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  • News in Brief

    Fossil reveals terror bird’s power

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    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 compete 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
  • News in Brief

    Footprints offer clues about daily hominid life

    ST. LOUIS — A good 1.5 million years before spring break or the America’s Cup, guys liked to cluster by the water. Male hominids living in East Africa that long ago hung out in groups by a large lake that also attracted a variety of animals, researchers...

    04/02/2015 - 13:35 Anthropology, Human Evolution, Paleontology
  • News in Brief

    Fossil of monstrous fish-eating amphibian unearthed

    Fossils of a new species of a giant salamander-like predator date from a time when amphibians were big and scary.

    The fossils, estimated to be over 220 million years old, came from an ancient lake bed in Portugal, says Steve Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh. Brusatte and his colleagues suggest that the bones belong to a new species — Metoposaurus algarvensis — of what are...

    03/23/2015 - 20:16 Paleontology, Animals, Evolution
  • News in Brief

    Fearsome croc called the Carolina Butcher once ruled the north

    Before dinosaurs ruled what is now North America, the Carolina Butcher topped the predator charts. 

    A reconstruction of this newly identified species suggests that Carnufex carolinensis was 3 meters long and looked a lot like living crocodiles — except it walked on two legs, not four. Researchers led by North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences paleontologist Lindsay Zanno found...

    03/19/2015 - 06:00 Paleontology, Animals
  • News in Brief

    Rise of East African Plateau dated by whale fossil

    A 17-million-year-old whale fossil is helping scientists pinpoint when the East African Plateau started to rise. Determining when the uplift happened has implications for understanding human evolution, scientists say.

    Shifts in the Earth’s mantle pushed the East African Plateau upward sometime between 17 million and 13.5 million years ago, researchers...

    03/16/2015 - 15:25 Paleontology, Climate, Evolution
  • News in Brief

    How arthropods got their legs

    Newly discovered fossils fill a gap in scientists’ knowledge of how arthropods evolved their legs. The extinct creatures’ limblike flaps represent a stage before the two parts fused into the limbs seen in many arthropod species now living.

    The fossils, which belong to a group of very early arthropods called anomalocaridids, were found from 2009 to 2014 in Morocco. The earliest...

    03/11/2015 - 14:00 Paleontology, Animals, Evolution
  • News in Brief

    Possible ancestor of sponges found

    A beautifully preserved 600-million-year-old fossil shows actual cells that make it the best candidate yet for an ancestor of sponge animals, researchers propose.

    The new find, now named Eocyathispongia qiania, is just a single fossil barely as big as a pinhead. Yet its three tubular chambers arising from a base...

    03/09/2015 - 15:00 Paleontology, Evolution
  • News in Brief

    Hippo history extracted from fossil teeth found in Kenya

    Fossil teeth recently found in Kenya may help fill in some of the holes in the history of hippopotamuses.

    The teeth, which are roughly 28 million years old, belong to a newly identified hippo ancestor named Epirigenys lokonensis. This extinct species links the oldest known family of hippos in Africa with their earlier Asia-dwelling ancestors, researchers from France and Kenya...

    02/24/2015 - 11:00 Paleontology