey, perhaps by ripping out the prey’s throat (SN: 3/30/19, p. 20). But some researchers argued that the daggerlike teeth, which could grow up to 28 centimeters long in the...

    05/31/2019 - 07:00 Paleontology, Animals
  • News in Brief

    A 50-million-year-old fossil captures a swimming school of fish

    Fossilized fish captured mid-swim offer a rare glimpse into extinct animal behavior — and suggest that swimming in schools developed at least 50 million years ago.

    A limestone shale slab from the Eocene Epoch reveals that extinct, thimble-sized fish called Erismatopterus levatus may have coordinated their motion similar to how fish in groups move today, researchers report May 29 in...

    05/28/2019 - 19:05 Animals, Evolution, Paleontology
  • News in Brief

    Signs of red pigment were spotted in a fossil for the first time

    The 3-million-year-old mouse wore red.

    For the first time, chemical traces of red pigment have been detected in a fossil, scientists say.

    Using a technique called X-ray spectroscopy, researchers led by paleontologist Phillip Manning at the University of Manchester in England searched the fossil for a chemical signature associated with pheomelanin, the pigment responsible for...

    05/21/2019 - 05:00 Paleontology
  • News

    This early sauropod went from walking on four legs to two as it grew

    Most long-necked sauropods lumbered on four legs all their lives to support their titanic bulk. But an early relative of such behemoths as Brachiosaurus made the unusual transition from walking on four legs to two as it grew, a new study shows.

    Diminutive at hatching, Mussaurus patagonicus (which means “mouse lizard”) began life walking on all fours. But by the time the 200-million-year-...

    05/20/2019 - 05:00 Paleontology, Evolution
  • Mystery Solved

    A tiny mystery dinosaur from New Mexico is officially T. rex’s cousin

    More than 20 years ago, paleontologists unearthed two partial skeletons of a mysterious dinosaur species in New Mexico. This creature, which lived about 92 million years ago, bore some resemblance to giant tyrannosaurs that reigned from about 80 million to 66 million years ago. One was even found with what could have been a partly digested lizard skull. But the dino was so tiny — only about a...

    05/07/2019 - 13:33 Paleontology
  • News

    A dinosaur’s running gait may reveal insights into the history of bird flight

    An early winged dinosaur couldn’t fly, but it could run. Now, with assists from a robotic dino and young ostriches wearing artificial wings, a study suggests that the dinosaur’s running gait caused its wings to flap, in what may have been an evolutionary precursor to flight.

    Caudipteryx was a peacock-sized dinosaur with feathered and winglike forelimbs that lived about 125 million years...

    05/02/2019 - 14:11 Paleontology, Animals
  • News in Brief

    Peruvian fossils yield a four-legged otterlike whale with hooves

    An ancient four-legged whale walked across land on hooved toes and swam in the sea like an otter.

    The newly discovered species turned up in 2011 in a cache of fossilized bones in Playa Media Luna, a dry coastal area of Peru. Jawbones and teeth pegged it as an ancient cetacean, a member of the whale family. And more bones followed.

    “We were definitely surprised to find this type of...

    04/05/2019 - 15:22 Paleontology, Evolution
  • News

    New fossils may capture the minutes after the dinosaur-killing asteroid impact

    About 66 million years ago, a giant asteroid smashed into Earth off the coast of what’s now Mexico. Less than an hour later, a riverbed 3,000 kilometers away sloshed violently back and forth, swiftly burying fish, plants and other organisms in the sediment, a study finds. Evidence of those surges, as well as tiny traces of the impact itself, appear to be preserved in a meter-thick layer of...

    04/02/2019 - 17:35 Paleontology
  • Feature

    Saber-toothed cats were fierce and family-oriented

    The adolescent saber-toothed cat on a summertime hunt realized too late that she had made a terrible miscalculation. 

    Already the size of a modern-day tiger, with huge canine teeth, she had crept across grassy terrain to ambush a giant ground sloth bellowing in distress. Ready to pounce, the cat’s front paw sank into sticky ground. Pressing down with her other three paws to free herself...

    03/24/2019 - 06:00 Paleontology, Animals, Evolution