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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
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
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
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.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 22.03.2022
Study Reconsiders Early Evolution of Sea Urchins
Genome-scale analysis of evolutionary relationships and times of origin of sea urchins and their relatives prompts re-evaluation of their fossil record A study led by researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego provides new insight on the origins and early evolution of echinoids, a group of marine animals that includes modern sea urchins, sand dollars, and their relatives.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 02.03.2022
Turtle species in Eastern Europe survived the event that killed the dinosaurs
Turtle species in Eastern Europe survived the event that killed the dinosaurs
Palaeobiologists from the University of Tübingen have described a previously unknown turtle species that lived in what is now Romania some 70 million years ago. The reptile, measuring 19 cm in length, has no close relatives now but is a member of the larger group of side-necked turtles that are today found mostly in the southern hemisphere.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 23.02.2022
The reign of the dinosaurs ended in spring
The reign of the dinosaurs ended in spring
An international team of researchers led by VU Amsterdam has discovered that the aftermath of the Chicxulub meteorite impact which killed nearly all of the dinosaurs, struck Earth during springtime. They arrived at this conclusion after examining thin sections of the bones from fossil fish, using high-resolution synchrotron X-ray scans and carbon isotope records.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 22.02.2022
Division of labour in ants goes back over 100 million years
Division of labour in ants goes back over 100 million years
An international research team led by biologists from Friedrich Schiller University Jena has discovered material evidence that ants already lived in a special social system based on the division of labour more than 100 million years ago. Ants live in states organised according to the division of tasks.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 21.02.2022
Balkanatolia: the forgotten continent that sheds light on the evolution of mammals
Balkanatolia: the forgotten continent that sheds light on the evolution of mammals
A team of geologists and palaeontologists has discovered that, some 50 million years ago, there was a low-lying continent separating Europe from Asia that they have named Balkanatolia. Geographical changes 40 to 34 million years ago connected this continent to its two neighbours, paving the way for the replacement of European mammals by Asian mammals.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 10.01.2022
Jurassic Giant - The Largest Marine Reptile Skeleton Ever Unearthed in Britain
Jurassic Giant - The Largest Marine Reptile Skeleton Ever Unearthed in Britain
The fossilised remains of Britain's largest ichthyosaur, colloquially known as a 'Sea Dragon', have been discovered at the Rutland Water Nature Reserve, owned and run by Anglian Water. It is the biggest and most complete skeleton of its kind found to date in the UK and is also thought to be the first ichthyosaur of its species found in the country.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 10.01.2022
Within a dinosaur's head: ankylosaur was sluggish and deaf
Within a dinosaur’s head: ankylosaur was sluggish and deaf
German and Austrian scientists took a closer look at the braincase of a dinosaur from Austria. The group examined the fossil with a micro-CT and found surprising new details: it was sluggish and deaf. The respective study got recently published in the scientific journal scientific reports. Ankylosaurs could grow up to eight meters in body length and represent a group of herbivorous dinosaurs, also called 'living fortresses': Their body was cluttered with bony plates and spikes.
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