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Current Fossil News and Events, Fossil News Articles.
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Study: Fossil record disappears at different rates
Considerably more of the fossil record of creatures such as mammoths, mastodons, camels, horses and ground sloths has been lost in what is now the continental United States and South America than in Alaska and areas near the Bering Strait. (2016-02-10)

Scientists say window to reduce carbon emissions is small
At the rate humans are emitting carbon into the atmosphere, the Earth may suffer irreparable damage that could last tens of thousands of years, according to a new analysis. Sea level rise is a critical issue. With seven degrees (Celsius) warming at the high-end scenario of temperature increase, the sea level rise is estimated at 50 meters, over a period of several centuries to millennia. (2016-02-08)

Carbon emissions affect thousands of years of climate change
The Earth may suffer irreversible damage that could last tens of thousands of years because of the rate humans are emitting carbon into the atmosphere. In a new study in Nature Climate Change, researchers at Oregon State University, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and collaborating institutions found that the longer-term impacts of climate change go well past the 21st century. (2016-02-08)

Smithsonian scientists discover butterfly-like fossil insect in the deep Mesozoic
Large butterfly-like insects known as Kalligrammatid lacewings, which fluttered through Eurasian fern- and cycad-filled woodland during the Mesozoic Era, have been extinct for more than 120 million years. But with new fossil analyses, scientists at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History have discovered that these ancient lacewings were surprisingly similar to modern butterflies, which did not appear on Earth for another 50 million years. (2016-02-03)

New analysis shows insect diversity is nothing new
Insects are astonishingly diverse, accounting for nearly three-quarters of all named animal species living today, and their diversity is widely thought to have increased steadily over evolutionary time. A new study, however, finds that insect diversity actually has not changed much over the past 125 million years. (2016-02-02)

Study shows North Atlantic Ocean CO2 storage doubled over last decade
A University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science-led study shows that the North Atlantic absorbed 100 percent more man-made carbon dioxide over the last decade, compared to the previous decade. The findings show the impact that the burning of fossil fuels have had on the world's oceans in just 10 years. (2016-02-02)

World is embracing clean energy, says University of Exeter professor
In a journal article published in Nature Energy today Professor Catherine Mitchell from the University's Energy Policy Group argues that investment in renewable electricity now outstrips that in fossil fuels, and that increasing numbers of policies to improve the efficiency of energy use and to make energy systems more flexible are pointing to a global momentum in the adoption of sustainable energy systems. (2016-02-01)

Life history effects on the molecular clock of autosomes and sex chromosomes
A study finds that accounting for the effect of sex-specific life history events, such as the onset of puberty in male hominids, on mutation rates can help reconcile mutation-rate-based estimates of the split between chimpanzees and humans with the fossil record, suggesting that the split may have been as recent as 6.6 million years ago. (2016-01-28)

A look into the evolution of the eye
A team of researchers, among them a zoologist from the University of Cologne, has succeeded in reconstructing a 160 million year old compound eye of a fossil crustacean found in southeastern France visible. With the reconstruction of the eye, the scientists succeeded in making the structure of soft tissue visible -- which was long considered to be impossible. (2016-01-26)

University of Alberta researcher tracks tyrannosaur's trail
Just outside the tiny town of Glenrock, Wyo., the footprints of a 66-million-year-old monster are cemented in stone. This fossil trackway was brought to light with the help of University of Alberta paleontologist Scott Persons, who first viewed the tracks as a 13-year-old while visiting the Glenrock Paleon Museum. (2016-01-15)

Discovery shows dinosaurs may have been the original lovebirds
Dinosaurs engaged in mating behavior similar to modern birds, leaving the fossil evidence behind in 100 million year old rocks, according to new research by Martin Lockley, professor of geology at the University of Colorado Denver. (2016-01-07)

Lab researcher helps team that may have a key solution to reducing carbon dioxide emissions
Meeting the Paris Climate Agreement goal of limiting the increase in the global average temperature to well below two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels will require increased use of renewable energy and reducing the CO2 intensity of fossil energy use. (2016-01-06)

Reptile fossils offer clues about elevation history of Andes Mountains
Tortoise and turtle fossils, the first from the Miocene epoch found in Bolivia, suggest the Altiplano, near Quebrada Honda, was likely less than a kilometer above sea level 13 million years ago. Fossils of leaves and other animals support the suggestion. (2015-12-29)

Burgess Shale fossil site gives up oldest evidence of brood care
Researchers have discovered the oldest direct evidence of brood care, with the identification of eggs containing preserved embryos in fossils of the 508-million-year-old Waptia fieldensis. Recent analysis of specimens of the shrimp-like creature found in the renowned Canadian Burgess Shale fossil deposit more than a century ago, revealed clusters of egg-shaped objects located on the underside of a bivalved carapace alongside the anterior third of the body. (2015-12-17)

'Virtual fossil' reveals last common ancestor of humans and Neanderthals
New digital techniques have allowed researchers to predict structural evolution of the skull in the lineage of Homo sapiens and Neanderthals, in an effort to fill in blanks in the fossil record, and provide the first 3-D rendering of their last common ancestor. The study suggests populations that led to the lineage split were older than previously thought. (2015-12-17)

How to see a mass extinction if it's right in front of you
A Yale-led study urges scientists to move their focus from species extinction to species rarity in order to recognize, and avoid, a mass extinction in the modern world. (2015-12-16)

Study finds people transformed how species associated after 300 million years
A study published today finds a surprising and very recent shift away from the steady relationship among species that prevailed for more than 300 million years. The study, published in the journal Nature, offers the first long-term view of how species associated with each other for half of the existence of multicellular life on Earth. (2015-12-16)

Preserved embryos illustrate seed dormancy in early angiosperms
The discovery of exceptionally well-preserved, tiny fossil seeds dating back to the Early Cretaceous corroborates that flowering plants were small opportunistic colonizers at that time, according to a new Yale-led study. (2015-12-16)

Fossils enrich our understanding of evolution
Our understanding of evolution can be enriched by adding fossil species to analyses of living animals, as shown by scientists from the University of Bristol. (2015-12-15)

Clemson scientist unravels the mysteries of a beetle that lived a million centuries ago
By studying a remarkable fossil, a Clemson University scientist and his German counterparts are unraveling the secrets of an ancient beetle that wandered the Earth almost 100 million years ago. (2015-12-15)

Study uncovers influence of Earth's history on the dawn of modern birds
The evolution of modern birds was greatly shaped by the history of our planet's geography and climate. New research finds that birds arose in what is now South America around 90 million years ago, and radiated extensively around the time of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction. The new research suggests that birds in South America survived this event and then moved around the world via multiple land bridges while diversifying during periods of global cooling. (2015-12-11)

Scientists discover 530-million-year-old fossils of ancient, microscopic worms
The historic find -- made in South China -- by Virginia Tech researchers fills a huge gap in the known fossil record of kinorhynchs, small invertebrate animals that are related to arthropods. (2015-12-10)

Could metal particles be the clean fuel of the future?
Metal powders, produced using clean primary energy sources, could provide a more viable long-term replacement for fossil fuels than other widely discussed alternatives, such as hydrogen, biofuels or batteries, according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of the journal Applied Energy. (2015-12-09)

Well-preserved skeleton reveals the ecology and evolution of early carnivorous mammals
Prior to the rise of modern day mammalian carnivores, North America was dominated by a now extinct group of mammalian carnivores, hyaenodontids. Fossils of hyaenodontids are relatively common from the early Eocene, but most are specimens of teeth. A new find of a nearly complete skeleton has allowed for a more detailed study of the ecology and evolutionary relationships of these early carnivores. (2015-12-09)

Scientists discover 'white whale' fossil
A 15-million-year-old fossil sperm whale specimen from California belongs to a new genus, according to a study published Dec. 9, 2015, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Alexandra Boersma and Nicholas Pyenson from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. (2015-12-09)

Triceratops gets a cousin: Researchers identify another horned dinosaur species
Researchers have described a new species of plant-eating dinosaur, Hualianceratops wucaiwanensis, that stood on its hind feet and was about the size of a spaniel. It is similar in age to the oldest-known member of the 'horned dinosaurs,' Yinlong downsi, although both are hornless. (2015-12-09)

New North American pterosaur is a Texan -- but flying reptile's closest cousin is English
A new species of toothy pterosaur is a native of Texas, but is strikingly similar to an English species. Named Cimoliopterus dunni, the new pterosaur's closest cousin is England's Cimoliopterus cuvieri. Identification of the 94-million-year-old flying marine reptile links prehistoric Texas to England, says paleontologist Timothy Myers, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, and suggests gene flow between the two populations was possible shortly before that date, despite progressive widening of the North Atlantic Ocean. (2015-12-08)

International research partnership yields discovery of a new fossil species
The discovery also reveals the unique binocular vision of the first ancient marine reptile of its kind to be found in Japan. (2015-12-08)

Plant-inspired power plants
A team of chemical engineers at the University of Pittsburgh recently identified the two main factors for determining the optimal catalyst for turning atmospheric CO2 into liquid fuel. The results of the study, which appeared in the journal ACS Catalysis, will streamline the search for an inexpensive yet highly effective new catalyst. (2015-12-08)

Rapid growth in carbon dioxide emissions breaks in 2015
Despite global economic growth in 2015, worldwide emissions from fossil fuels are projected to decline by 0.6 percent this year. (2015-12-07)

Global fossil-fuel emissions could decline in 2015, Stanford-led study finds
An international research team reports that the rapid increase in global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels has slowed in the past two years, underlining the need for action to permanently lower emissions. (2015-12-07)

UN report takes global view of 'green energy choices'
A new UNEP report, led by Yale Professor Edgar Hertwich, offers a comprehensive comparison of the greenhouse gas mitigation potential for a number of alternative energy methods -- including wind, solar, geothermal, and hydro. (2015-12-02)

Extinct 3-horned palaeomerycid ruminant found in Spain
The extinct three-horned palaeomerycid ruminant, Xenokeryx amidalae, found in Spain, may be from the same clade as giraffes, according to a study published Dec. 2, 2015 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Israel M. Sánchez from the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales-CSIC, Madrid, Spain, and colleagues. (2015-12-02)

Researchers describe new North Pacific fossil whale
A new species of fossil baleen whale that lived in the North Pacific Ocean 30 to 33 million years ago has been described by researchers from New Zealand's University of Otago. The whale, named Fucaia buelli by the researchers, is transitional between ancient toothed whales and the baleen whales of modern seas. It is one of the oldest baleen whales ever found and, at a length of about 2-2.5m, also one of the smallest. (2015-12-01)

Factoring for cosmic radiation could help set a more accurate 'molecular clock'
Since the 1960s, scientists have theorized the number of molecular differences in DNA, RNA and proteins from related species could pinpoint the time of their genetic divergence. A new paper by Adrian Melott at the University of Kansas examines a major hiccup in the molecular clock theory. The problem is that fossil evidence doesn't always sync with molecular dating for a variety of species. (2015-11-30)

Rare fossil of a horned dinosaur found from 'lost continent'
A rare fossil from eastern North America of a dog-sized horned dinosaur has been identified by a scientist at the University of Bath. The fossil provides evidence of an east-west divide in North American dinosaur evolution. (2015-11-30)

Mystery of how snakes lost their legs solved by reptile fossil
Fresh analysis of a reptile fossil is helping scientists solve an evolutionary puzzle -- how snakes lost their limbs. (2015-11-27)

Statement: The co-benefits of actions on climate change and public health
On the occasion of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina has published a short statement on the co-benefits of actions on climate change and public health. (2015-11-27)

International disparities in measuring energy sources
As countries around the world shift toward greater use of non-fossil fuels, the wide range of methods used to set targets for remaining fossil fuel emissions and to measure results and progress is highly disparate and needs to be standardized, authors of this Policy Forum emphasize. (2015-11-26)

Canuckosaur! First Canadian 'dinosaur' becomes Dimetrodon borealis
A 'dinosaur' fossil originally discovered on Prince Edward Island has been shown to have steak knife-like teeth, and researchers from U of T Mississauga, Carleton University and the Royal Ontario Museum have changed its name to Dimetrodon borealis -- marking the first occurrence of a Dimetrodon fossil in Canada. (2015-11-24)

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