Snake

Snake Lover Demands Reverse Evolution

Alan Pan, an engineer based in Los Angeles, USA, has designed and built a device that enables snakes to walk on four legs. The device consists of a long tube open at both ends that a snake can crawl into. Attached to this are four robotic legs, each fitted with servomotors. The walking pattern is […]

Read More
Pterosaur Flying

Pterosaurs Had Coloured Feathers 

Palaeontologists in Brazil have studied the head of a pterosaur named Tupandactylus imperator, andclaim to have found “simple and branched feathers” on the back of its crest.  They examined these with an electron microscope and found they contained various shaped melanosomes – tiny vesicles containing the pigment melanin.  Variation in the shape of melanosomes is […]

Read More
Dinosaur Walking

Limping Lumping Sore-a-saurs

As more methods are developed for studying the fine detail and internal structure of dinosaur bones scientists are finding abundant evidence of disease and trauma.  Here are some recent examples.  Researchers in Spain analysed a trackway of dinosaur footprints and found some anomalies, described as: “wide-steps, and a set of equally deformed left footprints (with […]

Read More
Gharial

Giant Croc Roamed South-East Queensland

Giant croc roamed South-East Queensland, according to reports in ABC News and ScienceDaily 14 June 2021 and Scientific Reports 9 June 2021, doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-91717-y. A group of scientists led by Jorgo Ristevski of University of Queensland have studied a piece of skull from an extinct crocodile, originally found in the nineteenth century, and stored in […]

Read More

Snakes Adapted Fangs to Food

Snakes adapted fangs to food, according to articles in The Conversation 13 May 2021 and Monash University Lens 21 May 2021 and Evolution 27 April 2021 doi: 10.1111/evo.14239.  Scientists at Monash University, Australia, have studied the fangs of 81 species of snakes, comparing tooth structure, strength and sharpness with the type of prey each snake […]

Read More

Buried Alive in Morocco

Morocco is one of the best places in the world for fossils, and one of the best places in Morocco is the Kem Kem Basin, Khouribga, especially for aquatic fossils. The Kem Kem basin is a massive bone bed made up of mineral phosphates (usually derived from bone) and it is the largest known phosphorite […]

Read More
Alligator

Why Crocodiles Haven’t Evolved

Why crocodiles haven’t evolved, according to University of Bristol press release and ScienceDaily 7 January 2021, and Communications Biology, 7 January 2021 doi: 10.1038/s42003-020-01561-5. Living crocodiles are very similar to fossil crocodiles found in Jurassic rocks dated at over 200 million years old. There are only 25 species living today, but in the past there […]

Read More
Glowing Gecko

Aussie Animals Glow in the Dark

Aussie animals glow in the dark, according to reports in ABC News 26 November 2020 and 8 December 2020, and Mammalia 15 October 2020, doi: 10.1515/mammalia-2020-0027. Scientists at Northland College, USA, were investigating biofluorescence – a phenomenon seen when fur, feathers or skin absorb ultra-violet (UV) light and re-emit visible light. If UV light is […]

Read More
Pterosaur

Feather Flop 2 – Pterosaur “Protofeather”

Feather Flop 2 – Pterosaur “protofeather” according to reports in ScienceDaily 28 September 2020 and Nature Ecology and Evolution, 28 September 2020; doi: 10.1038/s41559-020-01308-9. In 2018 a group of scientists led by Zixiao Yang of Nanjing University claimed they had found evidence that pterosaurs (flying reptiles) had proto-feathers. Their claim was based on fine filaments, […]

Read More
Turtle swimming

Biggest Giant Turtle

Biggest giant turtle found, according to reports in Science (AAAS) News and ScienceDaily 12 February 2020, and Science Advances 12 February 2020, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aay4593.  Palaeontologists in South America have studied fossilised shells and jaws of a huge extinct turtle with the splendid name Stupendemys geographicus.  The largest shell is 2.4 metres (7.9ft) long, making it […]

Read More