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Paleontology

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OLDEST MOTH SCALE  A tiny insect scale from an ancient lagoon (left) may be one of the earliest fossil signs of  the evolutionary branch of moths and butterflies. Comparisons with modern scales (right) identified it.

tick on a dino feather preserved in amber

DINE-O-SAUR  In this 99-million-year-old piece of amber, a tick trapped on a dinosaur feather provides rare evidence of the hosts these bloodsuckers preferred during the Cretaceous Period.

marsupial lion illustration

NEW MARSUPIAL LION  A newly named species of extinct marsupial lion (illustrated) was dog-sized but probably as fierce as anything in its forest. 

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