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Paleontology - Life Sciences - 04.01.2023
'Veggie' dinosaurs differed in how they ate their food
’Veggie’ dinosaurs differed in how they ate their food
Scientists discover differences in the way early herbivore dinosaurs ate their food Although most early dinosaurs were vegetarian, there were a surprising number of differences in the way that these animals tackled eating a plant-based diet, a new study reveals. Scientists used CT scans of dinosaur skulls to track the evolution of early dinosaur herbivores - reconstructing jaw muscles and measuring the animals' bite force to understand how dinosaur feeding evolved.

Paleontology - Environment - 15.12.2022
Climate change played key role in dinosaur success story
Climate change played key role in dinosaur success story
Climate change, rather than competition, played a key role in the ascendancy of dinosaurs through the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic periods. According to new research, changes in global climate associated with the Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction - which wiped out many large terrestrial vertebrates such as the giant armadillo-like aetosaurs - actually benefitted the earliest dinosaurs.

Paleontology - History / Archeology - 02.11.2022
Prehistoric reptile casts turn out to be copies of priceless fossil destroyed in WWII
Scientists find copies of lost fossil destroyed in WWII hiding in a US museum. The world's first complete skeleton of a prehistoric reptile brought to the attention of science was discovered a little over 200 years ago and named ' Proteosaurus '. Unfortunately, that fossil was destroyed in an air raid in May 1941, during WWII, with no copies thought to exist.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 27.10.2022
New Scottish fossil sheds light on the origins of lizards
New Scottish fossil sheds light on the origins of lizards
A fossil discovery from Scotland has provided new information on the early evolution of lizards, during the time of the dinosaurs, reports a study involving UCL researchers. The tiny skeleton discovered on the Isle of Skye, called Bellairsia gracilis , is only 6 cm long and dates from the Middle Jurassic, 166 million years ago.

Paleontology - 29.09.2022
Ancient 'sharks' appeared much earlier than previously thought
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 - 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 - 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 - 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.

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 - 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.

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.

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 - 22.12.2021
Modern mammals originated after dinosaur extinction, confirms new study
Modern mammals originated after dinosaur extinction, confirms new study
The most detailed timeline of mammal evolution to date has been set out in a new study co-led by UCL researchers. The Nature paper describes a new and fast computational approach to obtain precisely dated evolutionary trees, known as 'timetrees'. The authors used the novel method to analyse a mammal genomic dataset and answer a long-standing question around whether modern placental mammal groups originated before or after the Cretaceous-Palaeogene (K-Pg) mass extinction, which wiped out over 70% of all species, including all dinosaurs.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 21.12.2021
Exquisitely preserved embryo found inside fossilised dinosaur egg
Exquisitely preserved embryo found inside fossilised dinosaur egg
A 72- to 66-million-year-old embryo found inside a fossilised dinosaur egg sheds new light on the link between the behaviour of modern birds and dinosaurs, according to a new study. The embryo, dubbed 'Baby Yingliang', was discovered in the Late Cretaceous rocks of Ganzhou, southern China and belongs to a toothless theropod dinosaur, or oviraptorosaur.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 17.12.2021
Sauropod dinosaurs were restricted to warmer regions of Earth
Sauropod dinosaurs were restricted to warmer regions of Earth
Giant, long-necked sauropods, thought to include the largest land animals ever, preferred to live in warmer regions on Earth, suggesting they may have had a different physiology from other dinosaurs, finds a new study led by researchers at UCL and the University of Vigo. The study, published in the journal Current Biology , investigated the enigma of why sauropod fossils are only found at lower latitudes, while fossils of other main dinosaur types seem ubiquitously present, with many located in the polar regions.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 16.12.2021
Theropod dinosaur jaws became stronger as they evolved - study
Theropod dinosaur jaws became stronger as they evolved - study
Theropod dinosaurs evolved more robust jaws through time allowing them to consume tougher food, a new study reveals. Researchers used digital modelling and computer simulation to uncover a common trend of jaw strengthening in theropods - expanding the rear jaw portion in all groups, as well as evolving an upturned jaw in carnivores and a downturned jaw in herbivores.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 08.12.2021
Dinosaurs Spring to Extinction: Springtime pinpointed as the season for dinosaur extinction
An international team led by researchers from The University of Manchester today published in Scientific Reports a groundbreaking study that sheds new light on the timing associated with the dinosaur-killing asteroid impact that occurred 66 million years ago. The study, " Seasonal calibration of the end-Cretaceous Chicxulub Impact Event ", provides new evidence that helps us to understand the significance of the timing for the events that brought an end to the dinosaurs—and 75% of life on Earth.
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