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Old August 18th, 2021 #161
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Fossilized egg from prehistoric giant turtle reveals baby inside


The turtle that laid the egg may have had a shell as long as a person is tall, roaming the Earth alongside the dinosaurs.

AUGUST 18, 2021

Standing in a farmer's home in China's Henan Province in the summer of 2018, paleontologists Fenglu Han and Haishui Jiang peered down into a box of rounded lumps of rock. The farmer had collected the trove near his home in Neixiang County, which is renowned for its dinosaur eggs. One stony orb in particular caught the scientists' eyes. About the size and shape of a billiard ball, the fossil was unlike any dinosaur egg they'd seen before.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/s...ls-baby-inside
 
Old August 26th, 2021 #162
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Confiscated fossil turns out to be exceptional flying reptile from Brazil


Aug 25, 2021

A fossil acquired in a police raid has turned out to be one of the best-preserved flying reptiles ever found, according to a study published August 11, 2021 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Victor Beccari of the University of Săo Paulo and colleagues.

https://phys.org/news/2021-08-confis...le-brazil.html

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/s...ptiles-secrets
 
Old August 26th, 2021 #163
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Researchers describe a new fossil species representing the ancient forerunner of most modern reptiles


Aug 25, 2021

Lizards and snakes are a key component of most terrestrial ecosystems on earth today. Along with the charismatic tuatara of New Zealand (a "living fossil" represented by a single living species), squamates (all lizards and snakes) make up the Lepidosauria—the largest group of terrestrial vertebrates in the planet today with approximately 11,000 species, and by far the largest modern group of reptiles. Both squamates and tuataras have an extremely long evolutionary history. Their lineages are older than dinosaurs having originated and diverged from each other at some point around 260 million years ago. However, the early phase of lepidosaur evolution 260-150 million years ago, is marked by very fragmented fossils that do not provide much useful data to understand their early evolution, leaving the origins of this vastly diverse group of animals embedded in mystery for decades.

https://phys.org/news/2021-08-fossil...er-modern.html
 
Old September 26th, 2021 #164
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Fossil of Earliest Known Ankylosaur Unearthed in Morocco


Sep 24, 2021

The newly-discovered dinosaur species, Spicomellus afer, is the earliest-known ankylosaur and the first ankylosaur to be named from Africa.

Spicomellus afer lived in what is now Morocco during the Middle Jurassic period, some 168 million years ago.

The new species belongs to Ankylosauria, a diverse group of armored herbivorous dinosaurs.

http://www.sci-news.com/paleontology...fer-10102.html
 
Old October 21st, 2021 #165
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Researchers Discover First Dinosaur Era Crab Fully Preserved in 100-Million-Year-Old Amber


Oct 21, 2021

Discovery provides new insights into the evolution of crabs and when they spread around the world

Looking at the ancient piece of amber, Javier Luque’s first thought wasn’t whether the crustacean trapped inside could help fill a crucial gap in crab evolution. He just, more or less, wondered what the heck is a crab doing stuck in fossilized tree resin?

“In a way, it’s like finding a shrimp in amber,” said Luque, a post-doctoral researcher in the Harvard Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. “Talk about wrong place, wrong time.”

Luque spent three years trying to unravel the puzzle and, along with a team of international scientists, reported the findings on today (October 20, 2021) in Science Advances.

https://scitechdaily.com/researchers...ear-old-amber/
 
Old October 22nd, 2021 #166
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Fossil Treasure Trove Shows Complex Social Herd Behavior in Dinosaurs 193 Million Years Ago


Oct 21, 2021

Fossils indicate a communal nesting ground and adults who foraged and took care of the young as a herd, scientists say.

To borrow a line from the movie “Jurassic Park:” Dinosaurs do move in herds. And a new study shows that the prehistoric creatures lived in herds much earlier than previously thought.

In a paper appearing today (October 21, 2021) in Scientific Reports, researchers from MIT, Argentina, and South Africa detail their discovery of an exceptionally preserved group of early dinosaurs that shows signs of complex herd behavior as early as 193 million years ago — 40 million years earlier than other records of dinosaur herding.

https://scitechdaily.com/fossil-trea...ion-years-ago/
 
Old November 3rd, 2021 #167
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The curious case of the ancient whale bones

A trove of fossils in the Atacama Desert may hold lessons about the plight of modern whales.


Nov 3, 2021

Every year, thousands of whales strand — meaning that they wind up trapped on beaches or in shallow waters — and it’s really hard to figure out why.

It’s not for lack of trying. Teams of forensic researchers investigate stranded whales, studying organs, analyzing body parts with CT scanners, digging through stomach contents, and checking skin for scarring. But these meticulous whale detectives still often don’t find any answers.

“We can only about 50 percent of the time, if that much, give you a solid answer of why that animal died and why it’s stranded,” says Darlene Ketten, a marine biologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who refers to her work as “CSI: The Beach.”

https://www.vox.com/down-to-earth/20...a-desert-algae
 
Old November 8th, 2021 #168
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Ferocious ‘penis worms’ were the hermit crabs of the ancient seas


Nov 7, 2021

The Cambrian (543-490 million years ago) brought about the first major explosion of biodiversity. Earth, Virtually all modern animal ancestors first appeared. One of the most feared of them was the penis worm.

Technically known as the Priapulida — named after Priapus, the blessed god of the male reproductive organs in Greece — the penis worm, as is commonly known, has been around the world for 500 million years. It is a division of marine worms that survived in the sea. Their modern offspring live almost invisible in deep, muddy burrows in the water, occasionally astonishing fishermen with their floppy penis-shaped bodies.

https://www.livescience.com/penis-wo...shell-behavior
 
Old November 17th, 2021 #169
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A first in fossil research: Seeds sprouting from an amber-encased pine cone


Nov 16, 2021

Oregon State University research has uncovered the first fossil evidence of a rare botanical condition known as precocious germination in which seeds sprout before leaving the fruit.

In a paper published in Historical Biology, George Poinar Jr. of the Oregon State College of Science describes a pine cone, approximately 40 million years old, encased in Baltic amber from which several embryonic stems are emerging.

https://phys.org/news/2021-11-fossil...ased-cone.html
 
Old December 1st, 2021 #170
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New Species of Hypercarnivorous Ichthyosaur Identified


Nov 30, 2021

Kyhytysuka sachicarum swam in the Earth’s oceans during the Early Cretaceous epoch, some 130 million years ago.

Its well-preserved 1-m-long skull was uncovered in Colombia and initially assigned to a species called Platypterygius sachicarum.

“This animal evolved a unique dentition that allowed it to eat large prey,” said Dr. Hans Larsson, director of the Redpath Museum at McGill University.

“Whereas other ichthyosaurs had small, equally sized teeth for feeding on small prey, this new species modified its tooth sizes and spacing to build an arsenal of teeth for dispatching large prey, like big fishes and other marine reptiles.”

http://www.sci-news.com/paleontology...rum-10319.html
 
Old December 8th, 2021 #171
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Fossils Reveal Unique Walking Behavior of Quetzalcoatlus


Dec 8, 2021

With a 11-12-m wingspan (37-40 feet), Quetzalcoatlus is the largest flying organism ever known and one of the most familiar pterosaurs to the public. Its fossils were first discovered in 1971 by University of Texas at Austin graduate student Douglas Lawson in Big Bend National Park, Texas, the United States. Despite a half century of interest, Quetzalcoatlus remains very incompletely described. Some paleontologists think the ancient giant rocked forward on its wingtips like a vampire bat; or that it built up speed by running and flapping like an albatross; or that it didn’t fly at all. But, according to new research, Quetzalcoatlus probably leaped, jumping at least 2.4 m (8 feet) into the air before lifting off by sweeping its wings.

http://www.sci-news.com/paleontology...lus-10346.html
 
Old December 19th, 2021 #172
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‘Mammoth graveyard’ containing rare skeletons discovered

Dec 19, 2021

Archaeologists have unearthed the “near-pristine” remains of five Ice Age mammoths while excavating a newly discovered 200,000-year-old graveyard in the UK. Tools perhaps used by Neanderthals to hunt the animals were also found.

The remains, including those of two adults, two juveniles, and an infant, belong to a species of Steppe mammoth, an ancestor of the Woolly mammoth. More bones are expected to be uncovered as digging continues at the vast site, a gravel quarry in the Cotswolds area near the town of Swindon.

https://news.google.com/articles/CAI...S&ceid=US%3Aen
 
Old 4 Weeks Ago #173
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Fossil discovery of 5 mammoths with Neanderthal tools reveals life in Ice Age


Dec 29, 2021

The well-preserved mammoth remains belonged to two adults, two juveniles and an infant. Their bones were found next to a Neanderthal ax and small flint scrapers that were used to clean animal skins.

The artefacts from this site are so well preserved that archaeologists have also found remains of brown bears, steppe bison, seeds, pollen, delicate beetle wings and freshwater snail shells. Together they tell the story of the site’s environment hundreds of thousands of years ago.

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/12/29/w...scn/index.html
 
Old 2 Weeks Ago #174
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See stunning fossils of insects, fish and plants from an ancient Australian forest

New specimens show a parasitoid wasp, fish that have dined on phantom midges and more


Jan 7, 2022

A new trove of plant, insect, fish and other fossils offers an unprecedented snapshot of Australia’s wetter, forest-dominated past.

McGraths Flat in New South Wales contains thousands of beautifully preserved specimens of flowering plants, ferns, spiders, insects and fish, vertebrate paleontologist Matthew McCurry and colleagues report January 7 in Science Advances.

Images of the fossils’ soft tissues, captured with scanning electron microscopy, reveal them in astonishing detail, from the facets of a crane fly’s compound eye to phantom midges trapped in a fish’s stomach.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/...ts-fish-plants
 
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