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      Life on Earth evolved from a universal common ancestor approximately 3.8 billion years ago...

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Evolution

Evolutionary mode routinely varies amongst morphological traits within fossil species lineages

1000pa (Nov. 26, 2012) — What happens when the modern evolutionary theory of punctuated equilibrium collides with the older theory of mosaic evolution? Part of the answer comes from a new, wide-ranging study by paleobiologists Melanie J Hopkins at the Museum fuer Naturkunde Berlin and Scott Lidgard at the Field Museum in Chicago. Their results are published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

While processes of evolution are largely studied by observation and experiment in the living world, evolutionary tempo and mode -- rates and patterns of change, respectively -- are mostly revealed by studying the fossil record. Paleontologists measure parts of the hard skeletal fossil remains of...

Ancient microbes found living beneath the icy surface of Antarctic lake

While Antarctica's Lake Vida will never be a vacation destination, it is home to some newly discovered hearty microbes. (Credit: Courtesy of the Desert Research Institute.)

1000pa (Nov. 26, 2012) — This week a pioneering study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and co-authored by Dr. Alison Murray and Dr. Christian Fritsen of Nevada's Desert Research Institute (DRI) reveals, for the first time, a viable community of bacteria that...

Hearty organisms discovered in bitter-cold Antarctic brine

Scientists take a core sample from Lake Vida. (Credit: Courtesy of the Desert Research Institute.)

1000pa (Nov. 26, 2012) — Where there's water there's life -- even in brine beneath 60 feet of Antarctic ice, in permanent darkness and subzero temperatures.

While Lake Vida, located in the northernmost of the McMurdo Dry Valleys of East Antarctica, will never be a vacation destination, it is home to some newly discovered hearty microbes. In the current issue of...

Model sheds light on chemistry that sparked origin of life

The question of how life began on a molecular level has been a longstanding problem in science. (Credit: Copyright Michele Hogan)

1000pa (Nov. 26, 2012) — The question of how life began on a molecular level has been a longstanding problem in science. However, recent mathematical research sheds light on a possible mechanism by which life may have gotten a foothold in the chemical soup that existed on the early Earth.

Researchers have proposed several...

New evidence on dinosaurs' role in evolution of bird flight

An artist’s impression of what the Archaeopteryx lithographica would have looked like in flight. (Credit: Image by artist Carl Buel)

1000pa (Nov. 21, 2012) — A new study looking at the structure of feathers in bird-like dinosaurs has shed light on one of nature's most remarkable inventions -- how flight might have evolved.

Academics at the Universities of Bristol, Yale and Calgary have shown that prehistoric birds had a much more primitive version of...

After 121 years, identification of 'grave robber' fossil solves a paleontological enigma

The Miocene mammal Necrolestes patagonensis ventures out of its burrow 16 million years ago in Patagonia, present-day Argentina. Necrolestes is now recognized as a member of a group long thought to have become extinct shortly after the extinction of the large dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period. (Credit: Reconstruction by Jorge Gonzalez, copyright Guillermo W. Rougier for PNAS)

1000pa (Nov. 19, 2012) — An international team of researchers, including...

New ancient shark species gives insight into origin of great white

Shark origin explored: Dana Ehret, lead author of a University of Florida study on the origin of great white sharks, analyzes a 4.5-million-year-old fossil at Gordon Hubbell’s private gallery in Gainesville, Fla., on March 6, 2009. In a study published Nov. 14, 2012, in Palaeontology, researchers name the species Carcharodon hubbelli for Hubbell, who donated the fossil to the Florida Museum of Natural History on the UF campus. Ehret, now a lecturer at Monmouth University...

First Bird

First Bird
What was the earliest known bird?

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...