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Current Fossils News and Events, Fossils News Articles.
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Texas A&M study: Prehistoric ear bones could lead to evolutionary answers
The tiniest bones in the human body -- the bones of the middle ear -- could provide huge clues about our evolution and the development of modern-day humans, according to a study by a team of researchers that include a Texas A&M University anthropologist. (2013-05-13)

U Alberta researcher identifies 4 dinosaur species
Just when dinosaur researchers thought they had a thorough knowledge of ankylosaurs, a family of squat, armor-plated, plant-eaters, along comes University of Alberta graduate student, Victoria Arbour. (2013-05-08)

Fossil of great ape sheds light on evolution
A University of Missouri integrative anatomy expert says the shape of an 11.8-million-year-old specimen's pelvis indicates that it lived near the beginning of the great ape evolution, after the lesser apes had started to develop separately but before the great ape species began to diversify. (2013-05-01)

What happened to dinosaurs' predecessors after Earth's largest extinction 252 million years ago?
Predecessors to dinosaurs missed the race to fill habitats emptied when nine out of 10 species disappeared during Earth's largest mass extinction 252 million years ago. (2013-04-29)

Feast clue to smell of ancient earth
Tiny 1,900-million-year-old fossils from rocks around Lake Superior, Canada, give the first ever snapshot of organisms eating each other and suggest what the ancient Earth would have smelled like. (2013-04-29)

Dinosaur predecessors gain ground in wake of world's biggest biodiversity crisis
Newly discovered fossils from 10 million years after Earth's greatest mass extinction reveal a lineage of animals thought to have led to dinosaurs taking hold in Tanzania and Zambia in the mid-Triassic period, many millions of years before dinosaur relatives were seen in the fossil record elsewhere on Earth. (2013-04-29)

New carnivorous dinosaur from Madagascar raises more questions than it answers
The first new dinosaur named from Madagascar in nearly a decade, Dahalokely tokana was a carnivore measuring 9-14 feet long. Its fossils were found in 90-million-year-old rocks of northernmost Madagascar, from the time when Madagascar and India were a single isolated land mass. Dahalokely is potentially ancestral to later dinosaurs of both regions, and shortens a 95-million-year gap in Madagascar's dinosaur fossil record by 20 million years. (2013-04-18)

New research reveals how human ancestor walked, chewed, and moved
A team of scientists has pieced together how the hominid Australopithecus sediba (Au. sediba) walked, chewed, and moved nearly two million years ago. Their research also shows that Au. sediba had a notable feature that differed from that of modern humans -- a functionally longer and more flexible lower back. (2013-04-11)

Fossilized teeth provide new insight into human ancestor
A dental study of fossilized remains found in South Africa in 2008 provides new support that this species is one of the closest relatives to early humans. (2013-04-11)

Researchers demonstrate oldest dinosaur embryos
An international team of researchers, including a paleontologist from the University of Bonn, have proven dinosaur embryos to be the oldest ever found. The specimens of Lufengosaurus discovered in China lived during the lower Jurassic about 200 to 190 million years ago. (2013-04-11)

Unusual anal fin offers new insight into evolution
An unusual fossil fish that has fins behind its anus could have implications for human evolution according to a scientist at The University of Manchester. (2013-04-10)

Diversification in ancient tadpole shrimps challenges the term 'living fossil'
The term 'living fossil' has a controversial history. For decades, scientists have argued about its usefulness as it appears to suggest that some organisms have stopped evolving. New research has now investigated the origin of tadpole shrimps, a group commonly regarded as 'living fossils' which includes the familiar Triops. The research reveals that living species of tadpole shrimp are much younger than the fossils they so much resemble, calling into question the term 'living fossil'. (2013-04-02)

Dusting for prints from a fossil fish to understand evolutionary change
In 370 million-year-old red sandstone deposits in a highway roadcut, scientists have discovered a new species of armored fish in north central Pennsylvania. Studying and describing this fish's anatomy, they took advantage of a technique that may look like it was stolen from crime scene investigators. (2013-03-27)

Uncovering Africa's oldest known penguins
Africa isn't the kind of place you might expect to find penguins. But one species lives in Africa today, and new fossils confirm that as many as four penguin species coexisted on the continent in the past. Exactly why African penguin diversity plummeted is still a mystery, but changing sea levels may be to blame. The fossils represent the oldest evidence of penguins in Africa, predating previously described fossils by 5 to 7 million years. (2013-03-26)

UF fossil bird study on extinction patterns could help today's conservation efforts
A new University of Florida study of nearly 5,000 Haiti bird fossils shows contrary to a commonly held theory, human arrival 6,000 years ago didn't cause the island's birds to die simultaneously. (2013-03-21)

Skulls of early humans carry telltale signs of inbreeding, study suggests
Buried for 100,000 years at Xujiayao in the Nihewan Basin of northern China, the recovered skull pieces of an early human exhibit a now-rare congenital deformation that indicates inbreeding might well have been common among our ancestors, new research from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Washington University in St. Louis suggests. (2013-03-18)

UF researcher describes new 5-million-year-old saber-toothed cat from Florida
A University of Florida researcher has described a new genus and species of extinct saber-toothed cat from Polk County, Fla., based on additional fossil acquisitions of the animal over the last 25 years. (2013-03-14)

Strange phallus-shaped creature provides crucial missing link
Christopher Cameron of the University of Montreal's Department of Biological Sciences and his colleagues have unearthed a major scientific discovery -- a strange phallus-shaped creature they found in Canada's Burgess Shale fossil beds, located in Yoho National Park. The fossils were found in an area of shale beds that are 505 million years old. (2013-03-13)

4 dinosaur egg species identified in Lleida
A study headed by the Miquel Crusafont Catalan Palaeontology Institute has for the first time documented detailed records of dinosaur egg fossils in the Coll de Nargó archaeological site in Lleida, Spain. Up until now, only one type of dinosaur egg had been documented in the region. (2013-03-12)

Reconstruction of Earth climate history shows significance of recent temperature rise
Using data from 73 sites around the world, scientists have been able to reconstruct Earth's temperature history back to the end of the last Ice Age, revealing that the planet today is warmer than it has been during 70 to 80 percent of the time over the last 11,300 years. (2013-03-07)

Earth is warmer today than during 70 to 80 percent of the past 11,300 years
With data from 73 ice and sediment core monitoring sites around the world, scientists have reconstructed Earth's temperature history back to the end of the last Ice Age. The analysis reveals that the planet today is warmer than it's been during 70 to 80 percent of the last 11,300 years. (2013-03-07)

Scientists discover distant relatives of gardeners' friend
In a new article published in the Journal of Paleontology, two paleontologists, including one from Simon Fraser University, describe the most diverse group of fossilized green lacewing insects known. Green lacewings are familiar to gardeners, who value them in organic pest control, for their consumption of large numbers of aphids. The closest modern relatives to these insects are most diverse in southeastern Australia, the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. (2013-03-06)

UF scientists discover new crocodilian, hippo-like species from Panama
University of Florida paleontologists have discovered remarkably well-preserved fossils of two crocodilians and a mammal previously unknown to science during recent Panama Canal excavations that began in 2009. (2013-03-05)

Remains of extinct giant camel discovered in High Arctic by Canadian Museum of Nature
Remains of an extinct giant camel have been discovered on Ellesmere Island in Canada's High Arctic. The evidence collected by the Canadian Museum of Nature is from 30 fragments of a leg bone, dating to about three-and-a-half million years ago from the mid-Pliocene Epoch, when the planet was undergoing a global warm phase. (2013-03-05)

Alligator relatives slipped across ancient seaways
The uplift of the Isthmus of Panama 2.6 million years ago formed a land-bridge that has long thought to be the crucial step in the interchange of animals between the Americas. However, in the Mar. 2013 issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, researchers from the University of Florida and the Smithsonian Tropical Research institute describe fossil crocodilians that shed a surprising new light on the history of interchange and animal distributions between the Americas. (2013-03-04)

Feeding limbs and nervous system of one of Earth's earliest animals discovered
Unique fossils literally 'lift the lid' on ancient creature's head to expose one of the earliest examples of food manipulating limbs in evolutionary history, dating from around 530 million years ago. (2013-02-27)

Jurassic records warn of risk to marine life from global warming
The risk posed by global warming and rising ocean temperatures to the future health of the world's marine ecosystem has been highlighted by scientists studying fossil records. (2013-02-19)

Ancient fossilized sea creatures yield oldest biomolecules isolated directly from a fossil
Though scientists have long believed that complex organic molecules couldn't survive fossilization, some 350-million-year-old remains of aquatic sea creatures uncovered in Ohio, Indiana, and Iowa have challenged that assumption. (2013-02-18)

Canadian researcher helps put humans on the tree of life
A University of Toronto Scarborough researcher was part of a team that reconstructed the family tree of placental mammals -- a diverse group that includes cats, dogs, horses and humans. The research traces placental mammals back to a small, scampering, insect-eating creature that got its start 200,000 years or more after the extinction of the dinosaurs. (2013-02-07)

Largest-ever study of mammalian ancestry completed by renowned research team
A groundbreaking six-year research collaboration has produced the most complete picture yet of the evolution of placental mammals, the group that includes humans. Researchers from Carnegie Museum of Natural History are among the team of 23 that took part in this extensive interdisciplinary effort that utilizes molecular (DNA) and morphological (anatomy) data on an extraordinary scale. By combining these two types of data scientists reconstructed, to an unprecedented level of detail, the family tree of placental mammals. (2013-02-07)

New kind of extinct flying reptile discovered by scientists
A new kind of pterosaur, a flying reptile from the time of the dinosaurs, has been identified by scientists from the Transylvanian Museum Society in Romania, the University of Southampton in the UK and the Museau Nacional in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. (2013-02-04)

The brain of the ampelosaur from Cuenca (Spain) revealed
The differences with the only species of the genus known so far suggest that it could be a new species. The remains, which are about 70 million years old, were found at the site of Lo Hueco (Cuenca, Spain). (2013-01-23)

Tiny fossils hold answers to big questions on climate change
A new study reveals a unique 12,000 year record of marine algae fossils that may hold clues about past climate change. (2013-01-22)

Sex of early birds suggests dinosaur reproductive style
In a paper published in Nature Communications on Jan. 22, 2013, a team of paleontologists including Dr. Luis Chiappe, Director of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County's Dinosaur Institute, has discovered a way to determine the sex of an avian dinosaur species. (2013-01-22)

Scientists reassemble the backbone of life with a particle accelerator
Scientists have been able to reconstruct, for the first time, the intricate three-dimensional structure of the backbone of early tetrapods, the earliest four-legged animals. High-energy X-rays and a new data extraction protocol allowed the researchers to reconstruct the backbones of the 360 million year old fossils in exceptional detail and shed new light on how the first vertebrates moved from water onto land. The results are published 13 Jan. 2013 in Nature. (2013-01-13)

Study finds Jurassic ecosystems were similar to modern: Animals flourish among lush plants
In modern ecosystems, animals flourish amid lush vegetation. That was true 150 million years ago too, says a new study by paleontologist Timothy Myers, Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Myers applied ecological principles to geochemical data from fossil soils and found scientists can infer animal diversity from it: (2013-01-08)

Best evidence yet that dinosaurs used feathers for courtship
A University of Alberta researcher's examination of fossilized dinosaur tail bones has led to a breakthrough finding: some feathered dinosaurs used tail plumage to attract mates, much like modern-day peacocks and turkeys. (2013-01-04)

EARTH: Famous fossils and spectacular scenery at British Columbia's Burgess Shale
The Burgess Shale provides us with a rare glimpse into the softer side of paleontology. Most fossils are preserved hard parts -- bones, teeth and shells -- but one of the most famous fossil locales in the world, the Burgess Shale, reveals subtle soft body structures like gills and eyes delicately preserved between the layers of dark rock. This month, EARTH magazine contributor Mary Caperton Morton reminds us that no matter how well we think we know a fossil locality, it can still surprise us. (2013-01-02)

First freshwater mosasaur discovered
A new dinosaur species discovered in Hungary is the first known example of a mosasaur that lived in freshwater river environments similar to modern freshwater dolphins, according to research published December 19 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Laszlo Makadi from the Hungarian Natural History Museum, Hungary and colleagues from the University of Alberta, Canada and MTA-ELTE Lendület Dinosaur Research Group, Hungary. (2012-12-19)

Prehistoric ghosts revealing new details
Scientists at the University of Manchester have used synchrotron-based imaging techniques to identify previously unseen anatomy preserved in fossils. (2012-12-18)

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