Paleontology

More Stories in Paleontology

  1. An illustration of an adult ancient bison and calf attempting to escape a fire while other bison are seen running in the background.
    Life

    Around 13,000 years ago, humans and fire changed LA’s ecosystem forever

    Rapid drying combined with human-made fires changed Southern California forever, killing off ancient bison, dire wolves and five other megafauna species there.

    By
  2. An illustration of the newly discovered ancient whale species.
    Paleontology

    Meet the tiny ancient whale named after King Tut

    The newly discovered Tutcetus rayanensis lived about 40 million years ago. It was just 2.5 meters long and weighed less than 200 kilograms.

    By
  3. An illustration of an ancient whale under water with much smaller fish swimming around the massive creature.
    Paleontology

    A colossal ancient whale could be the heaviest animal ever known

    Perucetus colossus may have tipped the scales at up to 340 metric tons, but some scientists are skeptical it could have sustained that mass.

    By
  4. An illustration of an Anomalocaris canadensis underwater.
    Paleontology

    This ancient, Lovecraftian apex predator chased and pierced soft prey

    Half a billion years ago, Anomalocaris canadensis probably used its bizarre headgear to reach out and snag soft prey with its spiky clutches.

    By
  5. An image of a digital reconstruction of an Asteroxylon mackiei plant.
    Life

    A 407-million-year-old plant’s leaves skipped the usual Fibonacci spirals

    Most land plants living today have spiral patterns involving the famous Fibonacci sequence of numbers. But an extinct, ancient plant did not.

    By
  6. An illustration of a megalodon about to eat a brown seal while a great white shark swims in the top left of the frame.
    Paleontology

    Megalodon sharks may have become megapredators by running hot

    O. megalodon sharks were warm-blooded megapredators. But colder-blooded great white sharks may have had an evolutionary edge when food sources dwindled.

    By
  7. Pictures of a fossilized theropod, Ubirajara jubatus
    Paleontology

    Paleontology has a ‘parachute science’ problem. Here’s how it plays out in 3 nations

    When researchers study fossils from lower-income countries, they often engage in dubious or illegal practices that can stifle science.

    By
  8. An illustration of a Gonkoken nanoi dinosaur walking on the shore of a lake
    Life

    New fossils from Patagonia may rewrite the history of duck-billed dinosaurs

    New findings are adding a wrinkle to researchers’ understanding of how duck-billed dinosaurs conquered the Cretaceous world.

    By
  9. illustration of Megacerops kuwagatarhinus with small, striped mammals in the foreground and background
    Paleontology

    ‘Thunder beast’ fossils show how some mammals might have gotten big

    Rhinolike mammals called brontotheres repeatedly evolved into bigger and smaller species, a fossil analysis shows. The bigger ones won out over time.

    By