Current Fossils News and Events

Current Fossils News and Events, Fossils News Articles.
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Water-to-land transition in early tetrapods
The water-to-land transition is one of the most important major transitions in vertebrate evolution. However, there is still uncertainty about when the water-land transition took place and how terrestrial early tetrapods really were. A new paper in Nature addresses these questions and shows although these early tetrapods were still tied to water and had aquatic features, they also had adaptations that indicate some ability to move on land. (2020-11-25)

From fins to limbs and water to land
The study shows how and when the first groups of land explorers became better walkers than swimmers. The analysis spans the fin-to-limb transition and reconstructs the evolution of terrestrial movement in early tetrapods. (2020-11-25)

First exhaustive review of fossils recovered from Iberian archaeological sites
The Iberian Peninsula has one of the richest paleontological records in Western Europe. However,''there were generally only scarce indications of the collection and use of fossils at Iberian sites during Prehistory, and thus the documentation of this behaviour presented an anomalous situation compared to other regions of Europe, where numerous studies have been published on this practice. (2020-11-24)

Ireland's only dinosaurs discovered in antrim
The only dinosaur bones ever found on the island of Ireland have been formally confirmed for the first time by a team of experts from the University of Portsmouth and Queen's University Belfast, led by Dr Mike Simms, a curator and palaeontologist at National Museums NI. (2020-11-24)

A new species of rare phylum Loricifera discovered in the deep-sea surrounding Japan
The Loricifera is a microscopic, sediment-dwelling marine invertebrate, with a head covered in over 200 spines and an abdomen with a protective shell - known as a lorica. Since it was first discovered in 1983, just under 40 species have been written about. Now, that number is one more thanks to a group of scientists who reported on a new genus and species of Loricifera. (2020-11-24)

Identical evolution of isolated organisms
Palaeontologists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and the University of Calgary in Canada have provided new proof of parallel evolution: conodonts, early vertebrates from the Permian period, adapted to new habitats in almost identical ways despite living in different geographical regions. The researchers were able to prove that this was the case using fossil teeth found in different geographical locations. (2020-11-23)

Study reveals true origin of oldest evidence of animals
Two teams of scientists have resolved a longstanding controversy surrounding the origins of complex life on Earth. The joint studies found molecular fossils extracted from 635-million-year-old rocks aren't the earliest evidence of animals, but instead common algae. (2020-11-23)

New analysis refutes claim that dinosaurs were in decline before asteroid hit
New research suggests that dinosaurs were not in decline before the asteroid hit. The study contradicts previous theories and concludes that had the impact not occurred dinosaurs might have continued to be the dominant group of land animals. (2020-11-17)

Paleontologists uncover three new species of extinct walruses in Orange County
Millions of years ago, in the warm Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California, walrus species without tusks lived abundantly. But in a new study, Cal State Fullerton paleontologists have identified three new walrus species discovered in Orange County and one of the new species has ''semi-tusks'' -- or longer teeth. (2020-11-16)

Fossil shark turns in to mystery pterosaur
Lead author of the project, University of Portsmouth PhD student Roy Smith, discovered the mystery creature amongst fossil collections housed in the Sedgwick Museum of Cambridge and the Booth Museum at Brighton that were assembled when phosphate mining was at its peak in the English Fens between 1851 and 1900. These fossils found while workmen were digging phosphate nodules were frequently sold to earn a little bit of extra money. (2020-11-10)

New fossil seal species rewrites history
An international team of biologists, led by Monash University, has discovered a new species of extinct monk seal from the Southern Hemisphere -- describing it as the biggest breakthrough in seal evolution in 70 years. (2020-11-10)

Half a billion years old microfossils may yield new knowledge of animal origins
When and how did the first animals appear? Science has long sought an answer. Uppsala University researchers and colleagues in Denmark have now jointly found, in Greenland, embryo-like microfossils up to 570 million years old, revealing that organisms of this type were dispersed throughout the world. The study is published in Communications Biology. (2020-11-09)

Ancient crocodiles' family tree reveals unexpected twists and turns
Despite 300 years of research, and a recent renaissance in the study of their biological make-up, the mysterious, marauding teleosauroids have remained enduringly elusive. Scientific understanding of this distant cousin of present day long snouted gharials has been hampered by a poor grasp of their evolutionary journey - until now. (2020-11-06)

Indian fossils support new hypothesis for origin of hoofed mammals
New research published today in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology describes a fossil family that illuminates the origin of perissodactyls - the group of mammals that includes horses, rhinos, and tapirs. It provides insights on the controversial question of where these hoofed animals evolved, concluding that they arose in or near present day India. (2020-11-06)

New genus of chimaerid fish classified with help from Kazan University expert
A dental plate was found by Canadian national Stephen Suntok on the Pacific coast of British Columbia. Evgeny Popov, a renowned expert in chimaerids, was asked to assist in classification. (2020-11-05)

Core value of the Chengjian fauna: evolution of animals and birth of basic human organs
The Chengjiang lagerstatte is an extraordinarily diverse fossil site in Yunnan Province, China. For three decades, Chinese researchers have made key discoveries regarding early fossils. These fossils helped scientists to generate a phylogenetic ''tree of life'' for early animals and provide evidence of when important human organs first evolved. In a new study, Dr Degan Shu from Northwest University and his team discuss their findings and highlight the scientific and philosophical significance of this site. (2020-11-05)

Earliest example of a rapid-fire tongue found in 'weird and wonderful' extinct amphibians
Fossils of bizarre, armored amphibians known as albanerpetontids provide the oldest evidence of a slingshot-style tongue, a new Science study shows. (2020-11-05)

A species identified in 2016 as an ancient form of chameleon was misidentified at that time, say researchers
A species identified in 2016 as an ancient form of chameleon was misidentified at that time, say researchers, many of whom were part of the original 2016 report. (2020-11-05)

A 520-million-year-old five-eyed fossil reveals arthropod origin
Researchers from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIGPAS) have discovered a shrimp-like fossil with five eyes, which has provided important insights into the early evolutionary history of arthropods. (2020-11-04)

New species of ancient cynodont, 220 million years old, discovered
''This discovery sheds light on the geography and environment during the early evolution of mammals,'' Kligman said. (2020-11-03)

New research reports discovery of 5-million-year-old honey badger-like animal
Five million years ago, dangerous carnivores - such as giant wolverines and otters, bears, sabertooth cats, and large hyaenids - prowled the West Coast of South Africa. Today we can confirm that, among them, fearlessly roamed a smaller relative of the living honey badger. (2020-11-02)

New study finds earliest evidence for mammal social behavior
A new study led by paleontologists at the University of Washington indicates that the earliest evidence of mammal social behavior goes back to the Age of Dinosaurs. The multituberculate Filikomys primaevus engaged in multi-generational, group-nesting and burrowing behavior, and possibly lived in colonies, some 75.5 million years ago. (2020-11-02)

Fossils reveal mammals mingled in age of dinosaurs
A cluster of ancient mammal fossils discovered in western Montana reveal that mammals were social earlier than previously believed, a new study finds. (2020-11-02)

Plankton turn hunters to survive dinosaur-killing asteroid impact
New research by an international team of scientists shows how marine organisms were forced to 'reboot' to survive following the asteroid impact 66 million years ago which killed three quarters of life on earth. (2020-10-30)

To survive asteroid impact, algae learned to hunt
Tiny, seemingly harmless ocean plants survived the darkness of the asteroid strike that killed the dinosaurs by learning a ghoulish behavior -- eating other living creatures. (2020-10-30)

Giant lizards learnt to fly over millions of years
Most detailed every study into how animals evolve to better suit their environments shows that pterosaurs become more efficient at flying over millions of years before going extinct with the dinosaurs. (2020-10-28)

Antarctica yields oldest fossils of giant birds with 21-foot wingspans
Some of the largest birds in history, called pelagornithids, arose a few million years after the mass extinction that killed off the dinosaurs and patrolled the oceans with giant wingspans for some 60 million years. A team of paleontologists has found two fossils -- each from individual pelagornithids with wingspans of 20 feet or more -- that show this gigantism arose at least 50 million years ago and lasted at least 10 million years. (2020-10-27)

African crocodiles lived in Spain six million years ago
The crocodiles that inhabited the coasts of North Africa during the late Miocene period embarked on a journey to Europe across what is now the Mediterranean basin. This is confirmed by the analysis of the first fossils of the Crocodylus genus in the Iberian Peninsula, found in the Valencian site of Venta del Moro between 1995 and 2006, and which are now being described for the first time. (2020-10-22)

Deep-sea corals reveal secrets of rapid carbon dioxide increase as the last ice age ended
The Southern Ocean played a critical role in the rapid atmospheric carbon dioxide increase during the last deglaciation that took place 20,000 to 10,000 years ago, an international team of researchers report in Science Advances. The chemical signatures of nitrogen and carbon in the coral fossils revealed that ocean carbon sequestration decreased as phytoplankton failed to devour macronutrients supplied by upwelling currents in the Southern Ocean and trap carbon dioxide in the deep ocean. (2020-10-16)

Beak bone reveals pterosaur like no other
A new species of small pterosaur - similar in size to a turkey - has been discovered, which is unlike any other pterosaur seen before due to its long slender toothless beak. (2020-10-14)

Oldest monkey fossils outside of Africa found
Three fossils found in a lignite mine in southeastern Yunan Province, China, are about 6.4 million years old, indicate monkeys existed in Asia at the same time as apes, and are probably the ancestors of some of the modern monkeys in the area, according to an international team of researchers. (2020-10-09)

Scientists reconstruct beetles from the Cretaceous
An international research team led by the University of Bonn (Germany) and Palacky University (Czech Republic) has examined four newly found specimens of the Mysteriomorphidae beetle using computer tomography and has been able to reconstruct them. The results allow to draw conclusions about the evolution of the species during the Cretaceous period. The study has been published in the journal ''Scientific Reports''. (2020-10-08)

Paleontologists identify new species of mosasaur
A new species of an ancient marine reptile evolved to strike terror into the hearts of the normally safe, fast-swimming fish has been identified by a team of University of Alberta researchers, shedding light on what it took to survive in highly competitive ecosystems. (2020-10-07)

The first human settlers on islands caused extinctions
Though some believe prehistoric humans lived in harmony with nature, a new analysis of fossils shows human arrival in the Bahamas caused some birds to be lost from the islands and other species to be completely wiped out. (2020-10-06)

Ice Age manatees may have called Texas home
Manatees don't live year-round in Texas, but these gentle sea cows are known to occasionally visit, swimming in for a 'summer vacation' and returning to warmer waters for the winter. New research has found fossil evidence for manatees along the Texas coast dating back to the most recent ice age. The discovery raises questions about whether manatees have been visiting for thousands of years, or if ice age manatees once called Texas home. (2020-10-01)

Dinosaur feather study debunked
A new study published in ''Scientific Reports'' provides substantial evidence that the first fossil feather ever to be discovered does belong to the iconic bird-like dinosaur, Archaeopteryx. This debunks a recent theory that the fossil feather originated from a different species. (2020-09-30)

New study reveals how reptiles divided up the spoils in ancient seas
While dinosaurs ruled the land in the Mesozoic, the oceans were filled by predators such as crocodiles and giant lizards, but also entirely extinct groups such as ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs. Now for the first time, researchers at the University of Bristol have modelled the changing ecologies of these great sea dragons. (2020-09-30)

Sentinels of ocean acidification impacts survived Earth's last mass extinction
Two groups of tiny, delicate marine organisms, sea butterflies and sea angels, were found to be surprisingly resilient--having survived dramatic global climate change and Earth's most recent mass extinction event 66 million years ago, according to research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (2020-09-28)

Naked prehistoric monsters! Evidence that prehistoric flying reptiles probably had
Pterosaur expert Dr David Unwin from the University of Leicester's Centre for Palaeobiology Research, and Professor Dave Martill, of the University of Portsmouth have examined the evidence that these creatures had feathers and believe they were in fact bald (2020-09-28)

Family care? Healed injuries suggest social behavior in ancestral wolves
Wolves today live and hunt in packs, which helps them take down large prey. But when did this group behavior evolve? An international research team has reported specimens of an ancestral wolf, Canis chihliensis, from the Ice Age of north China (~1.3 million years ago), with debilitating injuries to the jaws and leg. The wolf survived these injuries long enough to heal, supporting the likelihood of food-sharing and family care in this early canine. (2020-09-24)

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