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  • Archaeorhynchus spathula
  • mounds in the rock record
  • fossils
Your search has returned 561 articles:
  • 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
  • News

    Before it burned, Brazil’s National Museum gave much to science

    A natural history museum isn’t just a place to take visiting relatives or for entertaining kids on the weekends. These museums’ collections also play a vital, but under-celebrated, role in scientific research.

    That’s why, when Brazil's National Museum in Rio de Janeiro caught fire on September 2, more than just a catalog of natural and human history was lost. The museum was full of...

    09/07/2018 - 17:53 Science & Society, Paleontology, Animals
  • Film

    What ‘The Meg’ gets wrong — and right — about megalodon sharks

    OK, so what if a giant prehistoric shark, thought to be extinct for about 2.5 million years, is actually still lurking in the depths of the ocean? That’s the premise of the new flick The Meg, which opens August 10 and pits massive Carcharocles megalodon against a grizzled and fearless deep-sea rescue diver, played by Jason Statham, and a handful of resourceful scientists.

    The...

    08/10/2018 - 12:41 Paleontology, Animals, Oceans
  • News in Brief

    Fossil teeth show how a mass extinction scrambled shark evolution

    The extinction event that wiped out all nonbird dinosaurs about 66 million years ago also shook up shark evolution.

    Fossilized shark teeth show that the extinction marked a shift in the relative fates of two groups of sharks. Apex predators called lamniformes, which include modern great white sharks, dominated the oceans before the event, which took place at the end of the Cretaceous...

    08/02/2018 - 11:00 Paleontology, Evolution, Animals
  • News in Brief

    Paleontologists have ID’d the world’s biggest known dinosaur foot

    One dino is putting its biggest foot forward.

    A nearly meter-wide fossilized dinosaur foot, unearthed 20 years ago from mudstone in northeastern Wyoming, is the largest yet found, an international team of researchers reports July 24 in PeerJ.

    The rest of the dino’s skeleton has yet to be identified, but the size and shape of the foot bones indicate that it once belonged to a...

    07/24/2018 - 07:00 Paleontology
  • Introducing

    A new ankylosaur found in Utah had a surprisingly bumpy head

    A newly identified dinosaur’s evolutionary origins are written all over its face.

    Bony knobs studding the head and snout of Akainacephalus johnsoni, a type of armored dinosaur called an ankylosaurid, are similar to those of Asian ankylosaurids. That was a surprise, says Jelle Wiersma, a paleontologist at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. He and Randall Irmis, a...

    07/19/2018 - 12:30 Animals, Evolution, Paleontology
  • News in Brief

    This amber nugget from Myanmar holds the first known baby snake fossil

    The first known fossil remains of a baby snake have turned up in a hunk of amber found in Myanmar. The critter, a new species named Xiaophis myanmarensis, met its untimely demise about 99 million years ago, during the Cretaceous Period, an international team of researchers reports July 18 in Science Advances.

    How do we know it’s a baby?

    First, it’s tiny. The skeleton, which is missing its...

    07/18/2018 - 14:00 Paleontology, Animals
  • News

    An ancient swimming revolution in the oceans may have never happened

    About 540 million years ago, the oceans were an alien landscape, devoid of swimming, or nektonic, creatures. Some scientists have hypothesized, based on fossil evidence, that swimmers suddenly dominated in the oceans during the Devonian Period, between 419 million and 359 million years ago. But an in-depth study of marine fossils now suggests that this so-called Devonian Nekton Revolution...

    07/17/2018 - 19:05 Paleontology, Oceans