Posts

August 28, 2014

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4:12 PM | Poet and Paleontologist – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The German lawyer, author, poet, politician and artist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (born August 28, 1749-1832) was also a mining engineer and quite interested in geology and paleontology. In the year 1775, Goethe, already a highly regarded author, was invited to the court of Duke Carl August in the city of Weimar, where he will [...]
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4:12 PM | Poet and Paleontologist – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The German lawyer, author, poet, politician and artist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (born August 28, 1749-1832) was also a mining engineer and quite interested in geology and paleontology. In the year... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

August 27, 2014

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6:44 PM | 560-Million-Year-Old Fossil Provides Earliest Evidence of Muscles
Paleontologists Dr Martin Brasier of the University of Oxford and the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Dr Alexander Liu of the University of Cambridge and their colleagues have uncovered the fossil of a muscle-bearing organism that thrived in what is now Newfoundland in Canada during the Ediacaran period, about 560 million years ago. According to the [...]
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3:40 PM | My Kids Need a Velociraptor
Rebecca Groom, creator of Paleoplushies is running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of scientifically accurate, poseable velociraptor stuffed animals (aka, plushies in the UK). You have until 28 September to pledge. As of this writing, 79 backers have pledged £3103 of the … Continue reading →

August 26, 2014

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3:54 AM | Australopith: Taung Child Was Not Human, Finds Study
The Taung Child, a hominin discovered in South Africa 90 years ago by Wits University Professor Raymond Dart, has been studied using the Wits University Microfocus X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) facility and the results cast doubt on theories that Australopithecus africanus shows the same cranial adaptations found in modern human infants and toddlers. Instead it seems to disprove current support for the idea that this early hominin shows infant brain development in the prefrontal region […]

August 25, 2014

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4:18 PM | Smithsonian scientist brings Kennewick Man to life in new book
Nearly 20 years since Kennewick Man was serendipitously discovered along the banks of the Columbia River in Washington State, the scientific saga of his life […] The post Smithsonian scientist brings Kennewick Man to life in new book appeared first on Smithsonian Science.
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3:13 PM | Planting a Cretaceous Pond, South American Edition
If you close your eyes and visualize Mesozoic foliage, a few particular types of plants might spring to mind. There are probably some palm trees, a few ferns, a cycad (“sago palm”) or two, and if you are particularly in-the-know, …The post Planting a Cretaceous Pond, South American Edition appeared first on The Integrative Paleontologists.

August 22, 2014

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3:14 PM | Things That Make a Vertebrate Paleontologist Weep with Joy
There are times when I really wish I were born an invertebrate paleontologist. For many of them*, a few kilograms of rock can contain dozens or even hundreds of specimens of a single species. This is awesome, because some of …The post Things That Make a Vertebrate Paleontologist Weep with Joy appeared first on The Integrative Paleontologists.

August 21, 2014

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5:38 PM | The End of a Triassic Adventure
The Spitsbergen Jurassic Research Group, led by National Geographic Explorer Dr. Jørn Hurum, is blazing its next great expedition to the icy rim of the world in search of stunningly preserved fossils. Wrapping up a great expedition, Aubrey and Victoria reflect on what was accomplished.

August 20, 2014

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10:05 PM | Temperature Key to Crocs in the Sea
Evolution is great at producing novelty. Every organism that has ever lived – from the first cell to …
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9:05 PM | Real Paleo Diet: Ancient Humans Ate Snails
Ancient Paleolithic people in Spain ate snails as part of their regular diet, new research suggests.
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6:19 PM | Jurassic Welsh
For most people, the Jurassic period conjures up images of huge dinosaurs chomping their way through lush vegetation and each other.  But mammals and their immediate ancestors were also around 201 to 145 million years ago, just not as spectacular as we are now.  Early Jurassic mammals were thought to have been confined to the ecological margins, eating whatever insects they could find. However, this was also the time when new mammal characteristics – such as better hearing and […]
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1:58 PM | Toothless Pterosaurs Ruled Upper Cretaceous Skies, Says Paleontologist
Toothless flying reptiles from the pterosaur family Azhdarchidae dominated the skies during the Upper Cretaceous, between 100 and 60 million years ago, according to paleontologist Dr Alexander Averianov. Azhdarchidae are the most successful and stratigraphically youngest group of pterosaurs. The name of the group is derived from the Persian word ‘Aždarha’ meaning dragon. This group [...]

August 19, 2014

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5:18 AM | My daily moment of extreme nerdiness: Of Hallucigenia, velvet worms and water bears
I am experiencing sheer, pure nerdiness, and I am loving every minute of it.  Before I get into topic, I want to categorically state that I am a proud nerd.  Why?  Some of my thoughts are explained here. Ok, what triggered these feelings today?  I heard about this paper: Hallucigenia’s onychophoran-like claws and the case for …

August 18, 2014

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10:49 PM | The Mammals Who Lived
When the asteroid slammed into prehistoric Mexico and drew the curtain on the Cretaceous, dinosaurs did not fare …

August 15, 2014

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3:59 PM | Guns, Bones and Polar Bears
The Spitsbergen Jurassic Research Group, led by National Geographic Explorer Dr. Jørn Hurum, is blazing its next great expedition to the icy rim of the world in search of stunningly preserved fossils. Polar bears are an ever-present threat to the fossil-hunters, but the team takes precautions to avoid unnecessary violence.

August 14, 2014

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4:25 PM | Extinct Animal Bones From Wyoming Cave Ready for Analysis
The Natural Trap Cave excavation poses some unusual challenges, like how to get through customs with piles of dirty, 50,000-year-old bones. Continue reading →
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1:45 PM | Caiuajara dobruskii: New Pterosaur Species Discovered in Brazil
Brazilian paleontologists have unearthed a large bone bed with at least 47 individuals of a previously unknown pterosaur, named Caiuajara dobruskii. Caiuajara dobruskii lived in what is today southern Brazil between 94 and 72 million years ago, in the Cretaceous period. This reptile was gregarious, living in colonies, and most likely precocial, being able to [...]

August 13, 2014

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10:09 PM | Caiuajara Dobruskii: 47 Ancient Flying Reptiles Of New Species Discovered
Scientists have reported discovery of a new ancient pterosaur species called Caiuajara dobruskii - and the bones of 47 members to go with it. Caiuajara dobruskii lived during the Cretaceous in southern Brazil, according to the paper. There may be more among the hundreds of bones. The pterosaur bone bed in the interdunal lake deposit of a Cretaceous desert contains at least 47 individuals, with wing spans of between 0.65 and 2.35 meter. Caiuajara dobruskii is the southermost occurrence of the […]
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9:34 PM | Megalodon: The Monster Shark’s Dead
Megalodon is dead. This shouldn’t come as a shock. The fossil record is clear that after about 14 …
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12:44 PM | Midnight Sun Fun
The Spitsbergen Jurassic Research Group, led by National Geographic Explorer Dr. Jørn Hurum, is blazing its next great expedition to the icy rim of the world in search of stunningly preserved fossils. The midnight sun circles in an endless, natural rhythm as the team digs through perplexing terrain.

August 12, 2014

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11:53 PM | The Pterosaurs That Weren’t
Earlier this year, in the journal Gondwana Research, paleontologists Gerald Grellet-Tinner and Vlad Codrea announced an unexpected pterosaur. …
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1:32 PM | Volunteers needed for massive Smithsonian digitization project
Today the Smithsonian launches its Transcription Center website to the public. The website is designed to leverage the power of crowds to help the Smithsonian […] The post Volunteers needed for massive Smithsonian digitization project appeared first on Smithsonian Science.

August 11, 2014

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9:01 PM | Planting the Cenozoic Garden
Sixty six million years ago, a global catastrophe extinguished the non-avian dinosaurs. This is common knowledge. It’s also …

August 09, 2014

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9:28 PM | Natural trap in Wyoming yields important ancient animal remains
This is so exciting! Animal misfortune 20,000 years ago is a scientific bonanza today. Treasure trove of prehistoric animal remains discovered – CNN.com. Scientists descended into a deep cave, hoping to find Ice Age mammals’ remains. What they found stunned them: the remains of hundreds of big prehistoric mammals. The treasure trove was discovered in… Source: Doubtful News

August 08, 2014

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12:28 PM | Mega-Ichthyosaur Discovery on Svalbard
The Spitsbergen Jurassic Research Group, led by National Geographic Explorer Dr. Jørn Hurum, is blazing its next great expedition to the icy rim of the world in search of stunningly preserved fossils. The danger of polar bear attack does nothing to dissuade the team from surveying the island.

August 07, 2014

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8:02 PM | How Pigeon Bones Forced Us To Rethink Neanderthal Cognition
We may think of pigeons as "flying rats," but research published today in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that their wild counterparts were an important source of nutrition for some Neanderthals. Read more...
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12:58 PM | How do you dismantle a dinosaur?
The National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., has closed its Dinosaur Hall for a five-year renovation. But before the overhaul can begin, the […] The post How do you dismantle a dinosaur? appeared first on Smithsonian Science.

August 06, 2014

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7:50 PM | Laquintasaura venezuelae: New Herbivorous Dinosaur Discovered in Venezuela
Paleontologists from Switzerland and the United Kingdom have discovered a new genus and species of plant-eating dinosaur that lived in what is now Venezuela during the earliest Jurassic, about 200 million years ago. The newly discovered dinosaur, named Laquintasaura venezuelae, belongs to ornithischians (bird-hipped dinosaurs) – a group which includes species such as Stegosaurus and [...]
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5:05 PM | Eyes of Desire—A New Jurassic Ichthyosaur From Spitsbergen
In 2010, an ichthyosaur was excavated by Jørn Hurum and his team on Svalbard. This ichthyosaur has now been formally described as a new species, Janusaurus lundi—but we like to call him "Mascot."
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