1. Paleontology

    Learning from the Present

    New field studies of unfossilized bones, as well as databases full of information about current fossil excavations and previous fossil finds, are providing insights into how complete—or incomplete—Earth's fossil record may be.

  2. Paleontology

    Secrets of Dung: Ancient poop yields nuclear DNA

    Researchers have extracted remnants of DNA from cells preserved in the desiccated dung of an extinct ground sloth.

  3. Paleontology

    Teeth tell tale of warm-blooded dinosaurs

    Evidence locked within the fossil teeth of some dinosaurs may help bolster the view that some of the animals were, at least to some degree, warm-blooded.

  4. Paleontology

    Alaska in the ice age: Was it bluegrass country?

    At the height of the last ice age, northern portions of Alaska and the Yukon Territory were covered with an arid yet productive grassland that supported an abundance of large grazing mammals, fossils suggest.

  5. Paleontology

    Earful of data hints at ancient fish migration

    Small bony growths that developed in the ears of fish more than 65 million years ago are providing a wealth of information about the species’ environment and lifestyle.

  6. Paleontology

    Ancient wood points to arctic greenhouse

    Chemical analyses of wood that grew in an ancient arctic forest suggest that the air there once was about twice as humid as it is now.

  7. Paleontology

    Winging South: Finally, a fly fossil from Antarctica

    A tiny fossil collected about 500 kilometers from the South Pole indicates that Antarctica was once home to a type of fly that scientists long thought had never inhabited the now-icy, almost insectfree continent.

  8. Paleontology

    First Family’s last stand

    New evidence indicates that about 3.2 million years ago, at least 17 Australopithecus afarensis individuals were killed at the same time by large predators at an eastern African site.

  9. Paleontology

    Ancestors Go South

    A group of new and previously excavated fossils in South Africa represents 4-million-year-old members of the human evolutionary family, according to an analysis of the sediment that covered the finds.

  10. Paleontology

    Feathered fossil still stirs debate

    More than 2 years after scientists first described 120-million-year-old fossils of a feathered animal, a new analysis seems to bolster the view that the turkey-size species was a bird has-been and not a bird wanna-be.

  11. Paleontology

    Fertile Ground: Snippets of DNA persist in soil for millennia

    Minuscule samples of sediment from New Zealand and Siberia have yielded bits of DNA from dozens of animals and plants, including the oldest DNA sequences yet found that can be traced to a specific organism.

  12. Paleontology

    Family Meal: Cannibal dinosaur known by its bones

    Analyses of the gnaw marks on bones of Majungatholus atopus, a carnivorous dinosaur from Madagascar, indicate that the creatures routinely fed on members of their own species.