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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
Share this page Share on Twitter Share on facebook Share on linkedin Share on email 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
Share this page Share on Twitter Share on facebook Share on linkedin Share on email 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.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 08.12.2021
Rare Jurassic fossil reveals never-before-seen ammonite muscles in 3D
Rare Jurassic fossil reveals never-before-seen ammonite muscles in 3D
A research team led by scientists from Cardiff University has provided the first ever 3D visualisation of an ammonite - a marine mollusc group that became extinct with the dinosaurs around 66 million years ago. The new images have allowed the team to analyse the muscles and organs of an ammonite for the very first time, throwing new light on how the cephalopod mollusc was able to swim through the oceans and defend itself from predators.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 30.11.2021
Nibbling prehistoric herbivore sheds new light on Triassic diversity
Nibbling prehistoric herbivore sheds new light on Triassic diversity
A Triassic herbivore, known for its supposed similarities to a modern-day ostrich, has been revealed to have an entirely different approach to feeding from previously thought, according to research involving UCL and University of Birmingham researchers. The new findings, published in The Anatomical Record , reveal a much broader diversity of herbivore behaviour during the Triassic period than has been recognised to date.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 06.10.2021
Oldest theropod dinosaur in the UK discovered in southern Wales
Oldest theropod dinosaur in the UK discovered in southern Wales
Scientists from the Natural History Museum and the University of Birmingham have described a new species of dinosaur from specimens found in a quarry in Pant-y-ffynnon in southern Wales. Following on from a new species of ankylosaur , Pendraig milnerae marks the second new species of dinosaur described by Museum scientists in the last few weeks.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 23.09.2021
Bizarre armoured spikes belong to oldest ankylosaur ever discovered
Bizarre armoured spikes belong to oldest ankylosaur ever discovered
An unusual fossil showing a series of spikes fused to a rib has been revealed to be the remains of the oldest ankylosaur ever found and the first from the African continent. The exciting discovery was made in the Middle Atlas Mountains of Morocco at the same site where researchers from the Natural History Museum (NHM) previously discovered the oldest stegosaur ever found.

Paleontology - Environment - 14.09.2021
Modern snakes evolved from a few survivors of dino-killing asteroid
Modern snakes evolved from a few survivors of dino-killing asteroid
Research from the Milner Centre for Evolution suggests modern snakes evolved from a handful of ancestors that survived the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. Last updated on Tuesday 14 September 2021 A new study suggests that all living snakes evolved from a handful of species that survived the giant asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs and most other living things at the end of the Cretaceous.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 16.06.2021
New species of extinct lizard previously misidentified as a bird
New species of extinct lizard previously misidentified as a bird
An international research team involving UCL scientists has described a new species of Oculudentavis, providing further evidence that the animal first identified as a hummingbird-sized dinosaur was actually a lizard. The new species, named Oculudentavis naga in honor of the Naga people of Myanmar and India, and was studied using a partial skeleton that includes a complete skull, exquisitely preserved in amber with visible scales and soft tissue.

Paleontology - Environment - 14.05.2021
Herbivores developed powerful jaws to digest tougher plants following the Mass Extinctions
Herbivores developed powerful jaws to digest tougher plants following the Mass Extinctions
The evolution of herbivores is linked to the plants that survived and adapted after the 'great dying', when over 90% of the world's species were wiped out 252 million years ago. Researchers at the University of Bristol found that plant eaters diversified quickly after mass extinctions to eat different kinds of plants, and the ones that were able to chew harsher materials, which reflected the drying conditions of the late Triassic, became the most successful.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 12.04.2021
Unusual fossil reveals last meal of prehistoric pollinator
Unusual fossil reveals last meal of prehistoric pollinator
An amber fossil of a Cretaceous beetle has shed some light on the diet of one of the earliest pollinators of flowering plants. The animal's remains were unearthed by researchers at the University of Bristol and the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIGPAS) who were able to study its fossil faecal matter, which was composed solely of pollen.

Paleontology - Environment - 08.03.2021
'Pompeii of prehistoric plants' unlocks evolutionary secret - study
’Pompeii of prehistoric plants’ unlocks evolutionary secret - study
Spectacular fossil plants preserved within a volcanic ash fall in China have shed light on an evolutionary race 300 million years ago, which was eventually won by the seed-bearing plants that dominate so much of the Earth today. New research into fossils found at the 'Pompeii of prehistoric plants', in Wuda, Inner Mongolia, reveals that the plants, called Noeggerathiales, were highly-evolved members of the lineage from which came seed plants.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 03.03.2021
Cutting-edge analysis of prehistoric teeth sheds new light on the diets of lizards and snakes
Cutting-edge analysis of prehistoric teeth sheds new light on the diets of lizards and snakes
New research has revealed that the diets of early lizards and snakes, which lived alongside dinosaurs around 100 million years ago, were more varied and advanced than previously thought. The study, led by the University of Bristol and published in Royal Society ,showed lizards, snakes, and mosasaurs in the Cretaceous period already had the full spectrum of diet types, including flesh-eating and plant-based, which they have today.

Environment - Paleontology - 26.02.2021
Pioneering prehistoric landscape reconstruction reveals early dinosaurs lived on tropical islands
Pioneering prehistoric landscape reconstruction reveals early dinosaurs lived on tropical islands
A new study using leading edge technology has shed surprising light on the ancient habitat where some of the first dinosaurs roamed in the UK around 200 million years ago. The research, led by the University of Bristol, examined hundreds of pieces of old and new data including historic literature vividly describing the landscape as a "landscape of limestone islands like the Florida Everglades?

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 27.01.2021
Cell death shines a light on the origins of complex life
Organelles continue to thrive after the cells within which they exist die, a team of University of Bristol scientists have found, overturning previous assumptions that organelles decay too quickly to be fossilised. As described in the journal Sciences Advances today [27 January], researchers from Bristol's School of Earth Sciences were able to document the decay process of eukaryotic algal cells, showing that nuclei, chloroplasts and pyrenoids (organelles found within chloroplasts) can persist for weeks and months after cell death in eukaryote cells, long enough to be preserved as fossils.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 20.01.2021
Amber-encased fossil shines light on evolution of bioluminescent insects
Amber-encased fossil shines light on evolution of bioluminescent insects
Trapped in amber for 100 million years, an exceptionally well-preserved, light-producing beetle sheds light on the diversification of bioluminescent beetles in the Cretaceous period and provides the missing fossil link between fireflies' living relatives. With over 3,500 described species, light-producing beetles are the most diverse bioluminescent terrestrial animals.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 19.01.2021
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.
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