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Articles tagged with: paleontology

Written By: grant on July 18, 2014 No Comment

Science Daily has more on the prehistoric plaque that’s teaching us about our ancestors’ diets:

The research was carried out at Al Khiday, a pre-historic site on the White Nile in Central Sudan. It demonstrates that for at least 7,000 years, beginning before the development of agriculture and continuing after agricultural plants were also available [...]

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Written By: grant on July 16, 2014 No Comment

Q (from Nature): What’s 100 cm long, has long feathers and flew with four wings?

Here we describe a new ‘four-winged’ microraptorine, Changyuraptor yangi, from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota of China. With tail feathers that are nearly 30?cm long, roughly 30% the length of the skeleton, the new fossil possesses the longest known feathers [...]

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Written By: grant on May 14, 2014 No Comment

PbysOrg looks back into the distant past, when tiny shrimp left behind sperm longer than their bodies:

The giant sperm are thought to have been longer than the male’s entire body, but are tightly coiled up inside the sexual organs of the fossilised freshwater crustaceans, which are known as ostracods.

“These are the oldest fossilised [...]

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Written By: grant on May 11, 2014 No Comment
Science Art: <i>Le Monde Primitif</i>, by Adolphe-Franois Pannemaker, 1857.

Click to embiggen

This eerie vision of an alien, ancient world greeted those who opened the front cover of W.F.A. Zimmerman’s Le monde avant la creation de l’homme, “the world before the creation of man.”

Dragons fighting in a damp swamp, lit by distant lava. A world from a dream.

Found in the Linda Hall [...]

Written By: grant on March 27, 2014 No Comment

BBC has the full story on a 75 million-year-old giant sea turtle fossil that took a century and a half to put together:

Atlantochelys mortoni was originally described from a broken arm bone, or humerus, found in the 1840s in the US state of New Jersey.

Remarkably, the missing portion has also now been unearthed.

The [...]

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Written By: grant on March 18, 2014 No Comment

Nature tries to see what was behind the comet that killed the dinosaurs – and other mass extinctions that seem to happen every 35 million years. One guess: Our solar system passes through a disk of dark matter that knocks meteors and comets into our planet:

Meteorites regularly pepper Earth’s surface. Thirty years ago, [...]

Written By: grant on February 24, 2014 No Comment
Science Art: <i>Cotylorhynchus</i>, by Nix

The Tumblr illustrator Nix is having a paleoart February, creating a new illustration of a non-dinosaur, non-pterosaur prehistoric creature every day of the month.

This is the seventh entry, a caseasaur named Cotylorhynchus. It might look like a salamander, but could weigh nearly 4,500 pounds and measured up to 20 feet long.

They ate [...]

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Written By: grant on February 18, 2014 No Comment

Nature examines a DNA test on a “Clovis boy,” whose DNA proves that 12,000 years ago, the ancestors of today’s Native Americans were already here:

…[T]he boy’s genome sequence shows that today’s indi­genous groups spanning North and South America are all descended from a single population that trekked across the Bering land bridge from Asia [...]

Written By: grant on February 16, 2014 No Comment
Science Art: <i>Life restoration of</i> Ischigualastia jenseni, by Smokeybjb

Click to embiggen

Here’s a little (calf-sized being “little” here) fella from the Triassic period (the first of the three periods of dinosaur rule on Earth, a few million years before the Cretaceous said “buh-bye” to T. rex and the rest).

Ischigualastia wasn’t really a dinosaur, but a dicynodont, a “mammal-like reptile”. [...]

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