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Paleontology

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Mystacodon skull

WHALE IN TRANSITION  The skull of Mystacodon, a 36-million-year-old whale found in Peru, is an early relative of today’s baleen whales. Its skull (shown here) has a flattened snout and a mouth full of teeth, which baleen whales later lost.

illustration of Beibeilong sinensis

WARMING UP  Nesting birdlike dinosaurs called Beibeilong sinensis incubated their eggs (illustrated). This new species was identified thanks to a recent examination of “Baby Louie,” a famous dinosaur embryo discovered in the 1990s.

beetle fossils

BAD HOUSEGUESTS  Some ancient beetles survived by freeloading off social insects such as termites. Two new beetle fossils (Cretotrichopsenius burmiticus, left and Mesosymbion compactus, right) suggest that the behavior, known as social parasitism, has endured for about 100 million years.

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