Paleontology

  1. Greenland crater illustration
    Earth

    Greenland crater renewed the debate over an ancient climate mystery

    Scientists disagree on what a possible crater found under Greenland’s ice means for the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis.

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  2. Siberian Traps
    Oceans

    Volcanic eruptions that depleted ocean oxygen may have set off the Great Dying

    Massive eruptions from volcanoes spewing greenhouse gases 252 million years ago may have triggered Earth’s biggest mass extinction.

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  3. comparison of newly discovered herbivore to modern-day elephant
    Paleontology

    This huge plant eater thrived in the age of dinosaurs — but wasn’t one of them

    A newly named plant-eater from the Late Triassic was surprisingly hefty.

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  4. mammoth, mastodon, and gomphothere
    Ecosystems

    How mammoths competed with other animals and lost

    Mammoths, mastodons and other ancient elephants were wiped out at the end of the last ice age by climate change and spear-wielding humans.

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  5. Goanna
    Paleontology

    ‘End of the Megafauna’ examines why so many giant Ice Age animals went extinct

    ‘End of the Megafauna’ ponders the mystery of what killed off so many of Earth’s big animals over the last 50,000 years.

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  6. a photo of a large gray fossilized egg along with modern day eggs of different hues
    Paleontology

    Eggs evolved color and speckles only once — during the age of dinosaurs

    Birds’ colorful eggs were inherited from their nonavian dinosaur ancestors.

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  7. early vertebrate illustration
    Paleontology

    The first vertebrates on Earth arose in shallow coastal waters

    After appearing about 480 million years ago in coastal waters, the earliest vertebrates stayed in the shallows for another 100 million years.

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  8. Tyrannosaurus rex
    Paleontology

    T. rex pulverized bones with an incredible amount of force

    Tyrannosaurus rex’s powerful bite and remarkably strong teeth helped the dinosaur crush bones.

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  9. Archaeorhynchus spathula
    Paleontology

    In a first, scientists spot what may be lungs in an ancient bird fossil

    Possible traces of lungs preserved with a 120-million-year-old bird fossil could represent a respiratory system similar to that of modern birds.

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  10. mounds in the rock record
    Earth

    These ancient mounds may not be the earliest fossils on Earth after all

    A new analysis suggests that tectonics, not microbes, formed cone-shaped structures in 3.7-billion-year-old rock.

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  11. fossils
    Paleontology

    Cholesterol traces suggest these mysterious fossils were animals, not fungi

    Traces of cholesterol still clinging to a group of enigmatic Ediacaran fossils suggests the weird critters were animals, not fungi or lichen.

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  12. Brazil's National Museum
    Science & Society

    Before it burned, Brazil’s National Museum gave much to science

    When Brazil’s National Museum went up in flames, so did the hard work of the researchers who work there.

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