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Odd Creatures: Fossils & Ruins
August 12, 2020

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Most Close Relatives of Birds Neared the Potential for Powered Flight but Few Crossed Its Thresholds

New research has resulted in an updated evolutionary tree of early birds and their closest relatives to reconstruct powered flight potential, showing ...

New Study Confirms the Power of Deinosuchus and Its 'Teeth the Size of Bananas'

A new study, revisiting fossil specimens from the enormous crocodylian, Deinosuchus, has confirmed that the beast had teeth 'the size of bananas', ...

Origins of Life: Chemical Evolution in a Tiny Gulf Stream

Chemical reactions driven by the geological conditions on the early Earth might have led to the prebiotic evolution of self-replicating molecules. Scientists now report on a hydrothermal mechanism ...

Fossil Mystery Solved: Super-Long-Necked Reptiles Lived in the Ocean, Not on Land

By CT scanning crushed fossilized skulls and digitally reassembling them, and by examining the fossils' growth rings, scientists were able to ...
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Evolutionary Theory of Economic Decisions

When survival over generations is the end game, researchers say it makes sense to undervalue long shots that could be profitable and overestimate the likelihood of rare bad ...

Skull of Two Million Year-Old Giant Dormouse Reconstructed

A researcher has digitally pieced together fossilized fragments from five giant dormouse skulls to reconstruct the first known complete skull of the species, which was roughly the size of a ...

Common domestic cats, as we know them today, might have accompanied Kazakh pastoralists as pets more than 1,000 years ago. This is indicated by new analyses done on an almost complete cat skeleton ...

New Study Detects Ringing of the Global Atmosphere

A ringing bell vibrates simultaneously at a low-pitched fundamental tone and at many higher-pitched overtones, producing a pleasant musical sound. A recent study shows that the Earth's entire ...

New Evidence Helps Form Digital Reconstruction of Most Important Medieval Shrine

The shrine of Saint Thomas Becket, the most important pilgrimage destination in medieval England - visited for hundreds of years by pilgrims seeking miraculous healing - has been digitally ...

Dinosaurs and pterosaurs may be known for their remarkable size, but a newly described species that lived around 237 million years ago suggests that they originated from extremely small ancestors. ...

Earth's Magnetic Field Can Change 10 Times Faster Than Previously Thought

A new study reveals that changes in the direction of the Earth's magnetic field may take place 10 times faster than previously ...

First Evidence of Snake-Like Venom Glands Found in Amphibians

Caecilians are limbless amphibians that can be easily mistaken for snakes. Though caecilians are only distantly related to their reptilian cousins, researchers describe specialized glands found along ...

Different Tracks, Same Dinosaurs: Researchers Dig Deeper Into Dinosaur Movements

Using X-ray-based technology, researchers uncover shared subsurface movement patterns between birds and dinosaurs, adding a new dimension of fossil track ...

New Zealand's Ancient Monster Penguins Had Northern Hemisphere Doppelgangers

New Zealand's monster penguins that lived 62 million years ago had doppelgangers in Japan, the USA and Canada, a new study has ...

New Extinct Family of Giant Wombat Relatives Discovered in Australian Desert

A giant marsupial that roamed prehistoric Australia 25 million years ago is so different from its wombat cousins that scientists have had to create a new family to accommodate ...

How Volcanoes Explode in the Deep Sea

Explosive volcanic eruptions are possible deep down in the sea -- although the water masses exert enormous pressure ...

Bizarre Saber-Tooth Predator from South America Was No Saber-Tooth Cat

A new study has shown that not all saber-tooths were fearsome ...

Sled dogs are much older and have adapted to Arctic conditions much earlier than previously thought. Researchers show that ancestors of modern sled dogs have worked and lived with humans for over ...

Eruption of Alaska's Okmok Volcano Linked to Period of Extreme Cold in Ancient Rome

Scientists and historians have found evidence connecting an unexplained period of extreme cold in ancient Rome with an unlikely source: a massive eruption of Alaska's Okmok volcano, located on ...

300-Million-Year-Old Fish Resembles a Sturgeon but Took a Different Evolutionary Path

A re-examination of a 300-million-year-old fish, Tanyrhinichthys mcallisteri, revealed that its lifestyle more closely resembled that of the bottom-dwelling sturgeon, rather than the stealthy pike, ...

Studying the Neanderthal DNA Found in Modern Humans Using Stem Cells and Organoids

Protocols that allow the transformation of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines into organoids have changed the way scientists can study developmental processes and enable them to ...

First Egg from Antarctica Is Big and Might Belong to an Extinct Sea Lizard

An analysis has found that a mysterious fossil discovered in 2011 is a giant, soft-shell egg from about 66 million years ago. Measuring in at more than 11 by 7 inches, the egg is the largest ...

A Neanderthal Woman from Chagyrskaya Cave

Until now, the genomes of only two Neanderthals have been sequenced in high quality: one from Vindjia Cave in modern-day Croatia and one from Denisova Cave in Siberia's Altai Mountains. A ...

Tracking Australia's Gigantic Carnivorous Dinosaurs

North America had the T. rex, South America had the Giganotosaurus and Africa the Spinosaurus - now evidence shows Australia had gigantic predatory ...

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