Current Fossil News and Events

Current Fossil News and Events, Fossil News Articles.
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CABBI researchers challenge the CRP status quo to mitigate fossil fuels
Amid population expansion and severe climate conditions threatening agricultural productivity, sustainable food production is a national priority. Simultaneously, advances in bioenergy agriculture are necessary to move our energy sector away from fossil fuels. A CABBI team led by Madhu Khanna and Ph.D. student Luoye Chen suggest allocating Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land for energy biomass, eliminating the need for competition between food and energy crops and proving advantageous for landowners, the government, and the environment. (2021-02-22)

Giant predatory worms roamed the seafloor until 5.3 million years ago
An international study in which the University of Granada participated--recently published in the journal Scientific Reports--has identified a new fossil record of these mysterious animals in the northeast of Taiwan (China), in marine sediments from the Miocene Age (between 23 and 5.3 million years ago). These organisms, similar to today's Bobbit worm (Eunice aphroditois), were approximately 2 m long and 3 cm in diameter and lived in burrows. (2021-02-18)

New method converts methane in natural gas to methanol at room temperature
Researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago have discovered a way to convert the methane in natural gas into liquid methanol at room temperature. (2021-02-18)

CO2 dip may have helped dinosaurs walk from South America to Greenland
A new study identifies a climate phenomenon that may have helped sauropodomorphs spread northward across the Pangea supercontinent. (2021-02-15)

Enormous ancient fish discovered by accident
Fossilised remains of a fish that grew as big as a great white shark and the largest of its type ever found have been discovered by accident. (2021-02-15)

Not a living fossil: How the Coelacanth recently evolved dozens of new genes
The research shows the dramatic effect traveling DNA can have on the creation of genes and provide a glimpse into some of the forces that shaped the genome of one of the most ancient and mysterious organisms. (2021-02-09)

Coal and COVID-19: How the pandemic is accelerating the end of fossil power generation
COVID-19 has not only caused a temporary drop in global CO2 emissions, it has also reduced the share of power generated by burning coal - a trend that could in fact outlast the pandemic. This is the key result of a new study by a team of economists based in Potsdam and Berlin that looked at COVID-19's impact on the energy system and demand for electricity. (2021-02-08)

Fossil pigments shed new light on vertebrate evolution
This new paper shows that melanin is more than just something that gives colour to the body. It played an important role in the evolution of warm-blooded animals and helped defined what birds and mammals look like today. By studying where melanin occurs in the body in fossils and modern animals researchers have produced the first model for how melanin has evolved over the last 500 million years. (2021-02-04)

635 million-year-old fungi-like microfossil that bailed us out of an ice age discovered
A team of scientists from Virginia Tech, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guizhou Education University, and University of Cincinnati has discovered the remains of a fungi-like microfossil that emerged at the end of an ice age some 635 million years ago. (2021-01-28)

New study unravels Darwin's 'abominable mystery' surrounding origin of flowering plants
The origin of flowering plants famously puzzled Charles Darwin, who described their sudden appearance in the fossil record from relatively recent geological times as an 'abominable mystery'. (2021-01-28)

'Virtual anatomy' imaging yields new insight into ancient platypus fish
The inner ear of a 400 million-year-old 'platypus fish' has yielded new insights into early vertebrate evolution, suggesting this ancient creature may be more closely related to modern-day sharks and bony fish than previously thought. (2021-01-27)

Growth of northern Tibet proved the key to East Asian biodiversity
In a recent study, a joint research team led by scientists from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the University of Bristol (UK) and the Open University (UK) has revealed the first direct mechanism explaining how the growth of mountains in Northern Tibet drastically altered climate, vegetation and plant diversity in East Asia. (2021-01-27)

Satellite data reveals bonds between emissions, pollution and economy
Burning fossil fuels has long powered world economies while contributing to air pollution and the buildup of greenhouse gases. A new analysis of nearly two decades of satellite data shows that economic development, fossil-fuel combustion and air quality are closely linked on the continental and national scales, but can be decoupled at the national level, according to Penn State scientists. (2021-01-26)

Newly discovered fossil named after U of A paleontologist
A newly discovered trace fossil of an ancient burrow has been named after University of Alberta paleontologist Murray Gingras. The fossil, discovered by a former graduate student, has an important role to play in gauging how salty ancient bodies of water were, putting together a clearer picture of our planet's past. (2021-01-26)

From fins to limbs
In a new study an international team of researchers examined three-dimensional digital models of the bones, joints, and muscles of the fins and limbs of two extinct early tetrapods and a closely related fossil fish and discover these early tetrapods had a very distinct pattern of muscle leverage that didn't look like a fish fin or modern tetrapod limbs and their limbs were more adapted for propulsion rather than weight bearing. (2021-01-22)

Palaeontology: Fossil burrows point to ancient seafloor colonization by giant marine worms
Giant ambush-predator worms, possible ancestors of the 'bobbit worm', may have colonized the seafloor of the Eurasian continent around 20 million years ago. The findings, based on the reconstruction of large, L-shaped burrows from layers of seafloor dating back to the Miocene (23 million to 5.3 million years ago) of northeast Taiwan, are reported in Scientific Reports this week. (2021-01-21)

Giant sand worm discovery proves truth is stranger than fiction
Simon Fraser University researchers have found evidence that large ambush-predatory worms--some as long as two metres--roamed the ocean floor near Taiwan over 20 million years ago. (2021-01-21)

New starfish-like fossil reveals evolution in action
Researchers from the University of Cambridge have discovered a fossil of the earliest starfish-like animal, which helps us understand the origins of the nimble-armed creature. (2021-01-20)

50 million-year-old fossil assassin bug has unusually well-preserved genitalia
The fossilized insect is tiny and its genital capsule, called a pygophore, is roughly the length of a grain of rice. It is remarkable, scientists say, because the bug's physical characteristics -- from the bold banding pattern on its legs to the internal features of its genitalia -- are clearly visible and well-preserved. Recovered from the Green River Formation in present-day Colorado, the fossil represents a new genus and species of predatory insects known as assassin bugs. (2021-01-19)

All-purpose dinosaur opening reconstructed for first time
For the first time ever, a team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, have described in detail a dinosaur's cloacal or vent -- the all-purpose opening used for defecation, urination and breeding. (2021-01-19)

Discovery of new praying mantis species from the time of the dinosaurs
A McGill-led research team has identified a new species of praying mantis thanks to imprints of its fossilized wings. It lived in Labrador, in the Canadian Subarctic around 100 million years ago, during the time of the dinosaurs, in the Late Cretaceous period. The researchers believe that the fossils of the new genus and species, Labradormantis guilbaulti, helps to establish evolutionary relationships between previously known species and advances the scientific understanding of the evolution of the most 'primitive' modern praying mantises. (2021-01-19)

New fossil provides clarity to the history of Alligatoridae
''From what we have, we are able to understand a little bit more about the evolutionary history of caimans and the alligatorid group, which includes alligators and caimans.'' (2021-01-15)

Spectacular fossil discovery:
A team led by Sebastian Stumpf from the University of Vienna describes an well-preserved skeleton of the ancient shark Asteracanthus. This rare fossil find comes from the famous Solnhofen limestones in Bavaria, which was formed in a tropical-subtropical lagoon landscape during the Late Jurassic, about 150 million years ago. The almost complete skeleton shows that Asteracanthus was two-and-a-half meters long, which makes this ancient shark one of the largest of its time. The study is published in Papers in Palaeontology. (2021-01-14)

Accounting for the gaps in ancient food webs
Studying ancient food webs can help scientists reconstruct communities of species, many long extinct, and even use those insights to figure out how modern-day communities might change in the future. There's just one problem: only some species left enough of a trace for scientists to find eons later, leaving large gaps in the fossil record -- and researchers' ability to piece together the food webs from the past. (2021-01-14)

How will we achieve carbon-neutral flight in future?
Carbon-neutral aviation is possible, but in future, aircraft are likely to continue to be powered by fossil fuels. The CO2 they emit must be systematically stored underground. This is the most economical of various approaches that ETH researchers have compared in detail. (2021-01-13)

Fossils' soft tissues helping to solve puzzle that vexed Darwin
Remarkably well-preserved fossils are helping scientists unravel a mystery about the origins of early animals that puzzled Charles Darwin. (2021-01-12)

Leaf fossils show severe end-Cretaceous plant extinction in southern Argentina
The asteroid impact 66 million years ago that ushered in a mass extinction and ended the dinosaurs also killed off many of the plants that they relied on for food. Fossil leaf assemblages from Patagonia, Argentina, suggest that vegetation in South America suffered great losses but rebounded quickly, according to an international team of researchers. (2021-01-05)

The Milky Way primordial history and its fossil findings
Recently discovered and named, the ''Bulge Fossil Fragments'' represent a new class of stellar systems composed of the relics of primordial massive clumps of gas and stars that originated the core of our galaxy approximately 12 billion years ago (2020-12-18)

Infrastructure key to balancing climate and economic goals in developing countries
Developing nations have an opportunity to avoid long-term dependence on fossil fuel-burning infrastructure as they move toward economic stability, even if they are slow to cut carbon emissions, say the authors of a new paper. Countries with low per capita incomes can keep their contributions to global warming to 0.3 degrees Celsius with careful foresight and planning, urge Carnegie's Lei Duan and Ken Caldeira with Juan Moreno-Cruz of the University of Waterloo. (2020-12-16)

Balancing climate and development goals
The impact on climate change would only be modest if countries in the process of development were to delay efforts to reduce their carbon emissions until they reach a certain level of economic growth. (2020-12-15)

COVID-19 lockdown causes unprecedented drop in global CO2 emissions in 2020
The global COVID-19 lockdowns caused fossil carbon dioxide emissions to decline by an estimated 2.4 billion tonnes in 2020 - a record drop according to researchers at Future Earth's Global Carbon Project. This and other findings are now available in the newly released Global Carbon Budget 2020. (2020-12-10)

Archaeopteryx fossil provides insights into the origins of flight
Moulting is thought to be unorganised in the first feathered dinosaurs because they had yet to evolve flight, so determining how moulting evolved can lead to better understanding of flight origins. Recently an international research discovered that the earliest record of feather moulting from the famous early fossil bird Archaeopteryx found in southern Germany in rocks that used to be tropical lagoons ~150 million years ago. The findings were published in Communications Biology. (2020-12-09)

"Birthday" of the roof of the world recalibrated
A recent study led by researchers from the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research (ITP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) proves, through fossil analysis, that much of the Third Pole only grew to its modern height over the past 10 million to 20 million years, rather than 40 million years ago (Ma) as previously inferred. (2020-12-09)

New 'sea dragon' discovered off UK coastline
An amateur fossil hunter has unearthed a new type of prehistoric 'sea dragon' on the beach of the UK's Dorset coast. (2020-12-09)

A new evolutionary clue
Colleen B. Young, a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Missouri, tested several popular assumptions about the characteristics of Homo floresiensis by comparing an island fox from California's Channel Islands with its mainland US relative, the gray fox. (2020-12-09)

First-known fossil iguana burrow found in the Bahamas
The fossilized burrow dates back to the Late Pleistocene Epoch, about 115,000 years ago, and is located on the island of San Salvador -- best known as the likely spot where Christopher Columbus made his first landfall in his 1492 voyage. (2020-12-09)

Newly discovered fossils prove 'Shangri-La'-like ecosystem in central Tibet
During the Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition in Tibet, an international research team from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) and the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology discovered a highly diverse fossil assemblage from the current elevation of ?4,850 m in the Bangor Basin in central Tibet. (2020-12-07)

Mass incarceration results in significant increases in industrial emissions, study finds
Mass incarceration is as much an environmental problem as it is a social one, according to a new Portland State University study that finds increases in incarceration are significantly associated with increases in industrial emissions. (2020-12-04)

Shuttering fossil fuel power plants may cost less than expected
Decarbonizing US electricity production will require both construction of renewable energy sources and retirement of power plants now operated by fossil fuels. A generator-level model described in the December 4, 2020 issue of the journal Science suggests that most fossil fuel power plants could complete normal lifespans and still close by 2035 because so many facilities are nearing the end of their operational lives. (2020-12-03)

Videoscope analysis of a Neanderthal skeleton reveals detailed dental information
Videoscope analysis of a well-preserved Neanderthal skeleton from Altamura, Italy reveals detailed dental information, including tooth wear and tooth loss. (2020-12-02)

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