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‘Living Fossil’ May Upend Basic Tenet of Evolutionary Theory


The field of evolutionary biology has seen its share of spirited debates. But if there’s one principle that…
Fossil is the oldest-known scorpion


Scientists studying fossils collected 35 years ago have identified them as the oldest-known scorpion species, a prehistoric animal…
Scientists use ancient marine fossils to unravel long-standing climate puzzle

January 10, 2020

Cardiff University scientists have shed new light on the Earth’s climate behaviour during the last known period of…
Bite marks in fossils reveal demise of our early relatives

December 19, 2019

New fossil data show that our fishy ancestors may have risen to dominance by becoming predators of their…
New study identifies last known occurrence of extinct human ancestor

December 19, 2019

Scientists have identified the last known members of an extinct species of early humans known as Homo erectus, the first…
Two in one: Fossil shells reveal both global mercury contamination and warming when dinosaurs perished

December 17, 2019

The impact of an asteroid or comet is acknowledged as the principal cause of the mass extinction that…
First complete Jurassic marine reptile skull unlocks 150-year-old mystery

December 13, 2019

A new scientific study led by researchers at The University of Manchester has re-examined a series of fossil skulls from…
95-million-year-old fossil reveals new group of pterosaurs

December 2, 2019

Ancient flying reptiles known as pterosaurs were much more diverse than originally thought, according to a new study…
90-million-year-old ‘comma’ shrimp fossil sheds new light on modern species

November 29, 2019

The discovery of hundreds of finely preserved 90-million-year-old fossils in South America has revealed the oldest direct ancestor…
Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESCs). Image credit: Nissim Benvenisty via Wikimedia, CC BY 2.5
Animal embryos evolved before animals

November 28, 2019

A new study by an international team of researchers, led by scientists from the University of Bristol and…
Paleontologist Scott Persons with Hannah, the Styracosaurus skull fossil he discovered in 2015 and named after his dog. (Photo courtesy of Scott Persons)
Dinosaur skull turns paleontology assumptions on their head

November 27, 2019

A team of researchers at the University of Alberta has unearthed a well-preserved Styracosaurus skull with facial imperfections that could…
World’s oldest comma shrimp was way ahead of the curve

November 27, 2019

Scientists have discovered the world’s oldest “comma” shrimp, a tiny crustacean shaped like its punctuation namesake. The 90-million-year-old…
Ancient snake’s cheekbone sheds light on how modern snake skulls evolved

November 21, 2019

Finding replaces guesswork about snake evolution with empirical evidence. A tiny fossilized cheekbone in a 100-million-year-old snake skull…
Dinosaur discovery sheds new light on how raptors evolved

October 14, 2019

The discovery of a nearly complete fossil of a small, feathered dinosaur in an Alberta provincial park sheds…
Ancient fossils reveal fresh clues about early life on land

October 10, 2019

Slime has been present on Earth for a very long time — almost 2 billion years, according to…
Meet the ‘mold pigs,’ a new group of invertebrates from 30 million years ago

October 9, 2019

Fossils preserved in Dominican amber reveal a new family, genus and species of microinvertebrate from the mid-Tertiary period,…
Paleontologists find traces of sabre-toothed cat in Medicine Hat

October 7, 2019

New research shows that the fearsome sabre-toothed predator Smilodon fatalis lived in Alberta during the Ice Age, according to scientists…
U of T alumnus Cédric Aria at the main Marble Canyon quarry site in Canada’s Kootenay National Park during the summer of 2014 (photo by Jean-Bernard Caron)
Researchers discover tiny, 500-million-year-old predecessor to scorpions and spiders

September 13, 2019

Paleontologists working on the world-renowned Burgess Shale have revealed a new species named Mollisonia plenovenatrix, which they describe as the…
Scientist finds fossils dating back 550 million years, among earliest known displays of animal mobility

September 5, 2019

In a remarkable evolutionary discovery, a team of scientists co-led by a Virginia Tech geoscientist has discovered what…
The type specimen of Aenigmaspina pantyfynnonensis, photograph and 3D scan model, produced by Erin Patrick as part of her Masters thesis work in Bristol. This little block, the size of the palm of your hand, shows the backbone, curved round from top right to bottom left, and in the middle the ribs and shoulder blades. Scale bar is 1 cm. Image credit: University of Bristol
A new reptile species from Wales named by Bristol student

September 2, 2019

After resting for decades in the storerooms of the Natural History Museum in London, a fragmentary fossil from…
3.8-million-year-old fossil cranium unveils more about human ancestry

September 2, 2019

In 2016, researchers working in the Afar region of Ethiopia, some 35 miles away from Hadar, the region…
First human ancestors breastfed for longer than contemporary relatives

August 30, 2019

By analysing the fossilised teeth of some of our most ancient ancestors, a team of scientists led by…
A Desmoceras fossil. A cephalopod that thrived in the early Cretaceous, 146 to 100 million years ago. Note the fossilized biomineral nacre or mother of pearl. Image credit: Pupa Gilbert
Making biominerals: nature’s recipe is old, evolved more than once

August 22, 2019

In recent years, scientists have teased out many of the secrets of biomineralization, the process by which sea…
One-toed Brazilian dinosaur dashed across ancient deserts

July 29, 2019

A new theropod dinosaur has been discovered from the little-explored region of northern Paraná in modern Brazil. Named Vespersaurus,…
The fossil of Microdocodon gracilis is preserved in two rock slabs. It was found in a site near the Wuhua village in the Daohugou area of Inner Mongolia, China. (Photo by Zhe-Xi Luo, the University of Chicago)
Here’s how mammals went from big gulps to small swallows

July 22, 2019

Researchers have found the earliest known evidence of a mammal predecessor with sophisticated bones at the back of…
UO team says Oregon fossil came from a bear-sized meat-eater

July 17, 2019

During her senior year at the University of Oregon, Selina Robson pulled a heavily damaged jaw from the…
Small horned dinosaur from China, a Triceratops relative, walked on two feet

July 15, 2019

Many dinosaur species are known from scant remains, with some estimates suggesting 75% are known from five or…
Some crocs of the past were plant eaters

July 4, 2019

Based on careful study of fossilized teeth, scientists Keegan Melstom and Randall Irmis at the Natural History Museum…
Blue colour tones in fossilised prehistoric feathers

June 26, 2019

Examining fossilised pigments, scientists from the University of Bristol have uncovered new insights into blue colour tones in…
Slime travelers

June 21, 2019

New UC Riverside-led research settles a longstanding debate about whether the most ancient animal communities were deliberately mobile.…
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