A 13-million-year-old infant’s skull, discovered in Africa in 2014, comes from a new species of ape that may not be far removed from the common ancestor of living apes and humans.
The tiny find, about the size of a lemon, is one of the most complete skulls known of any extinct ape that inhabited Africa, Asia or Europe between 25 million and 5 million years ago, researchers report in the...
A round belly, stubby feet and a tapering tail made one armored reptile a lousy swimmer. Despite earlier reports, Eusaurosphargis dalsassoi might not have swum at all, scientists now say.
E. dalsassoi was first identified in 2003. Fossils were found near Monte San Giorgio at the Swiss-Italian border alongside the remains of marine reptiles and fish that lived roughly 240 million years...
Sometimes body armor just isn’t enough. A car-sized dinosaur covered in bony plates may have sported camo, too, researchers report online August 3 in Current Biology. That could mean the Cretaceous-period herbivore was a target for predators that relied on sight more than smell to find prey.
The dinosaur, dubbed Borealopelta markmitchelli, has already made headlines for being one of the...
Newly named fossils suggest that a weird and varied chapter in amphibian deep history isn’t totally over.
Small fossils about 220 million years old found along steep red slopes in Colorado represent a near-relative of modern animals called caecilians, says vertebrate paleontologist Adam Huttenlocker of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Caecilians today have long...
In pumped-up sequels for scary beach movies, each predator is bigger than the last. Turns out that predators in real-world oceans may have upsized over time, too.
Attack holes in nearly 7,000 fossil shells suggest that drilling predators have outpaced their prey in evolving ever larger bodies and weapons, says paleontologist Adiël Klompmaker of the University of California, Berkeley. The...
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Zuul is back. But don’t bother calling the Ghostbusters. Zuul crurivastator is a dino, not a demon. A 75-million-year-old skeleton unearthed in Montana in 2014 reveals a tanklike dinosaur with a spiked club tail and a face that probably looked a lot like its cinematic namesake.
The find is the most complete fossil of an ankylosaur, a type of armored dinosaur, found...
Early on, whale hearing may have been ho-hum.
Unlike today’s whales that specialize in making — and hearing — very high- or low-pitched sounds, early whales’ ears probably picked up noises somewhere in the middle, paleontologists Mickaël Mourlam and Maeva Orliac report June 8 in Current Biology.
Looking at CT scans of ancient whale ear bones allowed the researchers, from the...
Ancient sea scorpions were hacks.
Some of the marine creatures had a thin, serrated spine on the tip of their tail — and that tail was surprisingly flexible, based on a 430-million-year-old fossil found in Scotland. Slimonia acuminata may have had the range of motion to strike large predators and prey, researchers report online April 18 in American Naturalist.
A 36-million-year-old fossil skeleton is revealing a critical moment in the history of baleen whales: what happened when the ancestors of these modern-day filter feeders first began to distinguish themselves from their toothy, predatory predecessors. The fossil is the oldest known mysticete, a group that includes baleen whales, such as humpbacks, researchers report in the May 22 Current...
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A fossil dinosaur embryo known as “Baby Louie” has a new name. It belongs to a newly identified species of dinosaur called Beibeilong sinensis, researchers report May 9 in Nature Communications.
In the 1980s and 1990s, farmers found thousands of fossilized dinosaur eggs in the rocks of Henan Province in China and sold them overseas. It turned out that one chunk of rock, purchased by a...