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Paleontology

Gaseous emissions from dinosaurs may have warmed prehistoric Earth

1000pa (May 7, 2012) — Sauropod dinosaurs could in principle have produced enough of the greenhouse gas methane to warm the climate many millions of years ago, at a time when Earth was warm and wet. That's according to calculations reported in the May 8th issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.

The hulking sauropods, distinctive for their enormous size and unusually long necks, were widespread about 150 million years ago. As in cows, methane-producing microbes aided the sauropods' digestion by fermenting their plant food.

"A simple mathematical model suggests that the microbes living in sauropod dinosaurs may have produced enough methane to have an important effect on the Mesozoic climate," said Dave...

:Mystery of the domestication of the horse solved Competing theories reconciled

1000pa (May 7, 2012) — New research indicates that domestic horses originated in the steppes of modern-day Ukraine, southwest Russia and west Kazakhstan, mixing with local wild stocks as they spread throughout Europe and Asia.

The research was published 07 May, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

For several decades scientists puzzled over the origin of domesticated horses. Based on archaeological evidence, it had long been thought that horse...

Mystery of the domestication of the horse solved: Competing theories reconciled

1000pa (May 7, 2012) — New research indicates that domestic horses originated in the steppes of modern-day Ukraine, southwest Russia and west Kazakhstan, mixing with local wild stocks as they spread throughout Europe and Asia.

The research was published 07 May, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

For several decades scientists puzzled over the origin of domesticated horses. Based on archaeological evidence, it had long been thought that horse...

New research brings satellite measurements and global climate models closer

1000pa (May 7, 2012) — One popular climate record that shows a slower atmospheric warming trend than other studies contains a data calibration problem, and when the problem is corrected the results fall in line with other records and climate models, according to a new University of Washington study.

The finding is important because it helps confirm that models that simulate global warming agree with observations, said Stephen Po-Chedley, a UW graduate student in atmospheric...

Jurassic pain: Giant 'flea-like' insects plagued dinosaurs 165 million years ago

1000pa (May 1, 2012) — It takes a gutsy insect to sneak up on a huge dinosaur while it sleeps, crawl onto its soft underbelly and give it a bite that might have felt like a needle going in -- but giant "flea-like" animals, possibly the oldest of their type ever discovered, probably did just that.

And a few actually lived through the experience, based on the discovery by Chinese scientists of remarkable fossils of these creatures, just announced in Current Biology, a professional...

Arabic records allow past climate to be reconstructed

1000pa (Apr. 30, 2012) — Corals, trees and marine sediments, among others, are direct evidence of the climate of the past, but they are not the only indicators. A team led by Spanish scientists has interpreted records written in Iraq by Arabic historians for the first time and has made a chronology of climatic events from the year 816 to 1009, when cold waves and snow were normal.

The Arabic historians' records chronologically narrate social, political and religious matters, and...

Mysterious 'monster' discovered by amateur paleontologist

1000pa (Apr. 24, 2012) — For 70 years, academic paleontologists have been assisted by a dedicated corps of amateurs known as the Dry Dredgers. Recently, one amateur found a very large and very mysterious fossil that has the professionals puzzled.

Around 450 million years ago, shallow seas covered the Cincinnati region and harbored one very large and now very mysterious organism. Despite its size, no one has ever found a fossil of this "monster" until its discovery by an amateur...

Egg-laying beginning of the end for dinosaurs

1000pa (Apr. 17, 2012) — Their reproductive strategy spelled the beginning of the end: The fact that dinosaurs laid eggs put them at a considerable disadvantage compared to viviparous mammals. Together with colleagues from the Zoological Society of London, Daryl Codron and Marcus Clauss from the University of Zurich investigated and published why and how this ultimately led to the extinction of the dinosaurs in the journal Biology Letters.

The dinosaur's egg and the tiny dino...

Oldest-ever reptile embryos unearthed

1000pa (Apr. 11, 2012) — Dating back 280 million years or so, the oldest known fossil reptile embryos have been unearthed in Uruguay and Brazil. They belong to the ancient aquatic reptiles, mesosaurs. The study of these exceptionally well-preserved fossils suggests that mesosaurs were either viviparous[1] (pushing back this mode of reproduction by 60 million years) or that they laid eggs in advanced...

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...