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  • Letters to the Editor

    Suds versus nanoparticles and more reader feedback

    The bipedal Butcher

     In “Fearsome croc dominated northern Pangaea” (SN: 4/18/15, p. 16), Ashley Yeager...

    05/20/2015 - 08:49 Paleontology, Materials
  • Science Ticker

    Ancient brain fossils hint at body evolution of creepy-crawlies

    Fossilized brains of the ancient ancestors of spiders, insects and crustaceans are giving hints about how those creatures evolved from soft- to hard-bodied.

    Javier Ortega-Hernández from the University of Cambridge studied 500-million-year-old brain remnants from two types of arthropod ancestors, including the submarine-like Odaraia alata. In these creatures, traces of nerves...

    05/12/2015 - 11:40 Paleontology, Animals, Evolution
  • The –est

    Oldest known avian relative of today’s birds found in China

    Two partial skeletons unearthed in northeastern China have dashed the record for the oldest avian relatives of today's birds.

    The remains belonged to a species, Archaeornithura meemannae, that lived 130.7 million years ago — about 6 million years earlier than the previous record holders. Fossil hunters discovered bones of the hummingbird-sized creatures embedded in siltstone...

    05/05/2015 - 12:26 Paleontology, Animals
  • Science Ticker

    Rare fossils expand evolutionary history of sperm whales

    Long before Moby Dick scoured the seas for sailors, a pygmy sperm whale called Nanokogia isthmia scoured Panama’s coastal waters for lanternfish and squid.

    Fossils from the previously unknown species were unearthed near a sea cliff on the Panamanian coast, researchers report April 29 in PLOS ONE. Sediments...

    04/29/2015 - 16:14 Animals, Paleontology, Evolution
  • News

    This dinosaur’s ride may have been a glide

    A dinosaur called Yi qi appears to have lifted a page from pterosaurs’ flight plan.

    Protruding from each of the newly discovered dinosaur’s wrists was a weird rodlike bone that may have attached to a fleshy wing that helped the dinosaur glide or fly, researchers report April 29 in Nature.

     “We’ve...

    04/29/2015 - 13:00 Paleontology
  • News

    'Frankenstein' dinosaur was a mash-up of meat eater and plant eater

    Frankensaurus did exist. But don’t worry — the sharp-clawed creature was a vegetarian.

    Bones found in Chile reveal a bizarre new dinosaur that had a hodgepodge of anatomical features. Based on an ancestry that links it to Tyrannosaurus rex, Chilesaurus diegosuarezi should have been a meat eater, but preferred plants instead,...

    04/27/2015 - 11:00 Paleontology
  • Wild Things

    Your toy stegosaurus may be a girl

    Are your toy dinosaurs boys or girls? One Science News editor decided her plush stegosaurus was male and named him Franklin. It was as good a guess as any since there’s really no way to tell a dinosaur’s gender just by looking at it. Even paleontologists can’t always determine gender. Female...

    04/22/2015 - 14:00 Paleontology, Evolution
  • News in Brief

    Fossil reveals terror bird’s power

    Click image above to view slideshow

    With a swift hatchet of its beak, the terror bird Llallawavis scagliai could have whomped its prey, a new fossil find confirms.

    Terror birds were one of South America’s top predators from about 50 million to roughly 1.8 million years ago. Researchers from Argentina have discovered a nearly complete skeleton of a new species of...

    04/09/2015 - 16:00 Paleontology
  • Science Ticker

    Tyrannosaurs fought and ate each other

    The Cretaceous period was a tyrannosaur-eat-tyrannosaur world. Bite marks from before and after death scar the skull of an ancient tyrannosaur called Daspletosaurus, researchers report April 9 in PeerJ.

    Paleontologists identified a fossilized skull and jaw as that of a teenage Daspletosaurus, a cousin to ...

    04/09/2015 - 15:23 Paleontology, Ecology
  • News

    Brontosaurus deserves its name, after all

    After spending more than a century dismissed as a mislabeled Apatosaurus, Brontosaurus may be getting its identity back.

    The long-necked dinosaur deserves a genus distinct from that of Apatosaurus, a team of European paleontologists report April 7 in PeerJ. Two other dinosaurs classified under Apatosaurus...

    04/07/2015 - 11:01 Paleontology, Animals