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Paleontology - Earth Sciences - 17.10.2022
Neanderthals appear to have been carnivores
Neanderthals appear to have been carnivores
For the first time, zinc isotope ratios in tooth enamel have been analysed with the aim of identifying the diet of a Neanderthal. Other chemical tracers indicate that this individual did not consume the blood of their prey, but ate the bone marrow without consuming the bones. A new study published on october 17th in the journal PNAS , led by a CNRS researcher, has for the first time used zinc isotope analysis to determine the position of Neanderthals in the food chain.

Paleontology - 06.10.2022
New field of research: crystal traces in fossil leaves
Study by the University of Bonn proves for the first time that enigmatic microstructures originate from calcium oxalate In fossil leaves, puzzling structures are often visible under the microscope. Researchers at the University of Bonn have now been able to show for the first time that they originate from calcium oxalate crystals.

Paleontology - 06.10.2022
New field of research: crystal traces in fossil leaves
New field of research: crystal traces in fossil leaves
Study by the University of Bonn proves for the first time that enigmatic microstructures originate from calcium oxalate In fossil leaves, puzzling structures are often visible under the microscope. Researchers at the University of Bonn have now been able to show for the first time that they originate from calcium oxalate crystals.

Paleontology - Environment - 29.09.2022
To be heavy or not - that is the question
To be heavy or not - that is the question
Researchers at the University of Bonn study the way of life of extinct amphibians If you need to lurk at the bottom of a water body waiting for prey, it is wise to stay motionless without resisting against the buoyant forces of water. To do so you need a kind of diving belt that helps to sink. One large amphibian species Metoposaurus krasiejowensis, that lived more than 200 million years ago, compensated for buoyancy with a heavy shoulder girdle.

Paleontology - 29.09.2022
Ancient 'sharks' appeared much earlier than previously thought
The first appearance of shark-like 'jawed fish' may have happened some 15 million years earlier than previously thought, according to new evidence. A handful of fossil teeth from a completely new species, uncovered from rock samples found in China, suggest jawed fish emerged some time at the end of the Ordovician, or beginning of the Silurian period, around 440 million years ago.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 26.09.2022
Extinct prehistoric reptile that lived among dinosaurs discovered
Extinct prehistoric reptile that lived among dinosaurs discovered
An extinct species of lizard-like reptile that belongs to the same ancient lineage as New Zealand's living tuatara has been discovered by a team involving a UCL researcher. The researchers describe the new species Opisthiamimus gregori , which once inhabited Jurassic North America about 150 million years ago alongside dinosaurs like Stegosaurus and Allosaurus , in a paper published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology .

Paleontology - 22.09.2022
Fossil algae, dating from 541 million years ago, offer new insights into the plant kingdom's roots
Fossil algae, dating from 541 million years ago, offer new insights into the plant kingdom’s roots
Paleontologists have identified a new genus and species of algae called  Protocodium sinense  that predates the origin of land plants and modern animals and provides new insight into the early diversification of the plant kingdom. Discovered at a site in China, the 541-million-year-old fossil is the first and oldest green alga from this era to be preserved in three dimensions, enabling the researchers to investigate its internal structure and identify the new specimen with unprecedented accuracy.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 19.09.2022
Genomic analysis reveals true origin of South America's canids
Genomic analysis reveals true origin of South America’s canids
Canid conundrum. Upending long-held assumptions, researchers found that a single doglike species that entered South America less than 4 million years ago gave rise to all of today's canid species. Speedy speciation. Within a span of 2 million years, the blink of an eye in evolutionary time, all 10 existing species and some that are now extinct evolved from that original group.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 16.09.2022
Heart of our evolution
Heart of our evolution
Researchers have discovered a 380-million-year-old heart - the oldest ever found - alongside a separate fossilised stomach, intestine and liver in an ancient jawed fish, shedding new light on the evolution of our own bodies. The new research , found that the position of the organs in the body of arthrodires – an extinct class of armoured fishes that flourished through the Devonian period from 419.2 million years ago to 358.9 million years ago – is similar to modern shark anatomy, offering vital new evolutionary clues.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 08.09.2022
Previously unknown species of dinosaur identified in south-western Germany
Previously unknown species of dinosaur identified in south-western Germany
When they re-analyzed a skeleton that was discovered in Trossingen in 1922, consisting mainly of the rear of the body, Regalado Fernandez and Werneburg established that many of the bones were not the same as a typical Plateosaurus . For instance, the partial skeleton displayed, among other derived characters, broader and more strongly-built hips with fused sacral vertebrae as well as unusually large and robust long bones - both features implied locomotion on four legs.

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.