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Paleontology - Campus - 19.01.2021
Discovery of new praying mantis species from the time of the dinosaurs
Artist's interpretation of Labradormantis guilbaulti in liftoff among the leaves of a sycamore tree, Labrador, around 100 million years ago. The interpretation is based on fossils (for the wings) and living and extinct relatives (for the rest of the body). Fossilized sycamore leaves have been found in the same deposits as the mantis wings and show that this new insect species would have lived in a lush warm temperate forest during the Cretaceous.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 18.01.2021
Dinosaur-era sea lizard had teeth like a shark
New study identifies a bizarre new species suggesting that giant marine lizards thrived before the asteroid wiped them out 66 million years ago. Last updated on Monday 18 January 2021 A new species of mosasaur - an ancient sea-going lizard from the age of dinosaurs - has been found with shark-like teeth that gave it a deadly slicing bite.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 14.01.2021
Spectacular fossil discovery: 150 million-year-old shark was one of the largest of its time
Spectacular fossil discovery: 150 million-year-old shark was one of the largest of its time
In a new study, an international research team led by Sebastian Stumpf from the University of Vienna describes an exceptionally well-preserved skeleton of the ancient shark Asteracanthus. This extremely rare fossil find comes from the famous Solnhofen limestones in Bavaria, which was formed in a tropical-subtropical lagoon landscape during the Late Jurassic, about 150 million years ago.

Paleontology - Environment - 07.01.2021
Research explains why crocodiles have changed so little since the age of the dinosaurs
New research by scientists at the University of Bristol explains how a 'stop-start' pattern of evolution, governed by environmental change, could explain why crocodiles have changed so little since the age of the dinosaurs. Crocodiles today look very similar to ones from the Jurassic period some 200 million years ago.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 14.12.2020
Unexpected insights into early dinosaur’s brain, eating habits and agility
A pioneering reconstruction of the brain belonging to one of the earliest dinosaurs to roam the Earth has shed new light on its possible diet and ability to move fast. Research, led by the University of Bristol, used advanced imaging and 3-D modelling techniques to digitally rebuild the brain of Thecodontosaurus , better known as the Bristol dinosaur due to its origins in the UK city.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 26.11.2020
Ancient bird with sickle-shaped beak offers insights into evolution
A 68 million-year-old fossil of a crow-sized bird discovered in Madagascar offers new insights into the evolution of face and beak shape of modern birds' ancestors, according to a new study involving UCL researchers. The findings are helping scientists to understand convergent evolution of complex anatomy.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 18.11.2020
Prehistoric Shark Hid Its Largest Teeth
Prehistoric Shark Hid Its Largest Teeth
Some, if not all, early sharks that lived 300 to 400 million years ago not only dropped their lower jaws downward but rotated them outwards when opening their mouths. This enabled them to make the best of their largest, sharpest and inward-facing teeth when catching prey, paleontologists at the Universities of Zurich and Chicago have now shown using CT scanning and 3D printing.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 11.11.2020
Unique resin conservation process thanks to feather and fur remains found in amber in Teruel
Amber piece of the site in Ariño with a lock of mammalian hair. This is the oldest finding of hair in amber. Credits: S. Álvarez Parra et al. Scientific Reports Amber piece from the site of San Just with dinosaur feather remains. Credits: S. Álvarez Parra et al. Scientific Reports Four examples studied in the "pull off vestiture" process in ambar pieces from San Just, Ariño, Myanmar and the Baltic, from left to right and top to bottom.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 06.11.2020
Earliest example of a rapid-fire tongue found in extinct amphibians
Fossils of small armoured amphibians provide the oldest evidence of a slingshot-style tongue, according to a new study co-led by a UCL researcher. The research team analysed 99-million-year-old fossils to find that the animals were sit-and-wait predators that snatched prey with a projectile firing of their tongue, as reported in the journal Science .

Environment - Paleontology - 05.11.2020
Key to predicting future climate: Look back millions of years
An international team of climate scientists, including two from the University of Michigan, suggests that researchers using numerical models to predict future climate change should include simulations of past climates when evaluating model performance. "We urge the climate model developer community to pay attention to the past and actively involve it in predicting the future,” said Jessica Tierney, the paper's lead author and an associate professor in the University of Arizona's Department of Geosciences.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 02.11.2020
Fossil poop shows fishy lunches from 200 million years ago
A new study of coprolites, fossil poop, shows the detail of food webs in the ancient shallow seas around Bristol in south-west England. One hungry fish ate part of the head of another fish before snipping off the tail of a passing reptile. Marie Cueille, a visiting student at the University of Bristol's School of Earth Sciences , was working on a collection of hundreds of fish poops from the Rhaetian bone bed near Chipping Sodbury in South Gloucestershire, dated at 205 million years ago.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 02.11.2020
No social distancing in the Cretaceous: New study finds earliest evidence for mammal social behavior
No social distancing in the Cretaceous: New study finds earliest evidence for mammal social behavior
A new study led by paleontologists at the University of Washington and its Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture indicates that the earliest evidence of mammal social behavior goes back to the Age of Dinosaurs. The evidence, published Nov. Ecology & Evolution, lies in the fossil record of a new genus of multituberculate - a small, rodent-like mammal that lived during the Late Cretaceous of the dinosaur era - called Filikomys primaevus , which translates to "youthful, friendly mouse." The fossils are the most complete mammal fossils ever found from the Mesozoic in North America.

Paleontology - 30.10.2020
Plankton turned hunters to survive dinosaur-killing asteroid impact
After the last global mass extinction, 66 million years ago, most of the plankton that survived were those able to capture food to eat, according to a study led by UCL and University of Southampton researchers. The findings, published in Science Advances , support the theory that darkness drove the global extinctions, after an asteroid impact, as plankton and plants would not have been able to use photosynthesis to get their energy from the sun.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 28.10.2020
Giant lizards learnt to fly over millions of years
Pterodactyls and related winged reptiles that lived alongside the dinosaurs steadily improved their ability to fly, becoming the deadly masters of the sky, over the course of millions of years. A new study, '150 million years of sustained increase in pterosaur flight efficiency' , published in the journal Nature has shown that pterosaurs - a group of creatures that became Earth's first flying vertebrates - evolved to improve their flight performance over their 150 million-year existence, before going extinct at the same time as dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 28.10.2020
Pterosaurs undergo dental examination to reveal clues about diets and lifestyles
Microscopic analysis of the teeth of pterosaurs has revealed new insights into the diets and behaviours of Earth's earliest flying reptiles. Researchers at the University of Leicester's Centre for Palaeobiology Research and the University of Birmingham used dental microwear analysis to look at the wear patterns still visible on the teeth of 17 different species of pterosaur.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 12.10.2020
Ancient tiny teeth reveal first mammals lived more like reptiles
Reconstruction of Morganucodon (left) and Kuehneotherium (right) hunting in Early Jurassic Wales 200 million years ago. Original painting by John Sibbick, 2013. Copyright: Pam Gill Synchrotron micro-CT scan of a fossil Morganucodon tooth root from 200 million years ago. Elis Newham Scientists count fossilised growth rings in teeth like tree rings to find out how long the earliest mammals lived.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 21.09.2020
Modelling of ancient fossil movement reveals step in the evolution of posture in dinosaur and crocodile ancestors
Life reconstruction of Euparkeria highlighting the body parts investigated in this study. Illustration: Oliver Demuth. The oblique ankle joint did not allow Euparkeria to assume a fully upright posture as the foot also turns medially when the ankle joint is extended. An ankle joint allowing a more upright posture evolved later independent from the hip structure.

Environment - Paleontology - 16.09.2020
Discovery of a new mass extinction
Summary of major extinction events through time, highlighting the new, Carnian Pluvial Episode at 233 million years ago. D. Bonadonna/ MUSE, Trento. September 2020 It's not often a new mass extinction is identified; after all, such events were so devastating they really stand out in the fossil record.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 27.08.2020
Frequently asked questions: torpor in Antarctic Lystrosaurus
Frequently asked questions: torpor in Antarctic Lystrosaurus
Prepared by Megan Whitney with Harvard University and Christian Sidor with the University of Washington and the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. University of Washington press release here. Reference: " Evidence of torpor in the tusks of Lystrosaurus from the Early Triassic of Antarctica " by Whitney MR and Sidor CA. Communications Biology.

Paleontology - 11.08.2020
Some dinosaurs could fly before they were birds
Updated evolutionary tree and biomechanical estimates of feathered dinosaurs and early birds show powered flight may have evolved in these animals at least three different times New research using the most comprehensive study of feathered dinosaurs and early birds has revised the evolutionary relationships of dinosaurs at the origin of birds.
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