Large mammals make soil more fertile in tropical forests

A study conducted by scientists at São Paulo State University demonstrates that animals like peccaries and tapirs boost soil levels of nitrogen, an essential element to plant growth. A White-lipped peccary. Credit: João Paulo Krajewski The White-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari) is a boar-like hoofed mammal found throughout Central and South America. These animals roam the […]

Team finds surprising connection between dinosaurs and mammals

A complete sabre-toothed canine from a gorgonopsian from Zambia. This specimen includes both the crown (top) and root (bottom) of the tooth. | . Credit: Megan Whitney. When thinking of fierce predators of the past, it’s difficult not to imagine dinosaurs, considering theropods are well known for having blade-like teeth with serrated cutting edges used […]

By Land or Sea: How Did Mammals Get to the Caribbean Islands?

This work is dedicated to the memory of Gilles Merzeraud, who passed away on 30 October 2020. As a colleague and as a friend, he was a key figure of the GAARAnti team. The islands of the West Indies—comprising the Greater Antilles, Bahamas, and Lesser Antilles—feature remarkable biodiversity, with species mainly having originated […]

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 […]

Finding Prehistoric Rain Forests by Studying Modern Mammals

The Amazon rain forest is one of the most biodiverse places on Earth and plays a key role in the planet’s carbon and oxygen cycles. Despite its global importance, many aspects of this ecosystem’s history are still a mystery. Julia Tejada, who recently received her Ph.D. from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and […]

Why ancient South American mammals may have lost out to northern kin

Millions of years ago, North American mammals flooded South America after the two continents joined. But South American mammals failed to return the favor, and now scientists have an idea why. A new analysis of fossils suggests that many native South American mammal groups were declining early in the continental coupling, leaving fewer species available […]