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23 May 2012
Published in Blog

Thanks to the vagaries of the fossil record, paleontologists know less about the early history of pterosaurs than they do about crocodiles and dinosaurs, which also evolved from archosaurs ("ruling lizards") during the middle Triassic period. For now, we'll have to content ourselves with Eudimorphodon, which (unlike some other animals on this list) was already fully recognizable as a pterosaur when it flew the skies of Europe 210 million years ago. Until an earlier transitional form is discovered, that's the best we can do!

21 Mar 2012
Published in Blog

The difficult-to-pronounce Cladoselache (its name means "branch-toothed shark") lived during the late Devonian period, about 370 million years ago, making it the earliest shark in the fossil record. If you'll forgive us for mixing our genera, Cladoselache was certainly an odd duck: it was almost completely devoid of scales, except for specific parts of its body, and it also lacked the "claspers" modern sharks use to mate with the opposite sex. Clearly Cladoselache figured this tricky business out, since it eventually went on to spawn Megalodon and the Great White Shark hundreds of millions of years later.

21 Mar 2012
Published in Blog

 

How ironic is it that the earliest identified primate ancestor, Purgatorius, hopped and skittered across the North American landscape at the same time as the dinosaurs went extinct? Purgatorius certainly didn't look like an ape, monkey or lemur; this small, mouse-sized mammal probably spent most of its time high up in trees, and it has been pegged as a simian precursor mainly because of the characteristic shape of its teeth. It was only after the K/T Extinction, 65 million years ago, that Purgatorius and pals were launched on their eons-long journey into Homo sapiens.

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First Bird

First Bird
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Unexplained artifacts

unexplained artifacts
The 10 most amazing unexplained artifacts

Evolution

Timeline: Human Evolution

Biggest Dinosaurs

The 10 Biggest Dinosaurs

Fossils 

Fossil Formation: How Do Fossils Form?
 

Book review

Dinosaurs Encyclopedia

Book Review

Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages ... WRITTEN BY A PROFESSIONAL paleontologist specifically for young readers, this guide to the Dinosauria is packed...