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E.g., 08/30/2015
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  • News

    Volcanic activity convicted in Permian extinction

    The biggest catastrophe in the history of life on Earth resulted from one of the most titanic volcanic outpourings on record, new research concludes.

    At the close of the Permian period around 252 million years ago, more than 90 percent of all marine species and roughly 75 percent of all land species vanished. New high-precision analysis of ancient lavas determines this extinction...

    08/28/2015 - 14:00 Earth, Paleontology
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘Prehistoric Predators’ is a carnival of ancient dinosaurs, mammals and more

    dino bookPrehistoric Predators
    Brian Switek and Julius Csotonyi
    Applesauce Press, $19.95

    The great carnivores of the past have come a long way. Formerly sluggish,...

    08/22/2015 - 09:00 Animals, Paleontology
  • Reviews & Previews

    Fossils illustrate evolution of life

    The Story of Life in 25 Fossils
    Donald R. Prothero...

    07/26/2015 - 09:00 Paleontology, Animals
  • News

    Sudden heat spikes did in Ice Age’s mammoth mammals

    Rapid climate change put mega-sized Ice Age mammals on the ropes before ancient humans delivered the final blow, new research indicates.

    During Earth’s last glacial period, around 12,000 to 110,000 years ago, woolly mammoths, sedan-sized armadillos and other massive mammals walked the land. Over time, these megafauna mostly died out. The instigator of these extinctions has become a topic...

    07/23/2015 - 14:27 Paleontology, Climate
  • News

    Museum fossil links snakes to lizards

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    The worldwide hunt for a fossil link between snakes and lizards has succeeded — in a museum.

    The fossil, of a four-legged snake, hints that the ancestors of modern-day snakes may have evolved on land rather than at sea, researchers report in the July 24 Science. It’s the first four-legged snake fossil ever discovered, bridging the...

    07/23/2015 - 14:00 Paleontology, Animals, Evolution
  • The –est

    50-million-year-old fossil sperm discovered

    Worm sperm have staying power. Embedded in the wall of a fossilized cocoon, mineralized sperm from what may have been a leechlike worm have stuck around for about 50 million years.

    The ancient sperm fossils are the oldest yet reported. They predate the previous record holders — amber-preserved sperm from tiny jumping insects called springtails and petrified sperm from mussel shrimps — by...

    07/14/2015 - 19:05 Paleontology, Animals
  • News

    Ancient comb jellies might have had skeletons

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    Comb jellies, just globes of shimmering film in today’s oceans, may have had rigid skeletons and hard plates millions of years ago.

    Scientists analyzed fossils some 520 million years old from the Chengjiang site in China representing six species of comb jellies, or ctenophores. The fossils show signs of hard parts, such as rigid spokes...

    07/10/2015 - 14:16 Paleontology, Evolution
  • Science Ticker

    How dinos like Triceratops got their horns

    Even among its horned dino relatives, Wendiceratops looks pretty weird. This newly identified Triceratops relative had hooklike horns ringing its neck frill and a short, stout spike shooting from its snout. It roamed what is now Canada nearly 79 million years ago, making it one of...

    07/08/2015 - 15:24 Paleontology
  • How Bizarre

    Fossil worm adds head to its spiny appearance

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    Whether it’s upside down or right side up, Hallucigenia sparsa looks like it wriggled right out of a nightmare. And giving the wormlike creepy-crawly a head hasn’t helped.

    ...

    06/24/2015 - 13:00 Paleontology
  • News

    New analysis cuts massive dino’s weight in half

    One of the world’s heaviest dinosaurs may be getting demoted to a lower weight class.

    Dreadnoughtus schrani, an herbivore known for its record-breaking mass of 59,300 kilograms, probably weighed only about half as much, scientists conclude in a new analysis published online June 9 in ...

    06/09/2015 - 19:05 Paleontology