The effects of a supernova -- and possibly more than one -- on large ocean life like school-bus-sized Megalodon 2.6 million years ago are detailed in a paper just published in Astrobiology.
Iridescence is responsible for some of the most striking visual displays in the animal kingdom. Now, thanks to a new study of feathers from almost 100 modern bird species, scientists have gained new insights into how this colour diversity evolved.
A Queensland University of Technology-led collaboration with University of Adelaide reveals that Australia's pint-sized banded hare-wallaby is the closest living relative of the giant short-faced kangaroos which roamed the continent for millions of years, but died out about 40,000 years ago.
Paleontologists from Russia have described a new dinosaur, the Volgatitan. Seven of its vertebrae, which had remained in the ground for about 130 million years, were found on the banks of the Volga, not far from the village of Slantsevy Rudnik, five kilometers from Ulyanovsk. The study has been published in the latest issue of Biological Communications.
Increased marine temperatures and reduced oxygen availability were the specific environmental features responsible for the extinctions of vast swaths of ancient ocean life -- nearly 96 percent of all marine species -- during the catastrophic end-Permian mass extinction event, a new study finds.
By combining ocean models, animal metabolism and fossil records, researchers show that the Permian mass extinction in the oceans was caused by global warming that left animals unable to breathe. As temperatures rose and the metabolism of marine animals sped up, the warmer waters could not hold enough oxygen for their survival.
A team of scientists led by Jingmai O'Connor from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP), Chinese Academy of Sciences, reported the first occurrence of medullary bone in Enantiornithes, the dominant clade of birds during the Cretaceous.
An ancient, dolphin-like marine reptile resembles its distant relative in more than appearance, according to an international team of researchers. Molecular and microstructural analysis of a Stenopterygius ichthyosaur from the Jurassic (180 million years ago) reveals that these animals were most likely warm-blooded, had insulating blubber and used their coloration as camouflage from predators.
An international group of scientists led by researchers from the University of Bristol have advanced our understanding of how ancient animals saw the world by combining the study of fossils and genetics.
The first in-depth look at the genome of a jellyfish -- the moon jelly Aurelia aurita -- shows that early jellyfish recycled existing genes to gain the ability to morph from polyp to medusa.