A remarkably complete, 3-D fossil found in Madagascar has revealed clues about a group of early mammals of the Southern Hemisphere known as gondwanatherians. Guillermo Rougier, PhD, a paleontologist specializing in the study of the skull and teeth of ancient mammals, was part of an international team of scientists that has identified the bizarre creature as Adalatherium, translated as 'crazy beast,' a nod to its unusual characteristics. Their analysis was published in the journal Nature.
Scientists have long opposed the idea that dinosaurs lived in aquatic habitats. Now, an international team of researchers, supported by the National Geographic Society, has discovered unambiguous evidence that Spinosaurus aegyptiacus, the longest predatory dinosaur known to science, was aquatic.
In evolutionary terms, islands are the stuff of weirdness. It is on islands where animals evolve in isolation, often for millions of years, with different food sources, competitors, predators, and parasites...indeed, different everything compared to mainland species. As a result, they develop into different shapes and sizes and evolve into new species that, given enough time, spawn yet more new species.
Researchers from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) have decoded for the first time the genome of Scaly-foot Snail, a rare snail inhabited in what scientists called 'the origin of life'- deep-sea hydrothermal vents characterized with impossible living condition. Unraveling the genome of this unique creature will not only shed light on how life evolved billions of years ago, but will also lay foundation for the discovery of potential remedies offered by these ancient creatures.
In a new paper, Dang Liu, Mark Stoneking and colleagues have analyzed newly generated genome-wide SNP data for the Kinh and 21 additional ethnic groups in Vietnam, encompassing all five major language families in MSEA, along with previously published data from nearby populations and ancient samples.
Hero shrews have some of the weirdest backbones in the animal kingdom -- they're incredibly strong, with stories of a 0.25-pound shrew supporting a grown man standing on its back. No one knows what they use these super-strong spines for, though, so scientists took micro-CT scans to examine the backbones inside and out. They discovered evidence that the bones are exposed to lots of stress from back-to-front, suggesting the shrews scrunch up like inchworms.
100 million years ago, ferocious predators, including flying reptiles and crocodile-like hunters, made the Sahara the most dangerous place on Earth.
An international team of evolutionary biologists and paleontologists have reconstructed the evolution of the avian brain using a massive dataset of brain volumes from dinosaurs, extinct birds like Archaeopteryx and the great auk, and modern birds.
A new way of looking at marine evolution over the past 540 million years has shown that levels of biodiversity in our oceans have remained fairly constant, rather than increasing continuously over the last 200 million years, as scientists previously thought.
The discovery of the earliest known modern amphibians in Antarctica provides further evidence of a warm and temperate climate in the Antarctic Peninsula before its separation from the southern supercontinent, Gondwana. The fossils, which belong to the family of helmeted frogs, are described in Scientific Reports this week.