Paleontology News

Drepanosaurus – A Small Reptile with a Rearsome Finger

October 3, 2016

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Drepanosaurus a Cross between a Chameleon and an Anteater

A newly published study confirms that Drepanosaurus, a prehistoric cross between a chameleon and an anteater, was a small reptile with a fearsome finger. The second digit of its forelimb sported a massive claw. Scientists analyzed 212-million-year-old Drepanosaurus arm fossils that were discovered at the Hayden Quarry in Ghost Ranch, New Mexico. The researchers describe […]

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Researchers Discover 305 Million-Year-Old “Early Spider” Fossil

March 31, 2016

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305 Million-Year-Old Early Spider Fossil

A team of scientists has discovered the fossil of a 305 million-year-old arachnid, revealing more about the early origins of modern-day spiders. The new species, named Idmonarachne brasieri in honor of Professor Martin Brasier, University of Oxford, who passed away in December 2014, was found in Montceau-les-Mines, France, and researchers from The University of Manchester, […]

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Yale Biologists Solve the Mystery of the Tully Monster

March 21, 2016

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Mystery of the Tully Monster Solved

A newly published study from Yale University reveals that the Tully Monster had gills and a notochord, which functioned as a rudimentary spinal cord. The Tully Monster, an oddly configured sea creature with teeth at the end of a narrow, trunk-like extension of its head and eyes that perch on either side of a long, […]

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Scientists Discover the Remains of Cold Weather Dinosaurs

September 22, 2015

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Researchers Discover Fossils from Dinosaurs That Lived in Cold Weather

Scientists from Florida State University and the University of Alaska Fairbanks have uncovered a new species of duck-billed dinosaur, a 30-footlong herbivore that endured months of winter darkness and probably experienced snow. The skeletal remains of the dinosaurs were found in a remote part of Alaska. These dinosaurs were the northernmost dinosaurs known to have […]

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Pre-Reptile Bunostegos Akokanensisear – Earliest Known Creature to Walk Upright on All Fours

September 17, 2015

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260 Million Year Old Pre-Reptile May Be Earliest Known to Walk Upright on All Fours

According to a new study from Brown University, the pre-reptile Bunostegos akokanensis the oldest known creature to have walked upright on all fours, roaming the ancient supercontinent of Pangea about 260-million years ago. A newly published analysis of the bones of Bunostegos akokanensis, a 260-million-year-old pre-reptile, finds that it likely stood upright on all fours […]

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Turtles Share a Recent Common Ancestor with Birds and Crocodiles

September 3, 2015

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New Research Shows Turtles Share a Recent Common Ancestor with Birds and Crocodiles

New fossil evidence reveals that turtles share a recent common ancestor with birds and crocodiles. There’s a twist in the turtle timeline. Thanks to new fossil evidence, paleontologists are able to prove that turtles share a recent common ancestor with birds and crocodiles. The discovery may settle a longstanding argument among scientists about the origins […]

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Pentecopterus – A Giant Sea Scorpion from the Prehistoric Seas

September 1, 2015

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Biologists Discover Giant Sea Scorpion Pentecopterus

Geologists discovered the fossils of Pentecopterus in a meteorite crater by the Upper Iowa River in northeastern Iowa. You don’t name a sea creature after an ancient Greek warship unless it’s built like a predator. That’s certainly true of the recently discovered Pentecopterus, a giant sea scorpion with the sleek features of a penteconter, one […]

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New Research: Abrupt Climate Warming Killed Mammoths

August 7, 2015

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Study Shows Mammoths Killed by Abrupt Climate Change

A newly published study from the University of Adelaide and the University of New South Wales reveals that abrupt climate change caused massive changes to the environment that set extinction events in motion. New research has revealed abrupt warming, that closely resembles the rapid man-made warming occurring today, has repeatedly played a key role in […]

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Scientists Discover Four-Legged Snake Fossil

August 2, 2015

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Four-Legged Snake Fossil Discovered

Researchers from the University of Portsmouth have discovered a fossil of a snake that had four legs, helping to reveal how snakes made the transition from lizards to serpents. It is the first known fossil of a four-legged snake, and the team – led by Dr Dave Martill from the University of Portsmouth – say […]

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Zhenyuanlong Suni – The Newly Discovered Feathered Cousin of the Velociraptor

July 16, 2015

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Newly Dsicovered Zhenyuanlong Suni Winged Dinosaur

Paleontologists working in China unearthed the fossil remains of one of the closest cousins of Velociraptor, but it looks just like a bird. This newly identified species of dinosaur (Zhenyuanlong suni) is the largest ever discovered to have a well-preserved set of bird-like wings. Short wings Researchers say its wings – which are very short […]

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New Horned Dinosaur Species – Wendiceratops Pinhornensis

July 9, 2015

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Wendiceratops pinhornensis

Researchers discover a new species of horned dinosaur, Wendiceratops pinhornensis. Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology Dr. Michael Ryan co-led the discovery of a striking new species of horned dinosaur (ceratopsian) based on fossils collected from a bonebed in southern Alberta, Canada. Wendiceratops (WEN-dee-SARE-ah-TOPS) pinhornensis was approximately 6 meters (20 feet) long and weighed more than a […]

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New Species of Horned Dinosaur – Regaliceratops Peterhewsi

June 5, 2015

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New Species of Horned Dinosaur

A newly published study details the discovery of a new species of horned dinosaur, Regaliceratops peterhewsi. About 10 years ago, Peter Hews stumbled across some bones sticking out of a cliff along the Oldman River in southeastern Alberta, Canada. Now, scientists describe in the Cell Press journal Current Biology that those bones belonged to a […]

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Scientists Replicate the Molecular Processes That Led from Dinosaur Snouts to Bird Beaks

May 12, 2015

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Researchers Retrace the Bird’s Beak to Its Dinosaur Origins

Researchers have conducted the first successful reversion of a bird’s skull features, replicating ancestral molecular development to transform chicken embryos in a laboratory into specimens with a snout and palate configuration similar to that of small dinosaurs. Scientists have successfully replicated the molecular processes that led from dinosaur snouts to the first bird beaks. Using […]

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Paleontologists Discover Bizarre ‘Platypus’ Dinosaur

April 29, 2015

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Chilesaurus Diegosuarezi Fossils of a Strange Dinosaur

A team of scientists have unearthed fossils of a strange dinosaur in southern Chile. Named Chilesaurus diegosuarezi, this dinosaur featured a bizarre combination of traits. Paleontologists are referring to Chilesaurus diegosuarezi as a ‘platypus’ dinosaur because of its bizarre combination of characters that resemble different dinosaur groups. For example, Chilesaurus boasted a proportionally small skull, […]

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A New Birth Story for Gigantic Marine Lizards That Once Roamed the Oceans

April 10, 2015

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A New Birth Story for a Gigantic Marine Lizard That Once Roamed the Oceans

Paleontologists now believe that mosasaurs gave birth to their young in the open ocean, not on or near shore. They weren’t in the delivery room, but researchers at Yale University and the University of Toronto have discovered a new birth story for a gigantic marine lizard that once roamed the oceans. Thanks to recently identified […]

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Carnufex Carolinensis – North America’s Top Predator Before Dinosaurs?

March 20, 2015

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Carnufex Carolinensis

New research from North Carolina State University shows that a 9-foot long crocodile ancestor may have been North America’s top predator before the dinosaurs arrived. A newly discovered crocodilian ancestor may have filled one of North America’s top predator roles before dinosaurs arrived on the continent. Carnufex carolinensis, or the “Carolina Butcher,” was a 9-foot […]

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Aegirocassis Benmoulae Hints at Early Arthropod Evolution

March 12, 2015

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Aegirocassis Benmoulae Hints at Early Arthropod Evolution

Newly discovered fossils of an extinct sea creature named Aegirocassis benmoulae provide key evidence about the early evolution of arthropods. A presentation by Dr. Peter Van Roy describing a new fossil anomalocaridid from the Early Ordovician Fezouata Formation of Morocco. Dr. Van Roy is one of the authors of a new study that has shed […]

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Earth’s Earliest Primates Lived in Trees

January 20, 2015

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Earth’s Earliest Primates Lived in Trees

New research from Yale University reveals that Earth’s earliest primates lived in trees. Earth’s earliest primates have taken a step up in the world, now that researchers have gotten a good look at their ankles. A new study has found that Purgatorius, a small mammal that lived on a diet of fruit and insects, was […]

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