Paleontogly

Giant Birds Roamed Europe Two Million Years Ago

A giant ostrich-like bird that lived about two million years ago (Pleistocene epoch) has been identified from a fossilized femur found in the Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine. Pachystruthio dmanisensis. Image credit: Andrey Atuchin. Named Pachystruthio dmanisensis, the ancient bird was at least 11.5 feet (3.5 m) tall and had an estimated …

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Some Extinct Relatives of Living Crocodylians Were Vegetarians

A veggie diet arose in extinct crocodyliforms — the distant cousins of living crocodylians (alligators, caimans, crocodiles, and gharials) — at least three times, according to new research. Life reconstructions of extinct crocodyliforms. Differences in tooth shape are related to differences in diets. Image credit: Jorge Gonzalez. “The most interesting …

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Paleontologists Uncover New Insights into Non-Iridescent Feather Colors in Prehistoric Birds

An international team of paleontologists from the United Kingdom and Germany has shown that blue feather melanosomes are highly distinct from melanosomes that are from feathers expressing black, reddish-brown, brown and iridescent. Reconstruction of Eocoracias brachyptera with hypothesized plumage coloration. Image credit: Marta Zaher, University of Bristol. A pigment called …

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Hyenas Once Lived above Arctic Circle

Paleontologists have found two fossilized teeth of extinct cursorial hyenas (genus Chasmaporthetes) in the remote Old Crow River region in northern Yukon Territory, Canada. An artist’s rendering of ancient Arctic hyenas belonging to the genus Chasmaporthetes. Image credit: Julius T. Csotonyi. The newly-described fossil teeth of Chasmaporthetes hyenas are most …

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Paleontologists Find Strange Microbes in Dinosaur Fossils

In a new study published in the journal eLife, an international team of paleontologists looked for preserved collagen proteins and DNA in the fossilized bones of a horned dinosaur called Centrosaurus. They didn’t find the proteins or DNA, but they did find unusual communities of modern microbes living inside the …

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Giant Cambrian Trilobite Species Unearthed in Australia

Paleontologists have unearthed fossils of a giant trilobite species that inhabited Australian waters approximately 500 million years ago (Cambrian period). An artist’s impression of Redlichia rex on the Cambrian seafloor. Image credit: Katrina Kenny. Trilobites are a group of extinct marine arthropods that resemble modern-day horseshoe crabs and are related …

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Why Giant Beavers Went Extinct 10,000 Years Ago

Giant beavers (members of the genus Castoroides) inhabited North America throughout the mid- to late Pleistocene. They went extinct along with dozens of other megafaunal species at the end of the last Ice Age, approximately 10,000 years ago. Now a team of researchers in Canada has uncovered a possible reason …

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Two T. rex Little Cousins Discovered

Two new species of predatory megaraptoran dinosaurs have been identified from fossils found in Thailand. Phuwiangvenator yaemniyomi (left) and Vayuraptor nongbualamphuensis. Image credit: Adun Samathi / Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität Bonn. The two new species, named Phuwiangvenator yaemniyomi and Vayuraptor nongbualamphuensis, roamed the Earth approximately 125 million years ago (Cretaceous period). …

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