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Palaeontology News

Ancient whales were predators not gentle giants - scientists

Sydney - Ancient whales had extremely sharp predator teeth similar to lions, Australian scientists said Wednesday in a discovery they believe debunks theories the mammals used their teeth to filter feed like today's gentle giants.

Ancient species of giant sloth discovered in Mexico

Mexico - Mexican scientists said Wednesday they have discovered the fossilized remains of a previously unknown species of giant sloth that lived 10,000 years ago and died at the bottom of a sinkhole.

Ancient skull hints at African roots for ape-human ancestor: study

Paris - The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday.

Darwin's 'strangest animal ever' finds a family

Paris - Charles Darwin, Mr. Evolution himself, didn't know what to make of the fossils he saw in Patagonia so he sent them to his friend, the renowned paleontologist Richard Owen. Owen was stumped too. Little wonder.

Moroccan fossil find rearranges Homo sapiens family tree

Paris - Last week's unveiling of the oldest-known Homo sapiens' remains has painted an excitingly chaotic picture of what Earth was like 300,000 years ago -- bustling with hominin species that included a very early version of our own, experts say.

Moroccan fossil find rearranges Homo sapiens family tree

Paris - The unveiling of the oldest-known Homo sapiens remains has painted an excitingly chaotic picture of what Earth was like 300,000 years ago -- bustling with hominin species that included a very early version of our own, experts say.

The 'obsession' that changed human history

Paris - An "obsession" with the lower jaw of a long-dead human, unearthed in the 1960s at a prehistoric Moroccan campsite, led palaeoanthropologist Jean-Jacques Hublin to the discovery of a lifetime.

Giant bird-like dinosaur species found in China: study

Bejing - Researchers have discovered a new species of giant, bird-like dinosaur that made nests larger than monster truck tires in what is now central China, a study said.

Giant bird-like dinosaur species found in China: study

Bejing - Researchers have discovered a new species of giant, bird-like dinosaur that made nests larger than monster truck tires in what is now central China, a study said.

Giant bird-like dinosaur species found in China: study

Bejing - Researchers have discovered a new species of giant, bird-like dinosaur that made nests larger than monster truck tires in what is now central China, a study said.

Fossils suggest hominids may have lived alongside modern humans

Mothibistad - Primitive hominids may have lived in Africa at the same time as humans, researchers said Tuesday, in new findings that could change the understanding of human evolution.

Dino ancestors looked like crocodiles: study

London - Fossils discovered in Tanzania in the 1930s have helped identify a "missing link" in dinosaur evolution that reveals their ancestors had long necks, walked on four legs and looked like crocodiles.

Fossils point to life on Earth 4 billion years ago

Paris - The oldest fossils ever found are "direct evidence" of life on Earth 3.8 to 4.3 billion years ago when our planet was still in its infancy, researchers reported Wednesday.

Dino rib yields evidence of oldest soft tissue remains

Paris - The rib of a long-necked, plant-eating dinosaur that lived 195 million years ago has yielded what may be the oldest remains of soft tissue ever recovered, scientists said Tuesday.

Mongolia seeks to crush fossil black market

- For years, herder Gelegrash had a sideline bringing tourists to see a dinosaur skull hidden near the Flaming Cliffs in Mongolia's Gobi desert. Then, one day, it was gone.

Dino-killing crater shows clues about Ice Age sea level

Mexico - The massive underwater crater left by the asteroid that exterminated the dinosaurs has provided new evidence that sea levels were much lower during the last Ice Age, researchers said.

Brazil's biggest dinosaur found after passing 60 years in cupboard

Rio De Janeiro - Brazil just found its biggest ever dinosaur -- in a storage cupboard.

Fossil find points to life on Earth 3.7 bn years ago

Sydney - Life on Earth is even older than we thought, Australian scientists said Thursday as they unveiled fossils dating back a staggering 3.7 billion years.

Fossil find points to life on Earth 3.7 bn years ago

Sydney - Life on Earth is even older than we thought, Australian scientists said Thursday as they unveiled fossils dating back a staggering 3.7 billion years.

Fossil find points to life on Earth 3.7 bn years ago

Sydney - Life on Earth is even older than we thought, Australian scientists said Thursday as they unveiled fossils dating back a staggering 3.7 billion years.

Scientists find new stubby-armed dinosaur in Argentina

Buenos Aires - Researchers announced they have discovered a ferocious meat-eating dinosaur in Argentina, notable for having short arms like the T-rex but hailing from a different branch of the family tree.

Likely ancestor of mystery 'hobbit' found

Paris - Half-sized humans who lived 700,000 years ago were almost certainly the ancestors of enigmatic "hobbits" whose fossils were found on the same Indonesian isle in 2003, scientists stunned by their own discovery reported Wednesday.

Caveman's best friends? Preserved Ice Age puppies awe scientists

Moscow - The hunters searching for mammoth tusks were drawn to the steep riverbank by a deposit of ancient bones. To their astonishment, they discovered an Ice Age puppy's snout peeking out from the permafrost.

Neanderthal DNA redraws human out-of-Africa timeline

Paris - A group of modern humans that arrived in Eurasia far earlier than previously thought also had sex with Neanderthals, according to a study that redraws the migratory timeline for our species.

New human species found in S.African cave

Kuruman - The fossilised bones of 15 members of a previously unknown branch of the human family tree have been discovered in a cave in South Africa, scientists said Thursday, hailing the find as a breakthrough in evolution research.

Large cache of dinosaur eggs seized in Guangdong Province, China

Around 231 dinosaur eggs have been recovered in China from a home in Guangdong Province, after residents raided a construction site.

Human hand more primitive than chimp's: Study

Paris - Strong fists for defending ourselves and opposable thumbs for work as fine as threading a needle -- hand specialisation is widely believed to have given humans a major evolutionary advantage.

Mysterious prehistoric reptiles fly into NY

New York - An international exhibition in New York explores the fascinating world of prehistoric flying reptiles, the pterosaurs who ruled the skies when dinosaurs ruled the earth millions of years ago.

'Little Foot' may have been humans' forefather: study

Paris - A short, hairy "ape man" who tumbled into a pit in South Africa millions of years ago is back in the running as a candidate ancestor for humans, scientists said Friday.A painstaking 13-year probe has "convincingly shown", they said, that the strange-lo...

Op-Ed: World’s largest mass extinction happened much faster — MIT

Sydney - The Permian extinction, which almost annihilated life on Earth, was a comparatively sudden event. MIT scientists have now discovered that the extinction was caused by a massive increase of carbon, believed to have been caused by volcanic eruptions.
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Lasers lock X-ray beams onto the remains of Clarisse  a 50-million-year-old snake. The fossil was sc...
Lasers lock X-ray beams onto the remains of Clarisse, a 50-million-year-old snake. The fossil was scanned on a 64-slice CT scanner at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, and the resulting images were analyzed by Brazilian paleontologist Hussan Zaher. The snake is part of the collection at the Houston Museum of Natural Science and will go on display in 2012.
Denny Angelle/The Methodist Hospital System

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