Pterosaur

Oldest Pterodactyl

Oldest Pterodactyl found in limestone quarry.  Researchers in Germany have studied an “exquisitely preserved” fossil of Pterodactylus antiquus – an extinct flying reptile, dated as 152 million years old.  This makes it the oldest specimen of this species of flying reptile.  The fossil is almost complete, with only a few fragments missing.  The scientists wrote […]

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Oldest Fossil Brain

An international team of scientists have studied the fossil of a lobopodian, a small extinct arthropod with a segmented trunk and multiple short stubby legs.  The fossil has been named Cardiodictyon catenulum and is dated as 525 million years old.  Using sophisticated scanning techniques the researchers were able to identify the creature’s brain.  Nicholas Strausfeld […]

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Oldest Fossil Fish Heart Found in Australia. 

Scientists at Curtin University and Flinders University claim to have found “the heart of our evolution” in the fossil of a fish found in a rock formation in Kimberley region of Western Australia claimed to be 380 million years old.  This age puts it in the Devonian period of the evolutionary timetable, and the Editor’s […]

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Panda Eating Bamboo

Oldest Panda Thumb Fossil

The giant panda is well known for eating bamboo and having an extra “thumb” to help it hold onto and manipulate the bamboo stems as it eats them.  The “thumb” is not an extra digit, but a protrusion resulting from an enlarged wrist bone called a radial sesamoid.  A group of scientists from various USA […]

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Giraffe Neck Theory Evolves!

For around one hundred and fifty years students have been dogmatically told giraffes have evolved long necks by stretching them to browse from tall trees. Chinese scientists studying a fossil skull and vertebrae of an extinct “giraffoid”, have now come up with the new theory. “Giraffoids” are a group of mammals that includes living giraffes […]

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Shark Teeth

Shark Toothache

Researchers from North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences have studied a deformed tooth from the extinct giant shark Otodus megalodon (used to be Carcharodon megalodon)and compared it with similarly deformed teeth from a shark named Carcharhinus leucas, which still lives today. The teeth all show a “double tooth pathology” […]

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Trilobites

Trilobite Eyes Inspire Bifocal Lenses

Researchers from China and the USA have studied the eyes of a trilobite named Dalmanitina socialis.  These creatures had ‘bifocal’ eyes consisting of two lenses that bent light at different angles, enabling them to see both close up and far away objects at the same time. The researchers were “inspired by the optical structure of […]

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Octopus

10-Armed Octopus Ancestor?

Palaeontologists at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) and Yale University have studied the fossil of soft-bodied creature with 10 arms and claim to have found the oldest known vampyropod – the group of animals that includes octopuses and vampire squids. The fossil was found in the Bear Gulch Lagerstätte of Montana, USA, a […]

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Millipede

Giant Millipedes Roamed Northern England

A group of researchers in the UK have studied the fossil of a giant millipede found after a rock fall on the Northumberland coast in north eastern England. The fossil is a portion of a creature named Arthropleura, and is dated at 326 million years old. There is enough of the creature preserved to enable […]

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Flowers and Buds

Darwin’s Abominable Mystery Solved Yet Again

Scientists have found a fossil plant with leaves, a fruit and a flower bud in rocks from Inner Mongolia. These are distinctive features of angiosperms, the scientific term for flowering plants. The fossil plant has been named Florigerminis jurassica and is one of the oldest dated flowering plants found so far. The fossil is dated […]

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