Scientists Say Mass Extinction of Marine Megafauna Occurred 2-3 Million Years Ago
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Scientists Say Mass Extinction of Marine Megafauna Occurred 2-3 Million Years Ago

A previously unknown mass extinction may have killed up to a third of large marine animals 2-3 million years ago, according to an international team of paleontologists. Carcharocles…

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Fossil from Mongolia is Ancient Relative of Today’s Ginkgo biloba
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Fossil from Mongolia is Ancient Relative of Today’s Ginkgo biloba

Exceptionally well-preserved specimens unearthed in Early Cretaceous sediments of Mongolia belong to an ancient, dinosaur-era relative of the living plant Ginkgo biloba (today is native only to China).…

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World’s Most Diverse Collection of Dinosaur Footprints Unveiled
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World’s Most Diverse Collection of Dinosaur Footprints Unveiled

A group of paleontologists from the University of Queensland and James Cook University has documented the most diverse assemblage of dinosaur tracks in the world on the north-western…

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Daspletosaurus horneri: New Tyrannosaur Species Discovered
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Daspletosaurus horneri: New Tyrannosaur Species Discovered

Paleontologists have unveiled a remarkable new species of tyrannosaurine dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous epoch — a cousin of the fearsome predator Tyrannosaurus rex. Life reconstruction of the…

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Blood-Engorged Tick Found in Dominican Amber
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Blood-Engorged Tick Found in Dominican Amber

A blood-engorged nymphal tick of the genus Amblyomma surrounded by fossilized mammalian erythrocytes (red blood cells) has been discovered in a piece of 15-45-million-year-old amber. The discovery is…

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Teleocrater rhadinus: Early Dinosaur Relative Had Surprising Crocodile-Like Look
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Teleocrater rhadinus: Early Dinosaur Relative Had Surprising Crocodile-Like Look

Paleontologists have long wondered what the earliest dinosaur relatives looked like. Most assumed that they would look like dwarf dinosaurs and walk on two legs. The discovery of…

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Sea Scorpions Used Striking ‘Weapon’ to Dispatch Prey, Paleontologists Say
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Sea Scorpions Used Striking ‘Weapon’ to Dispatch Prey, Paleontologists Say

Eurypterids, better known as sea scorpions, used their serrated-spine-tipped tails to dispatch their prey, according to new research by University of Alberta paleontologists Scott Persons and John Acorn.…

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Tokummia katalepsis: Cambrian Marine Predator Had More Than 50 Legs, Can Opener-Like Pincers
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Tokummia katalepsis: Cambrian Marine Predator Had More Than 50 Legs, Can Opener-Like Pincers

Paleontologists have uncovered a fossil species — named Tokummia katalepsis — that sheds light on the origin of Mandibulata (mandibulates), the most diverse and abundant group of animals,…

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Galeamopus pabsti: New Species of Long-Necked Dinosaur Identified
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Galeamopus pabsti: New Species of Long-Necked Dinosaur Identified

A new species of sauropod dinosaur that lived about 152 million years ago (Jurassic period) has been identified from fossils found in Wyoming. Galeamopus pabsti in its environment…

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45-55 Million Year Old Orchid Pollinaria Attached to Pollinating Insect Found in Piece of Baltic Amber
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45-55 Million Year Old Orchid Pollinaria Attached to Pollinating Insect Found in Piece of Baltic Amber

A new study published in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society documents evidence of an orchid fossil trapped in Baltic amber that dates back 45-55 million years…

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Earliest Signs of Microbial Life on Land Found in 3.48-Billion-Year-Old Hot Spring Deposits
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Earliest Signs of Microbial Life on Land Found in 3.48-Billion-Year-Old Hot Spring Deposits

Fossil evidence of early microbial life has been found in ancient hot spring deposits in the Dresser Formation in the Pilbara Craton, Western Australia, that date back approximately…

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Beibeilong sinensis: Paleontologists Identify New Species of Cassowary-Like Dinosaur
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Beibeilong sinensis: Paleontologists Identify New Species of Cassowary-Like Dinosaur

A team of paleontologists from Canada, China, the United States and Slovak Republic has identified a partial clutch of large dinosaur eggs with a closely associated baby dinosaur…

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Extinct Giant Sloths Had Vegetarian Diet, Study Shows
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Extinct Giant Sloths Had Vegetarian Diet, Study Shows

Giant sloths, massive animals that lived in the Americas during the Ice Age, subsisted on an exclusively plant-based diet, according to an isotopic analysis of bones reported in…

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Ordovician Mass Extinction May Have Been Triggered by Volcanic Eruptions
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Ordovician Mass Extinction May Have Been Triggered by Volcanic Eruptions

Geologists from Tohoku University, Japan, Amherst College and Washington University in Saint Louis, the United States, say they may have found the cause of the end-Ordovician mass extinction,…

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Paleontologists Identify New Pliosaur Species: Luskhan itilensis
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Paleontologists Identify New Pliosaur Species: Luskhan itilensis

A new species of marine reptile from the Cretaceous period has been identified from fossils found on the eroded banks of the Volga River. Artist’s reconstruction of Luskhan…

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Earth’s Earliest Primates Lived in Treetops, Paleontologists Say
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Earth’s Earliest Primates Lived in Treetops, Paleontologists Say

Earth’s earliest primates were tree dwellers, according to a team of paleontologists led by Dr. Stephen Chester, an assistant professor at Brooklyn College, City University of New York.…

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Japanese Paleontologists Unearth Nearly Complete Skeleton of Duck-Billed Dinosaur
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Japanese Paleontologists Unearth Nearly Complete Skeleton of Duck-Billed Dinosaur

In a stunning fossil discovery in Japan, paleontologists unearthed a nearly complete skeleton of a duck-billed dinosaur that lived approximately 72 million years ago. A nearly-complete skeleton of…

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Pioneering Technology Sheds New Light on Megalosaurus, World’s First Scientifically-Described Dinosaur
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Pioneering Technology Sheds New Light on Megalosaurus, World’s First Scientifically-Described Dinosaur

A state-of-the-art CT scanning technology has shed fresh light on Megalosaurus bucklandii, the first dinosaur ever named and described scientifically — thanks to new research from the Universities…

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Elephant Family Tree Needs a Rewrite
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Elephant Family Tree Needs a Rewrite

According to new research published in the journal eLife, the straight-tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus), a species of giant elephant that lived 1.5 million to 100,000 years ago, is…

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Paleontologists Find Oldest Fossil Mushroom: Gondwanagaricites magnificus
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Paleontologists Find Oldest Fossil Mushroom: Gondwanagaricites magnificus

Gondwanagaricites magnificus represents the oldest fossil mushroom to date and the first fossil mushroom from the ancient supercontinent Gondwana. The gilled mushroom Gondwanagaricites magnificus lived during the Early…

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Giant Flying Turkeys Lived in Australia 1-3 Million Years Ago
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Giant Flying Turkeys Lived in Australia 1-3 Million Years Ago

Progura gallinacea, a species of extinct giant brush turkey that lived in Australia during the Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene (1-3 million years ago), is among five megapode…

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Meet Saccorhytus coronarius, Humans’ Earliest-Known Ancestor
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Meet Saccorhytus coronarius, Humans’ Earliest-Known Ancestor

A microscopic, bag-like marine creature that lived approximately 540 million years ago (Fortunian stage of the Cambrian period) has been identified from microfossils found in Shaanxi Province, China.…

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Paleontologists Find 450-Million-Year-Old Fossilized Trilobite Eggs
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Paleontologists Find 450-Million-Year-Old Fossilized Trilobite Eggs

A research team led by Western Illinois University scientist Thomas Hegna has announced the discovery of two pyritized, egg-bearing specimens of the Ordovician trilobite Triarthrus eatoni. Left: ventrally…

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Mid-Cretaceous Burmese Amber Preserves Alien-Looking Insect
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Mid-Cretaceous Burmese Amber Preserves Alien-Looking Insect

In a paper published in the journal Cretaceous Research, Oregon State University researchers described a never-before-seen insect species found in a piece of 100-million-year-old amber excavated from a…

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Paleontologists Find Collagen in 80-Million-Year-Old Brachylophosaurus Fossil
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Paleontologists Find Collagen in 80-Million-Year-Old Brachylophosaurus Fossil

A team of paleontologists led by North Carolina State University researchers has isolated collagen peptides from the fossilized femur of Brachylophosaurus canadensis, a duck-billed dinosaur (hadrosaur) that lived…

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Humans Caused Extinction of Australia’s Prehistoric Giant Animals: New Evidence
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Humans Caused Extinction of Australia’s Prehistoric Giant Animals: New Evidence

New evidence indicates the primary cause of megafaunal extinction in Australia 45,000 years ago was likely a result of humans, not climate change. A paper on the subject…

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Siamogale melilutra: Giant Otter Fossils Reveal New Species
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Siamogale melilutra: Giant Otter Fossils Reveal New Species

An international team of paleontologists has identified a new species of giant otter that lived in what is now China during the latest Miocene, approximately 6.2 million years…

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Hyoliths: Mysterious Cambrian Animals Classified as Lophophorates
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Hyoliths: Mysterious Cambrian Animals Classified as Lophophorates

Paleontologists have finally determined what hyoliths — a group of extinct marine creatures — actually are. Reconstruction of the hyolith Haplophrentis on the Cambrian sea floor. Image credit:…

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Dwykaselachus oosthuizeni: Permian Fossil Reveals Origins of Chimaeras
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Dwykaselachus oosthuizeni: Permian Fossil Reveals Origins of Chimaeras

CT scans of the fossilized skull of Dwykaselachus oosthuizeni — a shark-like fish that lived during the Permian period, around 280 million years ago — reveal the origin…

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Eggs of Non-Avian Dinosaurs Took 3-6 Months to Hatch
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Eggs of Non-Avian Dinosaurs Took 3-6 Months to Hatch

Non-avian dinosaur eggs took a long time to hatch — between 3 and 6 months, according to new research on the teeth of fossilized dinosaur embryos. Herds of…

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Limusaurus: Beaked, Bird-Like Dinosaur Species Had Teeth as Juveniles, Lost Them as They Grew
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Limusaurus: Beaked, Bird-Like Dinosaur Species Had Teeth as Juveniles, Lost Them as They Grew

An international team of paleontologists has discovered that Limusaurus inextricabilis, a species of Jurassic dinosaur, lost its teeth in adolescence and did not grow another set as adults.…

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Tingmiatornis arctica: Large, Toothed Water Bird Lived in High Arctic 90 Million Years Ago
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Tingmiatornis arctica: Large, Toothed Water Bird Lived in High Arctic 90 Million Years Ago

A team of paleontologists has found the remains of a prehistoric bird that lived 90 million years ago (Cretaceous period) in the Canadian Arctic. An artist’s conception of…

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Feathered Dinosaur Tail Found Encased in Mid-Cretaceous Burmese Amber
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Feathered Dinosaur Tail Found Encased in Mid-Cretaceous Burmese Amber

An international team of paleontologists from China, Canada and the United Kingdom has discovered the tail of a non-avian theropod dinosaur (likely a coelurosaur) trapped in a piece…

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Miocene Ground Beetle Fossils Found in Antarctica
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Miocene Ground Beetle Fossils Found in Antarctica

Fossilized forewings (elytra) from two individuals, discovered at the Oliver Bluffs on the Beardmore Glacier, revealed the first ground beetle species known from Antarctica. Research describing the new…

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Ancient Melanosomes, Beta-Keratin Found in Fossilized Feathers of Early Cretaceous Bird
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Ancient Melanosomes, Beta-Keratin Found in Fossilized Feathers of Early Cretaceous Bird

An international team of paleontologists has found evidence of beta-keratin and melanosome preservation in a 130-million-year-old specimen of the Early Cretaceous bird Eoconfuciusornis. Eoconfuciusornis zhengi. Image credit: Nobu…

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Qilinyu rostrata: Silurian Fish from China Sheds Light on Jaw Evolution
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Qilinyu rostrata: Silurian Fish from China Sheds Light on Jaw Evolution

The discovery of a 423-million-year-old fossil in China has shed light on the evolution of the tripartite (three-part) jaw, revealing a previously unknown stage of jaw evolution in…

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Avimimus Dinosaurs were Gregarious, Social Creatures, Paleontologists Say
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Avimimus Dinosaurs were Gregarious, Social Creatures, Paleontologists Say

Dozens of fossils from a bird-like theropod dinosaur known as Avimimus have been unearthed in a single bonebed in Mongolia, providing strong evidence that they were gregarious, social…

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Savannasaurus elliottorum: New Dinosaur Discovered in Australia
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Savannasaurus elliottorum: New Dinosaur Discovered in Australia

A new genus and species of sauropod dinosaur from the mid-Cretaceous has been discovered in western Queensland, Australia. Savannasaurus elliottorum. Image credit: Travis R. Tischler. The plant-eating sauropod…

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Paleontologists Find Fossilized Dinosaur Brain Tissue
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Paleontologists Find Fossilized Dinosaur Brain Tissue

A strange brown pebble found near Bexhill in Sussex, UK, has been identified as the first known example of fossilized brain tissue from a dinosaur. Brain endocast of…

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Oncorhynchus rastrosus: Sabertooth Salmon Used Tusk-Shaped Teeth for Fighting and Display
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Oncorhynchus rastrosus: Sabertooth Salmon Used Tusk-Shaped Teeth for Fighting and Display

The sabertooth salmon (Oncorhynchus rastrosus), a giant species of salmon that swam in Pacific Northwest waters from the mid-Miocene to early Pliocene, fought with tusk-shaped teeth during the…

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Tongtianlong limosus: New Species of Feathered Dinosaur Discovered in China
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Tongtianlong limosus: New Species of Feathered Dinosaur Discovered in China

A new species of oviraptorid dinosaur has been discovered in southern China dating back approximately 69 million years to the latest Cretaceous period, says an international team of…

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Dinosaur-Era Bird Had Iridescent Feathers
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Dinosaur-Era Bird Had Iridescent Feathers

A group of paleontologists led by University of Akron researcher Jennifer Peteya has discovered a new bohaiornithid bird specimen from the Cretaceous period of China with remarkably preserved…

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Bizarre Wingless Wasp Found Encased in 100-Million-Year-Old Burmese Amber
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Bizarre Wingless Wasp Found Encased in 100-Million-Year-Old Burmese Amber

An enigmatic wingless parasitic wasp has been found preserved in mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber, a new study says. Aptenoperissus burmanicus lived at the base of trees while dinosaurs wondered…

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Vegavis iaai: Dinosaurs Likely Did Not Sing, Vocal Organ of Mesozoic Bird Suggests
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Vegavis iaai: Dinosaurs Likely Did Not Sing, Vocal Organ of Mesozoic Bird Suggests

The oldest known syrinx (vocal organ) of a bird has been found, preserved in three dimensions in a 66-million-year-old specimen from Antarctica, according to new research led by…

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54-Million-Year-Old Biting Midge Found Preserved in Amber
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54-Million-Year-Old Biting Midge Found Preserved in Amber

A fossilized biting midge found in India preserved in amber dates back some 54 million years, says an international team of paleontologists. Camptopterohelea odora in amber from Gujarat…

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Megalolamna paradoxodon: Paleontologists Uncover New Species of Prehistoric Shark
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Megalolamna paradoxodon: Paleontologists Uncover New Species of Prehistoric Shark

Fossilized teeth from a newly identified species of extinct shark that lived 20 million years ago (early Miocene) were found in the mid-latitudinal zones along the Pacific (Japan,…

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Drepanosaurus: Triassic Reptile Had Huge Claw
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Drepanosaurus: Triassic Reptile Had Huge Claw

212-million-year-old fossils discovered in New Mexico confirm that Drepanosaurus, a Late Triassic tree-dwelling reptile, was a small-bodied creature with a fearsome finger. The second digit of its forelimb…

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Rativates evadens: New Ostrich-Mimic Dinosaur Species Identified
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Rativates evadens: New Ostrich-Mimic Dinosaur Species Identified

An international team of paleontologists, led by Carleton University researcher Bradley McFeeters, has added another ornithomimid dinosaur to the prehistoric catalog, and this one was found in the…

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Researchers Find Ancient Proteins in 3.8-Million-Year-Old Ostrich Eggshells
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Researchers Find Ancient Proteins in 3.8-Million-Year-Old Ostrich Eggshells

A multinational team of researchers has uncovered fossil proteins dating back 3.8 million years — a discovery that will enhance future understanding of ancient organisms. The team has…

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Triopticus primus: Triassic Reptile Had ‘Third Eye’ and Thick, Domed Skull
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Triopticus primus: Triassic Reptile Had ‘Third Eye’ and Thick, Domed Skull

Paleontologists have described a completely unexpected new species of reptile that lived 230 million years ago (Triassic period). Dr. Stocker and co-authors describe Triopticus primus, a bizarre Late…

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Jeddaherdan aleadonta: New Fossil is Africa’s Oldest Iguanian Lizard
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Jeddaherdan aleadonta: New Fossil is Africa’s Oldest Iguanian Lizard

 A 90-million-year-old fossil discovered in Morocco is the oldest known iguanian lizard from Africa, which could help tell the story of lizard evolution in southern continents, paleontologists say.…

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Psittacosaurus Had Countershading Camouflage, Paleontologists Say
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Psittacosaurus Had Countershading Camouflage, Paleontologists Say

A University of Bristol-led international team of paleontologists has produced an accurate reconstruction of an exceptionally well-preserved specimen of Psittacosaurus, a Cretaceous ornithischian dinosaur from China. The camouflage…

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Wahlisaurus massarae: Forgotten Fossil is New Species of Ancient Dolphin-Like Reptile
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Wahlisaurus massarae: Forgotten Fossil is New Species of Ancient Dolphin-Like Reptile

A new species of ichthyosaur that lived about 200 million years ago has been identified from a fossil found in a quarry in Nottinghamshire, England. Reconstruction of Wahlisaurus…

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Paleontologists Discover Earliest Evidence of Insect Agriculture
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Paleontologists Discover Earliest Evidence of Insect Agriculture

An international team of paleontologists has discovered the oldest known examples of ‘fungus gardens’ within 25 million-year-old fossilized termite nests from southwestern Tanzania. The results were published this…

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First Fossil Ameloblastoma Discovered in Cretaceous Dinosaur from Romania
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First Fossil Ameloblastoma Discovered in Cretaceous Dinosaur from Romania

The first-ever record of ameloblastoma — a rare, non-cancerous tumor that develops most often in the jaw near the molars – found in a fossil has been discovered…

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Researchers Find 320 Million-Year-Old Plant Root Stem Cells
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Researchers Find 320 Million-Year-Old Plant Root Stem Cells

A team of paleontologists led by Oxford University researcher Prof. Liam Dolan has discovered the oldest known population of plant root stem cells in a fossil 320 million…

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Calciavis grandei: Kiwi Relatives Lived in North America 50M Years Ago
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Calciavis grandei: Kiwi Relatives Lived in North America 50M Years Ago

A nearly 50-million-year-old bird fossil unearthed in Wyoming represents a new species that is a close relative of living kiwis, ostriches, and emus, according to a team of…

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Turtle Shell Evolved for Burrowing, Study Suggests
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Turtle Shell Evolved for Burrowing, Study Suggests

A new study on the partially shelled fossil turtles suggests the broad-ribbed proto shell was initially an adaptation, not for protection, but rather for burrowing underground. An artistic…

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Gualicho shinyae: New Theropod Dinosaur Unearthed in Argentina
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Gualicho shinyae: New Theropod Dinosaur Unearthed in Argentina

A team of paleontologists has found fossil fragments from a remarkable new species of theropod dinosaur that walked our planet around 94 million years ago. Two Gualicho shinyae…

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Murusraptor barrosaensis: New Dinosaur Species Discovered in Argentina
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Murusraptor barrosaensis: New Dinosaur Species Discovered in Argentina

A new species of theropod dinosaur has been discovered by a duo of paleontologists – Prof. Philip Currie from the University of Alberta in Canada and Dr. Rodolfo…

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Paleontologists Reconstruct Diets of Ancient Elephant Relatives
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Paleontologists Reconstruct Diets of Ancient Elephant Relatives

An international team of paleontologists headed by Prof. Mark Purnell of the University of Leicester, UK, and Dr. Yuan Wang from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology…

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Freshwater Scarcity Led to Extinction of Woolly Mammoths on Alaska’s Saint Paul Island
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Freshwater Scarcity Led to Extinction of Woolly Mammoths on Alaska’s Saint Paul Island

While the famous Minoan culture was just beginning, woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) were disappearing from Saint Paul Island, according to a group of paleontologists who have dated this…

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Dinosaurs Had Bird-Like Color Vision, Gene Discovery Suggests
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Dinosaurs Had Bird-Like Color Vision, Gene Discovery Suggests

According to an international team of scientists led by Dr. Nicholas Mundy at the University of Cambridge, a gene for red color vision that originated in the reptile…

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Echovenator sandersi: Oligocene Whale Had Ultrasonic Hearing
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Echovenator sandersi: Oligocene Whale Had Ultrasonic Hearing

27-million-year-old fossil of newly-discovered toothed whale species provides clues about evolution of high-frequency hearing. Echovenator sandersi produces sound that bounces off prey, creating echoes; the whale’s inner ear…

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Marsupial Lion Thylacoleo carnifex Had Unique Hunting Style, Paleontologists Say
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Marsupial Lion Thylacoleo carnifex Had Unique Hunting Style, Paleontologists Say

An international team of paleontologists has proposed that an extinct animal called the marsupial lion (Thylacoleo carnifex) hunted in a very unique way – by using its teeth…

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Arktocara yakataga: Forgotten Fossil Found to be New Species of Ancient Dolphin
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Arktocara yakataga: Forgotten Fossil Found to be New Species of Ancient Dolphin

A fossil stored in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History for several decades has been identified as a new species of ancient dolphin which would have…

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Ancient Beetles Pollinated Orchids 20 Million Years Ago
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Ancient Beetles Pollinated Orchids 20 Million Years Ago

Certain beetles are known to pollinate plants. New fossil evidence from Mexican and Dominican fossilized amber indicates that they were doing so 20 million years ago (Miocene epoch),…

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Isotope Studies Shed Light on Dietary Habits of Extinct Cave Bear
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Isotope Studies Shed Light on Dietary Habits of Extinct Cave Bear

An international team of paleontologists from Belgium, Germany, Canada and Japan has taken a step back in time and provided a new insight into the lifestyle of the…

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Microleo attenboroughi: New Species of Marsupial Lion Unearthed in Australia
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Microleo attenboroughi: New Species of Marsupial Lion Unearthed in Australia

A new species of marsupial lion that lived approximately 18 million years ago has been identified from fossils found in Australia. Reconstruction of Microleo attenboroughi. Image credit: Peter…

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Meet Allkauren koi: Argentina’s Newest Flying Reptile
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Meet Allkauren koi: Argentina’s Newest Flying Reptile

170-million-year-old fossilized remains discovered in Patagonia, Argentina, have been identified as a new genus and species of pterosaur. An artist’s representation of the Jurassic pterosaur Allkauren koi. Image…

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Fossil of Previously Unknown Small-Bodied Pterosaur Found in Canada
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Fossil of Previously Unknown Small-Bodied Pterosaur Found in Canada

Paleontologists say they’ve discovered the fossilized remains of a small-bodied pterosaur, a prehistoric flying reptile, which lived roughly 77 million years ago (Late Cretaceous epoch) and had a…

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Paleontologists Find 3.7-Billion-Year-Old Microbial Fossils in Greenland
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Paleontologists Find 3.7-Billion-Year-Old Microbial Fossils in Greenland

An international team of scientists from Australia and the UK has uncovered the world’s oldest fossils in a remote area of Greenland, revealing that microbial life thrived on…

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