Snake Sea

Giant Snake Swam Sahara Seaway

Giant snake swam Sahara seaway, according to reports in a Press Release from American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in Eurekalert and PhysOrg 8 July 2019, Gizmodo 8 July 2019 and Bulletin of American Museum of Natural History No. 436. 28 June 2019. An international team of scientists have conducted a survey of rock layers […]

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skink

Remarkably Modern Fossil Skink

Remarkably modern fossil skink found, according to reports in ScienceDaily 1 May 2019, and Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology published online doi: 10.1080/02724634.2019.1577873. Palaeontologist from Flinders University, Australia, who were excavating the Riversleigh fossil site in northern Australia have found a fossil skink “remarkably similar to modern social skinks”.  Skinks are type of lizard common in […]

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Fossil Reptile

Triassic Cancer

Triassic cancer found according to articles in National Geographic and Science (AAAS) News 7 February 2019, ABC News 8 February 2019, and JAMA Oncology, published online 7 February 2019, doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.6766. Most cancers form in soft tissues and are therefore rarely preserved in fossils. However, bone tumours can be partly preserved because many contain hard mineralised […]

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Snake

Snake Leg Loss Genetics

Snake leg loss genetics reported in ScienceDaily 6 February 2019 and Nature Communications 9 Nov 2018, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-07122-z. An international team of scientists have been searching for genetic changes involved in loss of limbs in snakes. They suggested the differences may be in stretches of DNA known as cis-regulatory elements (CREs). These are not genes […]

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Ichthyosaur Fossil

Jurassic Blubber

Jurassic blubber found, according to articles in BBC News, National Geographic and ScienceDaily 5 December 2018, and Nature doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0775-x. For many years palaeontologists have speculated that ichthyosaurs had a layer of blubber (fatty tissue) under their skin as do living marine mammals such as dolphins and whales. Ichthyosaurs were reptiles, rather than mammals, but […]

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Rattlesnake

Cool Snakes Confuse Scientists

Cool snakes confuse scientists, according to an article in Journal of Experimental Biology 5 September 2018 doi:10.1242/jeb.182121. Scientists from San Diego University and University of California, Davis have carried out a study of how rattlesnakes respond to warm objects in the environment.  Rattlesnakes are a kind of pit viper – snakes that have heat sensing […]

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Pterosaur

Oldest Pterosaur

Oldest pterosaur found, as reported in Science (AAAS) News 13 August 2018, BBC News 14 August 2018, and Nature Ecology & Evolution 13 August 2018 doi: 10.1038/s41559-018-0627-y. Palaeontologists excavating a fossil site in Utah, USA have found remains of a pterosaur, an extinct flying reptile.  The fossil site where it was found has yielded over […]

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Crocodile

Crocodiles, not Lucy, Butchered Bones

Crocodiles, not Lucy, butchered bones, according to Science (AAAS) News and PNAS doi: 10.1073/pnas.1716317114, published online 6 November 2017. In 2010 anthropologists claimed that marks on bones found in the Afar region in Ethiopia were the earliest evidence of human ancestors using stone tools to butcher animals. The bones were dated as 3.4 million years, […]

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Mesosaur Scoliosis

Fossil Bone Diseases

Fossil bone diseases found, according to reports in Science (AAAS) News, PLoS ONE doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185338, 21 September 2017 and ResearchGate conference papers June 2017. Scientists from Poland and USA have found the fossil of a mesosaur, an extinct marine reptile, with a spinal deformity that caused an abnormal curvature of its spine. The deformity is […]

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Anole Lizard

Blizzard Lizard Evolution

Blizzard Lizard Evolution, claim scientists in reports in Science (AAAS) News and ScienceDaily 3 August 2017, and Science vol. 357, pp. 495-498, doi: 0.1126/science.aam5512, 4 August 2017. In the winter of 2013-2014 a polar vortex blasted mainland USA with unusually cold weather. Just before this a group of scientists had studied Anole lizards in various […]

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