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Life Sciences - Paleontology - 05.09.2022
What fossils reveal about hybridization of early humans
What fossils reveal about hybridization of early humans
Many people living today have a small component of Neanderthal DNA in their genes, suggesting an important role for admixture with archaic human lineages in the evolution of our species. Paleogenetic evidence indicates that hybridization with Neanderthals and other ancient groups occurred multiple times, with our species- history resembling more a network or braided stream than a tree.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 31.08.2022
Study of 300-million-year-old faeces finds meat on the menu
Study of 300-million-year-old faeces finds meat on the menu
Curtin researchers have analysed organic molecules preserved within 306-million-year-old fossilised animal faeces (coprolite) and unlocked a wealth of information about the diets of long-extinct animals and prehistoric ecosystems. Lead author PhD candidate Madison Tripp from Curtin's WA-Organic and Isotope Geochemistry Centre (WA-OIGC) said the research had revealed important biomolecular information that, despite being millions of years old, remained intact at a well-preserved fossil site.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 30.08.2022
Inside the head of one of Australia's smallest fossil crocs
Inside the head of one of Australia’s smallest fossil crocs
Approximately 13.5 million years ago, north-west Queensland was home to an unusual and particularly tiny species of crocodile and now scientists are unlocking its secrets. University of Queensland researchers have used state-of-the-art technology to reveal previously unknown details about the prehistoric Trilophosuchus rackhami 's anatomy.

Paleontology - Earth Sciences - 29.08.2022
Sea level reconstructed back to 540 million years ago using ice caps estimation and plate tectonics
Sea level reconstructed back to 540 million years ago using ice caps estimation and plate tectonics
Until recently, scientists were dependent on information about past plate tectonics when reconstructing past global mean sea level. But now, a team of Dutch, British and American Earth scientists have developed a new method for determining historic global sea level where the influence of land ice is included.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 24.08.2022
Sahelanthropus, the oldest representative of humanity, was indeed bipedal...but that’s not all!
The modalities and date of emergence of bipedalism remain bitterly debated, in particular because of a small number of very old human fossils. Sahelanthropus tchadensis , discovered in 2001 in Chad, is considered to be the oldest representative of the humankind. The shape of its cranium suggests a bipedal station.

Paleontology - History / Archeology - 18.08.2022
April the museum dinosaur still revealing new discoveries
April the museum dinosaur still revealing new discoveries
Recent research regarding a dinosaur nicknamed April which previously called Manchester Museum home has revealed rare new findings. Scientists made the discovery of gastroliths (stomach stones) inside the Tenontosaurus which is unusually rare. This represents the second oldest occurrence of gastroliths in an ornithopod dinosaur and the first to be identified in a more derived ornithopod.

Paleontology - 17.08.2022
3D modelling reveals extinct shark with teeth bigger than your mobile phone would eat prey the size of killer whales
3D modelling reveals extinct shark with teeth bigger than your mobile phone would eat prey the size of killer whales
Researchers from the Royal Veterinary College, among other international partners across Switzerland, USA, Australia and South Africa, used 3D modelling to understand more than just the size of the megalodon An international collaborative team of researchers, including from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), has used advanced 3D modelling to discover the movement and feeding ecology of the biggest shark to have ever roamed the oceans - the megalodon ( Otodus megalodon ).

Paleontology - 15.08.2022
Dinosaurs evolved different eye socket shapes to allow stronger bites
Dinosaurs evolved different eye socket shapes to allow stronger bites
Large dinosaur predators, such as Tyrannosaurus rex, evolved different shapes of eye sockets to better deal with high bite forces, new research has shown. While in many animals - and most dinosaurs - the eye socket is just a circular hole in the skull housing the eyeball, this is very different in large carnivores.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 11.08.2022
Prehistoric podiatry: How dinosaurs carried their enormous weight
Prehistoric podiatry: How dinosaurs carried their enormous weight
Scientists have cracked an enduring mystery, discovering how sauropod dinosaurs - like Brontosaurus and Diplodocus - supported their gigantic bodies on land. A University of Queensland and Monash University-led team used 3D modelling and engineering methods to digitally reconstruct and test the foot bones.

Paleontology - Earth Sciences - 10.08.2022
New long-necked dinosaur helps rewrite evolutionary history of sauropods in South America
Study: A sauropod from the Lower Jurassic La Quinta formation (Dept. Cesar, Colombia) and the initial diversification of eusauropods at low latitudes A medium-sized sauropod dinosaur inhabited the tropical lowland forested area of the Serranía del Perijá in northern Colombia approximately 175 million years ago, according to a new study by an international team of researchers published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 25.07.2022
New study challenges old views on what’s ’primitive’ in mammalian reproduction
It's hard to imagine life on Earth without mammals. They swim in the depths of the ocean, hop across deserts in Australia and travel to the moon. This diversity can be deceiving, at least when it comes to how mammals create the next generation. Based on how they reproduce, nearly all mammals alive today fall into one of two categories: placental mammals and marsupials.

Environment - Paleontology - 13.07.2022
Martens, wolverines, skunks and red pandas - Germany was once a paradise for small carnivorans
Martens, wolverines, skunks and red pandas - Germany was once a paradise for small carnivorans
An international team of researchers reports that at least 20 species of carnivorous mammals lived 11.5 million years ago in what is now the Hammerschmiede fossil site in southern Germany. The site has been a focus of attention since the 2019 discovery of the first known ape to walk upright, Danuvius guggenmosi .

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 12.07.2022
Oldest European salamander fossil, discovered in Scotland, informs amphibian origins
Oldest European salamander fossil, discovered in Scotland, informs amphibian origins
Fossils discovered in Scotland represent some of the world's oldest salamanders, according to a new study led by UCL researchers. The research team analysed 166-million-year-old fossils of a type of animal called Marmorerpeton , found in Middle Jurassic rocks on the Isle of Skye. They found that it has several key salamander traits, but is not part of the modern group of salamanders.

Paleontology - 27.06.2022
Australopithecines in South Africa are older than previously thought
Australopithecus africanus individuals lived at least one million years earlier than previous dating indicated. This is the result from dating a cave deposit from the Sterkfontein site (South Africa), one of the richest in australopithecine remains, where the fossil of Mrs Ples, one of the first complete skulls of this kind of hominin, was discovered in 1947.

Paleontology - History / Archeology - 07.06.2022
A long history of European geckos
A long history of European geckos
Geckos lived in Europe as early as 47 million years ago, say palaeontologists who have examined a nearly complete fossil gecko skull from central Germany. This previously unknown species was found in a former coalmining area - Geiseltal - and was described by a research team led by Dr. Andrea Villa of the Catalan Institute of Palaeontology Miquel Crusafont in Barcelona and biogeologist Dr. Márton Rabi of the University of Tübingen and Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg.

Paleontology - 31.05.2022
Great white sharks may have contributed to megalodon extinction
Great white sharks may have contributed to megalodon extinction
Using zinc isotopes, researchers investigated the diet of megalodon, the largest shark to have ever lived The diet of fossil extinct animals can hold clues to their lifestyle, behaviour, evolution and ultimately extinction. However, studying an animal's diet after millions of years is difficult due to the poor preservation of chemical dietary indicators in organic material on these timescales.

Paleontology - 26.05.2022
Scientists shine new light on role of Earth’s orbit in the fate of ancient ice sheets
Scientists have finally put to bed a long-standing question over the role of Earth's orbit in driving global ice age cycles. In a new study published today , the team from Cardiff University has been able to pinpoint exactly how the tilting and wobbling of the Earth as it orbits around the Sun has influenced the melting of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere over the past 2 million years or so.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 25.05.2022
Taking dinosaurs' temperature with a new biomarker
Taking dinosaurs’ temperature with a new biomarker
A Yale-led research team has turned up the heat on dinosaur metabolism - establishing that the earliest dinosaurs and pterosaurs had exceptionally high metabolic rates and were warm-blooded animals. The findings, published May 25 , also show that dinosaurs' metabolism did not decide their fate after an asteroid strike wiped out most animal species on the planet 65 million years ago.

Paleontology - Earth Sciences - 20.05.2022
Discovery of 'ghost' fossils reveals plankton resilience to past global warming events
Discovery of ’ghost’ fossils reveals plankton resilience to past global warming events
An international team of scientists from UCL, the Swedish Museum of Natural History, the University of Florence and Natural History Museum have found a remarkable type of fossilization that has remained almost entirely overlooked until now. The fossils are microscopic imprints, or "ghosts", of single-celled plankton, called coccolithophores, that lived in the seas millions of years ago, and their discovery is changing our understanding of how plankton in the oceans are affected by climate change.

Paleontology - 18.05.2022
Unexpected differences between males and females in early mouse deer
Mouse deer are among the smallest ruminants in the world. Today, they live in the tropics of Africa and Asia and are barely larger than hares. Males and females differ little in appearance. But that was not the case about eleven million years ago. Josephina Hartung and Professor Madelaine Böhme from the Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment at the University of Tübingen came across a previously unknown difference between the sexes while examining two fossil mouse deer skulls from the Hammerschmiede clay pit in the Allgäu region of Germany.