Paleontology

  1. Mesophithirus engeli
    Paleontology

    Licelike insects munched on dinosaur feathers around 100 million years ago

    Fossils in amber push the origin of feather-feeding insects back over 50 million years, a study finds.

    By
  2. Origolestes lii
    Life

    An ancient critter may shed light on when mammals’ middle ear evolved

    Rare skeletons are helping to pin down the evolution of mammals’ three middle ear bones, known popularly as the hammer, anvil and stirrup.

    By
  3. jaw bone
    Animals

    A tooth fossil shows Gigantopithecus’ close ties to modern orangutans

    Proteins from the past help clarify how an ancient Asian ape that was larger than a full-grown, modern male gorilla evolved.

    By
  4. mammal skulls
    Life

    Remarkable fossils capture mammals’ recovery after the dino-killing asteroid

    A fossil-rich site in Colorado is revealing how mammals rebounded and flourished after an asteroid strike 66 million years ago.

    By
  5. Diplodocus dino head
    Paleontology

    Big dinosaurs kept cool thanks to blood vessel clusters in their heads

    Giant dinosaurs evolved several strategies for cooling their blood and avoiding heatstroke.

    By
  6. A map of Gondwanaland
    Earth

    50 years ago, an Antarctic fossil pointed to Gondwanaland’s existence

    Fifty years ago, fossils from Antarctica helped seal the deal that the southern continents were once connected in one, giant landmass called Gondwanaland.

    By
  7. crane fly fossil
    Life

    Fly fossils might challenge the idea of ancient trilobites’ crystal eyes

    Fossilized crane flies from 54 million years ago probably got their crystal lenses after death.

    By
  8. Cambroraster falcatus
    Paleontology

    This newfound predator may have terrorized the Cambrian seafloor

    A newly discovered spaceship-shaped predator raked through the Cambrian seafloor in search of food.

    By
  9. Microdocodon gracilis fossil
    Paleontology

    A flexible bone that helps mammals chew dates back to the Jurassic Period

    A flexible bone that helps with chewing may have helped give rise to the Age of Mammals, a new fossil shows.

    By
  10. Elektorornis chenguangi
    Paleontology

    An ancient bird found encased in amber had a bizarrely long toe

    A 99-million-year-old fossil holds a bird with an oddly long toe, which might have helped the critter hook hard-to-reach dinners.

    By
  11. a photo of a crocodile with its mouth open
    Animals

    Some ancient crocodiles may have chomped on plants instead of meat

    Fossil teeth of extinct crocodyliforms suggest that some ate plants and that herbivory evolved at least three times in crocs of the Mesozoic Era.

    By
  12. Eocoracias brachyptera bird fossil
    Paleontology

    Signs of the color blue have been found in a fossil for the first time

    Scientists think they’ve spotted hints of blue plumage in a fossilized bird from 48 million years ago.

    By