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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.

Paleontology - Earth Sciences - 17.05.2022
Previously Unknown Dolphin Species Was Present in Switzerland
Previously Unknown Dolphin Species Was Present in Switzerland
Twenty million years ago, the Swiss Plateau region, or -Mittelland-, was an ocean in which dolphins swam.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 10.05.2022
Complex Human Childbirth and Cognitive Abilities a Result of Walking Upright
Childbirth in humans is much more complex and painful than in great apes. It was long believed that this was a result of humans- larger brains and the narrow dimensions of the mother's pelvis. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now used 3D simulations to show that childbirth was also a highly complex process in earlier hominin species that gave birth to relatively small-brained newborns - with important implications for their cognitive development.

Paleontology - Earth Sciences - 10.05.2022
Bali-like temperatures in Wyoming? Fossils reveal tropically hot North America 95 million years ago
Bali-like temperatures in Wyoming? Fossils reveal tropically hot North America 95 million years ago
A new University of Michigan study that used fossil oyster shells as paleothermometers found the shallow sea that covered much of western North America 95 million years ago was as warm as today's tropics. The study provides the first direct temperature data from that vast mid-latitude sea during the height of the Cretaceous Thermal Maximum, one of the planet's hottest climate intervals of the past several hundred million years.

Paleontology - 14.04.2022
Newly discovered palaeontology finds to feature in BBC One documentary Dinosaurs: The Final Day with David Attenborough
A fragment of the asteroid that hit the Earth 66 million years ago and led to the extinction of the dinosaurs, and the first ever fossilised remains of a dinosaur killed by the asteroid impact, are thought to be amongst the latest finds unearthed by University of Manchester palaeontologist Robert DePalma at a dig site he named Tanis in North Dakota.

Earth Sciences - Paleontology - 30.03.2022
VUB geologists pinpoint geological age Maastricht quarries for the first time
VUB geologists pinpoint geological age Maastricht quarries for the first time
Researchers use new techniques to determine when limestone layers and fossils were formed during dinosaur age, 66 to 73 million years ago Wednesday, March 30, 2022 — Geologists from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and KU Leuven, in collaboration with Maastricht Natural History Museum and Dutch conservation organisation Natuurmonumenten, have mapped the million-year-old rocks in the quarries near Maastricht.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 24.03.2022
Giant predatory dinosaurs could hunt underwater
Giant predatory dinosaurs could hunt underwater
A new study published in Nature reveals that Spinosaurus, among the largest carnivorous dinosaurs ever discovered, could hunt underwater. New research by a multi-institution team including the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge used X-ray imaging of fossilised bones to analyse bone density.