Fossils show giant worms may have burrowed into the ancient seafloor

illustration of ancient bobbit worms

Around 20 million years ago, giant ocean worms may have burrowed into the seafloor and burst forth like the space slug from Star Wars to ambush unsuspecting fish. Ancient underground lairs left behind by these animals appear in rocks from coastal Taiwan, researchers report January 21 in Scientific Reports. The diggers may have been analogs […]

Stunningly preserved ‘Cretaceous Pompeii’ fossils may not be what they seem

Did a “Cretaceous Pompeii” doom a pair of dinosaurs, burying them in a deadly ash flow and preserving them in 3D like the human victims of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79?  Not quite, scientists revealed at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).  The 3D preservation of two psittacosaurs — beaked dinosaurs with […]

Henderson island fossils reveal new Polynesian sandpiper species — ScienceDaily

Fossil bones collected in the early 1990s on Henderson Island, part of the Pitcairn Group, have revealed a new species of Polynesian sandpiper. The Henderson Sandpiper, a small wading bird that has been extinct for centuries, is described in an article in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society published last week. The newly-described bird […]

Indian fossils support new hypothesis for origin of hoofed mammals — ScienceDaily

New research published today in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology describes a fossil family that illuminates the origin of perissodactyls — the group of mammals that includes horses, rhinos, and tapirs. It provides insights on the controversial question of where these hoofed animals evolved, concluding that they arose in or near present day India. With […]

Indian fossils support new hypothesis for origin of hoofed mammals

Life reconstruction of Cambaytherium. Credit: Elaine Kasmer New research published today in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology describes a fossil family that illuminates the origin of perissodactyls—the group of mammals that includes horses, rhinos and tapirs. It provides insights on the controversial question of where these hoofed animals evolved, concluding that they arose in or […]

Monster bird fossils unearthed in Antarctica

Not long after the dinosaurs went extinct, a new breed of giants rose: Monster birds with wingspans that stretched up to 21 feet (6.4 meters) long, about the length of a U-Haul truck.  These enormous birds darkened the skies above Antarctica as early as 50 million years ago, a new examination of fossils from the […]

Record-long trail of human footprint fossils hints at Ice Age trek

On a day during the late Ice Age, a young adult or teen carrying a toddler hustled across a muddy flat where mammoths and giant sloths roamed. Now, over 10,000 years later, fossilized footprints reveal that possibly perilous journey. The tracks, found in New Mexico’s White Sands National Park, stretch for nearly 1.5 kilometers across […]

Supercomputers dig into first star fossils — ScienceDaily

No one has yet found the first stars. They’re hypothesized to have formed about 100 million years after the Big Bang out of universal darkness from the primordial gases of hydrogen, helium, and trace light metals. These gases cooled, collapsed, and ignited into stars up to 1,000 times more massive than our sun. The bigger […]