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Thu06222017

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Paleontology

10 Weirdest Fossils

1 100-million-year-old spider attack fossil



The only fossil ever discovered of a spider attack on prey caught in its web – a 100 million-year-old snapshot of an engagement caught in amber.

The extraordinarily rare fossils are in a piece of amber that preserved this event in remarkable detail. This spider lived in the Hukawng Valley of Myanmar in the Early Cretaceous – between 97-110 million years ago – almost certainly with dinosaurs wandering nearby. 

2 66 pound Rhino skull



A rare fossil of a rhinoceros that roamed what is now Turkey reveals the tale of a sudden violent death—by volcano, 9.2 million years ago. The ancient rhino's skull and jaw have a rough surface and brittle teeth. Paleontologist...

Huge deposit of Jurassic turtle remains found in China

“Bones upon bones, we couldn’t believe our eyes,” says Oliver Wings, paleontologist and guest researcher at the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin. He was describing the spectacular find of some 1800 fossilized mesa chelonia turtles from the Jurassic era in China’s northwest province of Xinjiang. Wings and the University of Tübingen’s fossil turtle specialist, Dr. Walter Joyce, were working with Chinese paleontologists there in 2008.

The results of their further work in 2009...

Fossils of first feathered dinosaurs from North America discovered: Clues on early wing uses

The ostrich-like dinosaurs in the original Jurassic Park movie were portrayed as a herd of scaly, fleet-footed animals being chased by a ferocious Tyrannosaurus rex. New research published in the journal Science reveals this depiction of these bird-mimic dinosaurs is not entirely accurate -- the ornithomimids, as they are scientifically known, should have had feathers and wings. The new study, led by paleontologists Darla Zelenitsky from the University of Calgary and François Therrien...

Did the changing climate shrink Europe's ancient hippos?

Giant German hippopotamuses wallowing on the banks of the Elbe are not a common sight. Yet 1.8 million years ago hippos were a prominent part of European wildlife, when mega-fauna such as woolly mammoths and giant cave bears bestrode the continent. Now palaeontologists writing in Boreas, believe that the changing climate during the Pleistocene Era may have forced Europe's hippos to shrink to pygmy sizes before driving them to warmer climes.

"Species of hippo ranged across pre-historic...

A sharper look into the past for archaeology and climate research

Drilling work to retreive a varve core from Lake Suigetsu, Japan. (Credit: © Achim Brauer / GFZ)

By using a new series of measurements of radiocarbon dates on seasonally laminated sediments from Lake Suigetsu in Japan, a more precise calibration of radiocarbon dating will be possible. In combination with an accurate count of the seasonal layered deposits in the lake, the study resulted in an unprecedented precision of the known 14C method with which it is now possible to date older...

Tropical collapse in Early Triassic caused by lethal heat: Extreme temperatures blamed for 'Dead Zone'

A paleogeographic reconstruction of the Early Triassic world (Smithian substage) around 252-247 million years ago, showing a ‘dead zone’ in the tropics. Marine reptiles (ichthyosaurs), terrestrial tetrapods and fish almost exclusively occurred in higher latitudes (>30 °N and >40 °S) with rare exceptions. (Credit: Yadong Sun, University of Leeds)

Scientists have discovered why the 'broken world' following the worst extinction of all time lasted so long -- it was simply too...

Mayfly with springtail hitchhiker: Amber specimen -- 16 million years old -- reveals unknown animal behaviors

Stunning images, including video footage, from a CT scan of amber have revealed the first evidence of any creature using an adult mayfly for transport.

Researchers at the University of Manchester say this 16-million-year-old hitchhiker most likely demonstrates activity that is taking place today but has never previously been recorded.

Entombed in amber the tiny springtail can be seen resting in a v-shaped depression at the base of one of the mayfly's wings. It appears to have...

Ice age polarity reversal was global event: Extremely brief reversal of geomagnetic field, climate variability, and super volcano

Some 41,000 years ago, a complete and rapid reversal of the geomagnetic field occured. Magnetic studies of the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences on sediment cores from the Black Sea show that during this period, during the last ice age, a compass at the Black Sea would have pointed to the south instead of north.

 

Moreover, data obtained by the research team formed around GFZ researchers Dr. Norbert Nowaczyk and Prof. Helge Arz, together with additional data from...

Climate change: Circulation of Atlantic Ocean was faster during last Ice Age than today

Simplified concept of the Ocean Circulation: Warm and saline surface waters (red) transport heat from the Southern Hemisphere to the North Atlantic. Due to cooling these waters gain in density, sink into the deeper Ocean and flow back southward (blue). In a slow diffusive process the deep waters upwell again in the Indian and the Pacific Ocean closing the circle of the wind, salt and heat driven "global conveyor belt". The new study concludes that during the Last Glacial the strength...

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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...