NEWS ABOUT: paleontology

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Second Half of Turtle Fossil Found 165 Years Later

Paleontologist makes surprising find in New Jersey stream bed

(Newser) - An amateur paleontologist hunting for shark teeth in a New Jersey stream bed found something a lot more interesting: one half of an arm bone from an ancient, massive sea turtle, reports the LA Times . The astonishing part is that the other half of the bone has been sitting in... More »

New Dinosaur Was 'Chicken From Hell'

Tough, 10-foot beast roamed western US

(Newser) - Col. Sanders' nightmare come true? Researchers say a new species of dinosaur unearthed in the US was a bit like a chicken—a 10-foot tall, 550-pound chicken that could rip your head off. The dinosaur, which lived around 66 million years ago, has been nicknamed the "chicken from hell"... More »

Ancient Sea Beasts Were Dark as Night

Sea beasts weren't so colorful

(Newser) - Ancient sea reptiles are finally showing their true colors. Researchers investigated skin remnants from ancient leatherback turtles and ichthyosaurs and mosasaurs, which resembled fish. The researchers found that all three creatures were covered in black skin or scales, with reason: The coloration may have helped camouflage them and protect them... More »

Massive 'King of Gore' Dinosaur Found in Utah

Lythronax argestes was a ferocious beast, the largest of its ecosystem

(Newser) - Tyrannosaurus rex may have ruled the land in its day, but a newly discovered species, its closest known relative, was the top dog some 10 million years earlier. Lythronax argestes—which translates to "the king of gore from the southwest"—lived 80 million years ago in the central... More »

Teen Makes 'Spectacular' Dino Fossil Find

Youngest, smallest, most complete Parasaurolophus skeleton

(Newser) - A California high school student made a find LiveScience calls "amazing": While doing paleontology fieldwork for school in Utah in 2009, Kevin Terris helped to discover an almost complete baby Parasaurolophus skeleton—in fact, the most complete one ever found. Nicknamed "Joe," it also turned out to... More »

Scientists Reconstruct 520M-Year-Old Nervous System

Mega-claw's brain fossilized, looks like a spider's

(Newser) - Scientists digging through old fossils have identified a 520-million-year-old mega-claw with an almost completely preserved nervous system—the oldest such find ever, the LA Times reports. The specimen belongs to the Alalcomenaeus family, which is part of a larger group of "megacheirans," meaning roughly "mega-claw" or "... More »

Construction Worker Finds Massive Dino Fossil

Tail is from 35-foot-long dinosaur

(Newser) - A construction worker installing pipeline in Alberta, Canada, never thought he’d find this. A backhoe operator was working on a pipeline when the shovel broke off a piece of what he thought was a rock. He laid the piece aside and got back inside the backhoe to keep working.... More »

Tooth Be Told: T. Rex Was Hunter

Finding may wipe out theory it was scavenger

(Newser) - Lately, scientists have suggested that Tyrannosaurus rex wasn't the vicious hunter from the movies—instead, with its slower speeds and weak eyesight, it was a scavenger, they argue. But a new finding offers clear evidence against that rather disappointing theory. Researchers have discovered a T. rex tooth lodged in... More »

New Study Offers Proof: Asteroid Wiped Out Dinos

New study puts mass extinction within 32K years of meteor

(Newser) - Paleontologists and dinosaur nerds have long debated what killed off the "terrible lizards"— one meteor or many , volcanoes , or something else. Now one researcher says he has the answer: an asteroid believed to be about six miles wide that landed in the Caribbean about 66 million years ago.... More »

Extinct Toothy Lizard Named After Obama

Obamadon gracilis disappeared with the dinosaurs

(Newser) - President Obama's toothy grin inspired researchers to name a newly discovered species of prehistoric lizard after him. Obamadon gracilis, a small, insect-eating lizard found in northwest Montana, went extinct along with the dinosaurs after a giant asteroid hit Earth around 65 million years ago. "The lizard has these... More »

New Dinosaur Named After Tolkien's 'Eye of Sauron'

Beast IDed from eye-socket-containing fossil fragment

(Newser) - Paleontologists have identified a new 40-foot, flesh-eating dinosaur from a single fossil fragment containing a single eye-socket—and named the beast after an evil character from the Lord of the Rings, National Geographic reports. The Sauroniops pachytholus (or "Eye of Sauron" in Greek) apparently rivaled the Tyrannosaurus Rex in... More »

New Fossils Reveal More Human Species

Early human evolution was more crowded than we thought: Leakeys

(Newser) - The discovery of three new fossils, unveiled today, illuminate and confirm a line of human evolution that is more complicated than scientists once thought. The groundbreaking bones, about 2 million years old and unearthed in Kenya, prove that there were at least two Homo species—in addition to Homo erectus—... More »

Ancient Relatives of Humans Ate Wood

Scientists analyzed dental tartar in fossils

(Newser) - Did our ancestors eat trees? New fossil evidence shows that a 2 million-year-old relative of humans nibbled on bark and leaves, reports BBC . Scientists analyzed the teeth of two members of the "southern ape" species, or Australopithecus sediba, and found evidence that they included wood in their diet. More »

Couple Finds Prehistoric Bison in Basement

Skeleton believed to be 10,000 years old

(Newser) - A Yukon couple digging up their basement to install a power line made a find that has excited paleontologists. What the couple initially believed was a dinosaur bone turned out to be the intact skeleton of a bison that had lain there undisturbed for 10,000 years, reports the Globe ... More »

Chechnya Claims to Have Found Giant Dinosaur Eggs

Scientists elsewhere skeptical

(Newser) - Scientists in Chechnya are claiming to have stumbled upon the biggest dinosaur eggs ever found—but their colleagues elsewhere are more than a little skeptical. A geologist at the volatile Russian republic's state university says that after a highway crew blasted through a hillside, geologists found some 40 huge... More »

Dinosaurs May Have Lived in Water: Scientist

Other scientists less convinced

(Newser) - Was T-Rex some kind of gigantic, stubby-armed shark? Cambridge University professor Brian J. Ford thinks so. In a recent paper, Ford argues that dinosaurs were just too large to exist on dry land. "Every time you see these images, they are always the same. You have these huge dinosaurs... More »

Whale Graveyard Puzzles Experts

Paleontologists ponder: Why are the fossils found together?

(Newser) - A newly discovered graveyard of ancient whales in Chile has scientists wondering how on Earth the bus-sized mammals all ended up dying in the same place. "That's the top question," says the director of a nearby museum. Their current location—the middle of a highway under construction... More »

In Nevada, Proof of the Kraken?

Paleontologist: ichthyosaur fossils could indicate existence of sea monster

(Newser) - Sasquatch should be really nervous right now... First, Siberian officials announced they had proof that Yeti exists . Now a Massachusetts paleontologist says he has indirect evidence that the fearsome kraken once roamed the seas. At the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, Mark McMenamin yesterday posited that the... More »

High Tech Paints 3D Image of Ancient Beast of the Deep

Aquatic dinosaur had 8-foot skull

(Newser) - The 50-foot monster was the terror of the Earth's oceans some 150 million years ago, with its giant head packing a crocodile-esque jaw and razor sharp teeth that savaged anything in its way. Or at least that's the picture that's emerging of the pliosaur, as imaging scientists and paleontologists use... More »

Dino Birth Pushed Back 9M Years

Just-discovered species walked the Earth 250 million years ago

(Newser) - Researchers analyzing footprints in 250 million-year-old Polish rock say they've identified the oldest dinosaur-like species ever discovered. Prorodatcylus walked on four legs, was about the size of a house cat, and lived in the shadow of its "more diverse, successful, and abundant crocodile-like cousins" for millions of years, according... More »

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