When the Chicxulub asteroid smashed into Earth 65 million years ago, the event drove an abrupt and long-lasting era of global warming, with a rapid temperature increase of 5°Celsius (C) that endured for roughly 100,000 years, a new study reports.
Sixty-six million years ago, an asteroid struck the earth and wiped out non-avian dinosaurs. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on May 24 have pieced together what that asteroid impact meant for birds. From multiple lines of evidence, they show that the only birds to survive the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction event lived on the ground. That's apparently because the asteroid's impact destroyed forests worldwide, which took hundreds or even thousands of years to recover.
Sixty-six million years ago, the world burned. An asteroid crashed to Earth with a force one million times larger than the largest atomic bomb, causing the extinction of the dinosaurs. But dinosaurs weren't the only ones that got hit hard -- in a new study, scientists learned that the planet's forests were decimated, leading to the extinction of tree-dwelling birds.
Muscles believed to be unique to humans have been discovered in several ape species, challenging long-held anthropocentric theories on the origin and evolution of human soft tissues. This questions the view that certain muscles evolved to provide special adaptations for human traits, such as walking on two legs, tool use, and sophisticated vocal communication and facial expressions. The findings highlight that thorough knowledge of ape anatomy is necessary for a better understanding of human evolution.
A nearly 130-million-year-old fossilized skull found in Utah is an Earth-shattering discovery in one respect. The small fossil is evidence that the super-continental split likely occurred more recently than scientists previously thought and that a group of reptile-like mammals that bridge the reptile and mammal transition experienced an unsuspected burst of evolution across several continents.
Ancient fossils feces found in central Spain belonged to fish-eating carnivores from the Early Cretaceous, according to a study published on May 23, 2018, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Sandra Barrios de Pedro from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain, and colleagues.
A new study of how ligaments restrict joint movement suggests that pterosaurs and 'four-winged' dinosaurs couldn't have flown in the same way that bats do.
Using museum specimens and fossil records, researchers have produced a comprehensive (and unprecedented) range history of coyotes that can help reveal the ecology of predation as well as evolution through hybridization.
Sweet potatoes may seem as American as Thanksgiving, but scientists have long debated whether their plant family originated in the Old or New World. New research by an Indiana University paleobotanist suggests it originated in Asia, and much earlier than previously known.
All the major groups of animals appear in the fossil record for the first time around 540-500 million years ago -- an event known as the Cambrian Explosion -- but new research from the University of Oxford in collaboration with the University of Lausanne suggests that for most animals this 'explosion' was in fact a more gradual process.