Paleontology

  1. illustration of the head of an ancient insect-eating reptile
    Paleontology

    Fossilized dung from a dinosaur ancestor yields a new beetle species

    Whole beetles preserved in fossilized poo suggest that ancient droppings may deserve a closer look.

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  2. family of tyrannosaurs
    Paleontology

    For some dinosaurs, the Arctic may have been a great place to raise a family

    Fossils of baby dinosaur remains found in northern Alaska challenge the idea that some dinosaurs spent only summers in the Arctic.

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  3. illustration of a lizard sitting on a branch. shown is its head and neck with sap dripping down around it
    Paleontology

    An ancient creature thought to be a teeny dinosaur turns out to be a lizard

    CT scans of hummingbird-sized specimens trapped in amber reveal that the 99-million-year-old fossils have a number of lizardlike features.

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  4. hammerhead shark swimming in the ocean
    Paleontology

    Something mysteriously wiped out about 90 percent of sharks 19 million years ago

    Deep sediments beneath the Pacific Ocean revealed a mystery: a massive shark die-off with no obvious cause.

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  5. head of T. rex fossil
    Paleontology

    T. rex’s incredible biting force came from its stiff lower jaw

    T. rex could generate incredibly strong bite forces thanks to a boomerang-shaped bone that stiffened the lower jaw, a new analysis suggests.

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  6. illuistration of a pterosaur with opposable thumbs
    Paleontology

    ‘Monkeydactyl’ may be the oldest known creature with opposable thumbs

    A newly discovered pterosaur that lived during the Jurassic Period could have used its flexible digits to climb trees like a monkey.

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  7. tropical rainforest in Colombia
    Paleontology

    The dinosaur-killing asteroid impact radically altered Earth’s tropical forests

    The asteroid impact fundamentally reset the nature of Earth’s tropical rainforests, decreasing diversity at first and making them permanently darker.

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  8. reconstruction of an ancient eagle shark
    Paleontology

    An ancient shark’s weird fins helped it glide like a manta ray

    Nicknamed eagle shark, the newly discovered ancient creature achieved underwater flight 30 million years before the first rays.

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  9. illustration of an anteosaur chasing a Moschognathus
    Paleontology

    An ancient hippo-sized reptile may have been surprisingly agile

    The skull of an Anteosaurus, a hefty reptile with a large snout, hints that it may have moved fast for its day.

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  10. Muusoctopus johnsonianus octopus on the seafloor
    Paleontology

    Predatory octopuses were drilling into clamshells at least 75 million years ago

    Holes found in ancient clams reveal that octopuses have been drilling into their prey for at least 25 million years longer than was previously known.

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  11. illustration of Plateosaurus
    Paleontology

    Climate change helped some dinosaurs migrate to Greenland

    A drop in CO2 levels helped massive plant eaters called sauropodomorphs trek from South America to Greenland 214 million years ago, says a new study.

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  12. red ochre handprints in a cave
    Earth

    A magnetic field reversal 42,000 years ago may have contributed to mass extinctions

    The weakening of Earth's magnetic field beginning around 42,000 years ago correlates with a cascade of environmental crises, scientists say.

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