fossils

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Scientists: 'Smallest Dinosaur' Wasn't Really a Dinosaur

They now believe Oculudentavis was a lizard

(Newser) - Oculudentavis khaungraawas was a strange and fascinating creature, scientists say—but it probably wasn't a dinosaur. Researchers who identified the hummingbird-sized animal as the smallest known dinosaur in a study published earlier this year have retracted their claim following new research and the discovery of another Oculudentavis fossil, NBC... More »

Forerunner to Dinosaurs Was Tiny Enough to Take Anywhere

Kongonaphon kely fed on bugs and was less than 4 inches tall, researchers say

(Newser) - Meet Kongonaphon kely, a pocket-size dinosaur forerunner that was smaller than your cellphone. The creature, which predated dinosaurs and flying pterosaurs, was just shy of 4 inches tall, according to a study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "Some of these things would... More »

Court: Fossils Worth Millions Belong to Montana Family

Mary Ann and Lige Murray own surface rights to land where 'dueling dinosaurs' found

(Newser) - Dinosaur fossils worth millions of dollars unearthed on a Montana ranch belong to the owners of the land’s surface rights, not the owners of the mineral rights, a US appeals court ruled. The June 17 ruling by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 2016 decision by... More »

A Supercontinent Split. The Frogs Ended Up Here

Fossils in Antarctica are evidence of the breakup of Gondwana

(Newser) - "Frogs, nowadays, are known on all six other continents. Now we know they were also present on the seventh." That's according to Swedish scientist Thomas Mors, whose discovery of 40-million-year-old ancient horned frog fossils in Antarctica suggests frogs were transported around the globe by the breakup of... More »

Human Cousin Found in Remote Cave

Fossils of a long-lost human relative found in the Philippines

(Newser) - Fossil bones and teeth found in the Philippines have revealed a long-lost cousin of modern people, which evidently lived around the time our own species was spreading from Africa to occupy the rest of the world, the AP reports. It's yet another reminder that, although Homo sapiens is now... More »

Scientists Stumble on 'Mindblowing' Find

The Qingjiang fossil site contains 53 new species

(Newser) - Scientists are expressing shock and elation over a fossil-find that revisits life half a billion years ago—and may just shake up our view of evolution, the Guardian reports. Reported in Science , the Qingjiang site in China includes at least 4,351 fossils representing 101 species, 53 of them new... More »

Study Confirms 'Missing Link'

A new species apparently bridged the gap with our ape-like ancestors

(Newser) - Two early humans found in Africa 10 years ago appear to represent a "missing link" with our ape-like ancestors, CNN reports. A new study broke ground this week by saying the two-million-year-old partial skeletons are from a new species called Australopithecus sediba that walked upright but spent time in... More »

Good News After Devastating Brazil Museum Fire

80% of famed 'Luzia' skull has been recovered

(Newser) - A bit of good news after the catastrophic fire that ravaged Brazil's National Museum last month: One of the museum's most prized possessions has been mostly recovered. Museum director Alexander Kellner tells the AP that "Luzia," the oldest human fossil ever found in Latin America, was... More »

'Earth's Oldest Fossils' May Just Be Rocks

2016 find in Greenland may not be as exciting as previously thought

(Newser) - What were billed as the oldest fossils on Earth may just be some rocks, according to a new study. Two years ago a team of Australian scientists found odd structures in Greenland that they said were partly leftovers from microbes that lived on an ancient seafloor. They were said to... More »

Fat From This Fossil Solved Decades-Old Mystery

Study says Dickinsonia is earliest confirmed animal in geological record

(Newser) - A researcher calls it "a decades-old mystery that has been the Holy Grail of paleontology": What, exactly, Dickinsonia was. It's one of a group of lifeforms called the Ediacaran biota, which the BBC describes as the "first complex multi-cellular organisms to appear on Earth." But for... More »

Scientists ID Largest Dino Foot Ever Found, 20 Years Later

Body part from Wyoming belongs to 'Bigfoot' brachiosaur

(Newser) - "Bigfoot" has been found, just not the apish version. An international team of paleontologists has announced the discovery of the largest known dinosaur foot, which belonged to a close relative of the Brachiosaurus now dubbed "Bigfoot." Appropriately so, as a nearly complete left hind-foot fossil totaling 13... More »

Sahara Desert Reveals 'Holy Grail' of Dino Discoveries

African dinosaur suggests link to Europe in late Cretaceous Period

(Newser) - Researcher Matt Lamanna calls it "the Holy Grail" of dinosaur discoveries. After decades of digging had left a 44-million-year gap in the fossil record for dinos in Africa, Lamanna says his jaw "hit the floor" when he saw photos of skull fragments, a lower jaw, neck and back... More »

Found in China: Dino With a 'Rainbow Glimmer'

Jurassic Period's 'Caihong juji' had shimmering feathers like those found on hummingbirds

(Newser) - Scientists are now saying there may have been "a more colorful Jurassic World than we previously imagined," thanks to the recent discovery of a fossil in China's Hebei province. Reuters reports that a closer look at the "exquisitely preserved," almost completely intact fossil of a... More »

It Was a Wolf-Sized Otter, but With Jaws Like a Bear

Modern otters wouldn't stand a chance against Siamogale melilutra

(Newser) - Modern-day sea otters would prove no match for their 6-million-year-old, wolf-sized ancestors , who didn't need rocks to smash open mollusks. They could do that, and perhaps rip into tougher and larger prey, with a single bite from surprisingly powerful jaws, according to new research. In the latest study of... More »

Trump Plans Have Dinosaur-Lovers Distressed

Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante is home to countless fossils—and 62 billion tons of coal

(Newser) - Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante contains an estimated 62 billion tons of coal. But it also has one of the highest concentrations of dinosaur fossils in the world, with more than two-dozen new species having been discovered in the 21 years since President Clinton designated it a national monument. So when... More »

Scientists Find Surprise in 75M-Year-Old Dino Poop

'Herbivores' might have eaten shellfish, say researchers

(Newser) - One of the most common herbivores of the dinosaur era might have been, well, not an herbivore. Fossilized poop likely to have come from a duck-billed dinosaur that roamed southern Utah some 75 million years ago contains ancient shellfish, shaking what researchers thought they knew about hadrosaurs and other egg-laying... More »

'ET' Dust Extracted From White Cliffs of Dover

Cosmic particles could offer clues to past major events like asteroid collisions

(Newser) - The White Cliffs of Dover serve as both a stunning photographic subject and as an iconic British symbol of defense during war. Now they're also a geological museum of sorts: Scientists from Imperial College London have discovered 76 particles of fossilized cosmic dust in the chalky limestone, which could... More »

Meet What May Have Been the Largest Land Animal Ever

'Patagotitan mayorum' dino may have been as long as 7 elephants

(Newser) - One hundred million years ago, a sauropod that stretched more than 120 feet and weighed some 70 tons existed—perhaps the largest creature to ever roam the Earth. Over the past few years, researchers have excavated fossils from six young-adult dinosaurs from a Patagonian quarry, and New Scientist puts stats... More »

Boy Tripped While Hiking, Made Big Find in the Process

Jude Sparks accidentally uncovered a stegomastodon skull

(Newser) - Luck came not once, but twice for Jude Sparks. The then-9-year-old was lucky enough to trip not on a rock, or a tree root, but on a 1.2-million-year-old fossil when trying to dash away from his brothers on a November desert hike with his family. And as New Mexico... More »

New Fossils Push Known Human History Back 100K Years

And change what we thought we knew about human history and evolution

(Newser) - “My reaction was a big ‘wow,'” archaeologist Jean-Jacques Hublin tells the Guardian . Hublin and his team recently discovered Homo sapien fossils in an old mine in Morocco that dating tests reveal are 300,000 years old. Prior to the discovery, the earliest known Homo sapien fossils... More »

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