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Paleontology

Nunavut's mysterious ancient life could return by 2100 as Arctic warms

View from the study site at the beginning of the fieldwork in the end of June 2010. (Credit: Alexandre Guertin-Pasquier)

Global climate change means that recently discovered ancient forests in Canada's extreme north could one day return, according to Alexandre Guertin-Pasquier of the University of Montreal's Department of Geography, who is presenting his findings at the Canadian Paleontology Conference in Toronto today.

"According to the data model, climate conditions on Bylot Island will be able to support the kinds of trees we find in the fossilized forest that currently exist there, such as willow, pine and spruce. I've also found evidence of a possible growth of oak and hickory near the study site during this period,"...

First Bird

Archaeopteryx is the earliest undisputed bird. A weak flyer, it shared characteristics with its dinosaur ancestors. Fossils show that Archaeopteryx , like dinosaurs, had teeth, a long bony tail, and grasping claws on its wings, but also had a bird-style hip and feathers.

A particulary important and still contentious discovery is Archaeopteryx lithographica, found in the Jurassic Solnhofen Limestone of southern Germany, which is marked by rare but exceptionally well preserved fossils...

Dinosaur die out might have been second of two closely timed extinctions

 The most-studied mass extinction in Earth history happened 65 million years ago and is widely thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs. New University of Washington research indicates that a separate extinction came shortly before that, triggered by volcanic eruptions that warmed the planet and killed life on the ocean floor.

The well-known second event is believed to have been triggered by an asteroid at least 6 miles in diameter slamming into Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. But...

Rare find: Feathered dinosaur feasted on flying food

University of Alberta researchers found evidence that a feathered, but flightless dinosaur was able to snag and consume small flying dinosaurs.

The U of A paleontology team found the fossilized remains of three flying dinosaurs in the belly of a raptor-like predator called Sinocalliopteryx. Sinocalliopteryx was about two meters in length and roughly the size of a modern-day wolf.

Sinocalliopteryx's flying meals were three Confuciusornis. Confuciusornis was one of the earliest...

Footprints of cretaceous dinosaur found at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

About 110 million light years away, the bright, barred spiral galaxy NGC 3259 was just forming stars in dark bands of dust and gas. Here on the part of the Earth where NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center would eventually be built, a plant-eating dinosaur sensed predators nearby and quickened its pace, leaving a deep imprint in the Cretaceous mud.

On Friday, Aug. 17, 2012, noted dinosaur hunter Ray Stanford shared the location of that footprint with Goddard's facility management and...

Drastic desertification: Researchers study Dead Sea climate past, finding dramatic results

— Over the past 10,000 years, climate changes in the Dead Sea region have led to surprisingly swift desertification within mere decades. This is what researchers from the University of Bonn and their Israeli colleagues found when analyzing pollen in sediments and fluctuations in sea levels, calling the findings 'dramatic.'

The results are presented in the current issue of the international geosciences journal Quaternary Science Reviews, whose print version is published Aug. 23...

'Dinosaur bends' caused by prolonged diving

1000pa (Aug. 15, 2012) — Dinosaurs-like creatures may have injured themselves during leisurely deep-sea diving trips and not from resurfacing too quickly, as previously thought. Share This: See Also: Plants & AnimalsFrogs and ReptilesMarine BiologyExtreme SurvivalFossils & RuinsDinosaursFossilsOrigin of LifeReference IchthyosaurTrace fossilThe evolution of human intelligenceCretaceous

A recent study identified bone deformities on...

1.5 million years of climate history revealed after scientists solve mystery of the deep

A new study has successfully reconstructed temperature from the deep sea to reveal how global ice volume has varied over the glacial-interglacial cycles of the past 1.5 million years.

Scientists have announced a major breakthrough in understanding Earth's climate machine by reconstructing highly accurate records of changes in ice volume and deep-ocean temperatures over the last 1.5 million years.

The study, which is reported in the journal Science, offers new insights into a...

Extinction risk factors for New Zealand birds today differ from those of the past

What makes some species more prone to extinction? A new study of nearly 300 species of New Zealand birds -- from pre-human times to the present -- reveals that the keys to survival today differ from those of the past.

The results are important in light of the growing number of studies that try to predict which species could be lost in the future based on what kinds of species are considered most threatened today, said lead author Lindell Bromham of Australian National...

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...