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Your search has returned 590 articles:
  • News

    Dueling dates for a huge eruption reignite the debate over dinosaurs’ death

    Which came first: the impact or the eruptions? That question is at the heart of two new studies in the Feb. 22 Science seeking to answer one of the most hotly debated questions in Earth’s geologic history: Whether an asteroid impact or massive volcanism that altered the global climate was mostly to blame for the demise of all nonbird dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

    The dinosaur die-off...

    02/21/2019 - 14:14 Climate, Paleontology
  • News

    A deer-sized T. rex ancestor shows how fast tyrannosaurs became giants

    A new dinosaur shows that even Tyrannosaurus rex had humble beginnings.

    Dubbed Moros intrepidus, or “the harbinger of doom,” the new species is one of the smallest tyrannosaurs yet discovered from the Cretaceous Period. Analyses of the animal’s fossilized leg show that the creature would have stood only 1.2 meters at the hip, and weighed an estimated 78 kilograms — about the size of a...

    02/21/2019 - 09:00 Paleontology, Animals, Evolution
  • The –est

    A rare, ancient case of bone cancer has been found in a turtle ancestor

    A 240-million-year-old case of bone cancer has turned up in a fossil of an extinct ancestor of turtles. Dating to the Triassic Period, the fossil is the oldest known example of this cancer in an amniote, a group that includes mammals, birds and reptiles, researchers report online February 7 in JAMA Oncology. 

    The fossilized left femur from the shell-less stem-turtle Pappochelys rosinae...

    02/11/2019 - 06:00 Animals, Paleontology, Health
  • News

    Giant pandas may have only recently switched to eating mostly bamboo

    When it comes to deciding what’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner, pandas have it easy: Bamboo, bamboo and more bamboo. But that wasn’t always the case.

    Although modern giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) chow almost exclusively on bamboo in the mountain forests of central China, these bears’ diet was much broader not so long ago, researchers report online January 31 in Current Biology....

    01/31/2019 - 11:00 Animals, Evolution, Paleontology
  • How Bizarre

    Tiny eyes make a bizarre, ancient platypus-like reptile even weirder

    My, what tiny eyes you had, Eretmorhipis carrolldongi.

    Two newly found specimens of the mysterious, platypus-like reptile suggest that the ancient creature had very small eyes for its size, and may have hunted mainly by touch. That makes E. carrolldongi the oldest known amniote — a group that includes reptiles and mammals — to use a sense other than sight to find its prey, scientists...

    01/24/2019 - 09:00 Paleontology
  • News in Brief

    Cryptic remains of tiny animals have turned up in an Antarctic lake

    Much to their surprise, scientists in Antarctica have uncovered what appear to be remnants of tiny animals in mud dredged from a lake that has been covered by a thick mantle of ice for thousands of years.

    The researchers on this expedition — known as the Subglacial Antarctic Lakes Scientific Access, or SALSA — are the first to sample Lake Mercer, a body of water about 600 kilometers from...

    01/18/2019 - 17:35 Animals, Paleontology
  • News

    A four-legged robot hints at how ancient tetrapods walked

    Orobates pabsti lived between 280 million and 290 million years ago, but it was pretty advanced at doing the locomotion.

    Using computer simulations, re-created skeletons, fossil trackways and a walking robot dubbed the OroBOT, scientists found that this ancient four-footed creature had a surprisingly efficient gait. The result suggests that developing a more advanced way of walking may...

    01/16/2019 - 13:27 Paleontology, Evolution
  • Year in Review

    These 2018 findings could be big news — if they turn out to be true

    Here’s our short list of discoveries reported in 2018 that could shake up science, if they hold up.

    Not so standard

    Dangling from a helium balloon high above Antarctica, the ANITA detector spied two odd signals that hint at the existence of new subatomic particles. Such extremely energetic particles, if they exist, could upend the standard model, the theory that describes the elementary...

    12/21/2018 - 11:00 Astronomy, Paleontology, Particle Physics
  • Science Visualized

    Pterosaurs may have been covered in fur and primitive feathers

    Think of pterosaurs, the flying reptiles that were distant cousins to the dinosaurs, and you may imagine a fearsome, leathery, winged creature. But new fossil evidence suggests at least some pterosaurs were soft and fluffy, covered in a diverse array of fibrous structures including possible precursors of feathers, scientists report online December 17 in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

    ...

    12/21/2018 - 07:00 Paleontology
  • News

    More plants survived the world’s greatest mass extinction than thought

    Some ancient plants were survivors.

    A collection of roughly 255-million-year-old fossils suggests that three major plant groups existed earlier than previously thought, and made it through a mass extinction that wiped out more than 90 percent of Earth’s marine species and roughly 70 percent of land vertebrates.

    The fossils, described in the Dec. 21 Science, push back the earliest...

    12/20/2018 - 14:12 Paleontology, Plants