Archives for category: Paleontology

Fossil hunters have found a skull of a horned dinosaur, the oldest found in North America so far at 100 million years | Guardian

A 520 million year old fossil of a spider-like creature shows details of its brain and nervous system.

The research was published in Nature.

…or is it? DNA samples from purported Yetis actually match those from an ancient type of polar bear, which dates back around 40,000 years. Some scientists are skeptical, but watch this space…

Dinosaurs were not necessarily all cold-blooded – researchers have found similar bone structures in mammals as are seen in dinosaurs. This dark layer, called fibromellar tissue, indicates periods of fast growth.

Read the original paper in Nature.

Analysis of a Siberian cave girl’s genome links ancient and modern humans, and shows that she had brown hair, eyes and skin.  The DNA comes from a fragment of finger bone found in the Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains in East Central Asia. The bone is thought to be 30,000 to 50,000 years old.

Because of fossils and anatomy studies it looked like turtles evolved from lizards and snakes, but new genetic research shows that they have evolved from the same ancestor as birds and crocodiles.

Read the abstract in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.

Mammoths around a metre tall lived in Crete around 3.5 million of years ago – these are the smallest ever discovered.

Read the abstract in the Royal Society journal Proceedings B.

In the Mesozoic era, dinosaurs breaking wind (produced by bacteria in their guts) may have put 520 million tonnes of methane gas into the atmosphere every year. Methane is a greenhouse gas – this could explain why the temperature 150 million years ago was around 10 degrees C higher than it is now.

Read the abstract in Current Biology.

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