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Fossil in Biological News

Analysis finds strong match between molecular, fossil data in evolutionary studies

During a seminar at another institution several years ago, University of Chicago paleontologist David Jablonski fielded a hostile question: Why bother classifying organisms according to their physical appearance, let alone analyze their evolutionary dynamics, when molecular techniques had already ...

Famous fossil Lucy scanned at the University of Texas at Austin

AUSTIN, TexasResearchers at The University of Texas at Austin, in collaboration with the Ethiopian government, have completed the first high-resolution CT scan of the world's most famous fossil, Lucy, an ancient human ancestor who lived 3.2 million years ago. Lucy is in the United States as pa...

Early whales gave birth on land, fossil find reveals

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---Two newly described fossil whales---a pregnant female and a male of the same species--reveal how primitive whales gave birth and provide new insights into how whales made the transition from land to sea. The 47.5 million-year-old fossils, discovered in Pakistan in 2000 and 20...

Bacterial biofilms as fossil makers

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Bacterial decay was once viewed as fossilization's mortal enemy, but new research suggests bacterial biofilms may have actually helped preserve the fossil record's most vulnerable stuff -- animal embryos and soft tissues. A team of 13 scientists led by Indiana University Bl...

Researchers uncover world's oldest fossil impression of a flying insect

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. - While paleontologists may scour remote, exotic places in search of prehistoric specimens, Tufts researchers have found what they believe to be the world's oldest whole-body fossil impression of a flying insect in a wooded field behind a strip mall in North Attleboro, Ma...

Europe rallies behind nanotechnology to wean world from fossil fuels

Nanotechnologies can be used to develop sustainable energy systems while reducing the harmful effects of fossil fuels as they are gradually phased out over the next century. This optimistic scenario is coming closer to reality as new technologies such as biomimetics and Dye Sensitized solar Cells ...

UCSB researcher leads worldwide study on marine fossil diversity

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) - It took a decade of painstaking study, the cooperation of hundreds of researchers, and a database of more than 200,000 fossil records, but John Alroy thinks he's disproved much of the conventional wisdom about the diversity of marine fossils and extinction rates. Alro...

New fossil tells twisted tale of how flatfishes ended up with two eyes on one side of head

CHICAGOA newly identified fossil and the reinterpretation of previously known fossils, all from Europe and about 50 million years old, fill in a "missing link" in the evolution of flatfishes and explain one of nature's most extraordinary phenomena. All living flatfishes, which include halibut, ...

Ocean acidification -- another undesired side effect of fossil fuel-burning

Up to now, the oceans have buffered climate change considerably by absorbing almost one third of the worldwide emitted carbon dioxide. The oceans represent a significant carbon sink, but the uptake of excess CO2 stemming from mans burning of fossil fuels comes at a high cost: ocean acidification. ...

Scientists discover 'giant fossil frog from hell'

A team of researchers, led by Stony Brook University paleontologist David Krause, has discovered the remains in Madagascar of what may be the largest frog ever to exist. The 16-inch, 10-pound ancient frog, scientifically named Beelzebufo, or devil frog, links a group of frogs that lived 65 to ...

Impacts of fossil fuels on fish and people

Scientist John Incardona will tell a scientific detective story that uncovers a previously unrecognized threat to human health from a ubiquitous class of air pollutants. Incardona of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration joins five other scientists from the U.S. government, Canadi...

480-million-year-old fossil sheds light on 150-year-old paleontological mystery

New Haven, Conn. Discovery of an exceptional fossil specimen in southeastern Morocco that preserves evidence of the animals soft tissues has solved a paleontological puzzle about the origins of an extinct group of bizarre slug-like animals with rows of mineralized armor plates on their backs, acc...

390-million-year-old scorpion fossil -- biggest bug known

New Haven, Conn. The gigantic fossil claw of an 390 million-year-old sea scorpion, recently found in Germany, shows that ancient arthropods spiders, insects, crabs and the like were surprisingly larger than their modern-day counterparts. Imagine an eight-foot-long scorpion, said O. Erik Tet...

Can plant-based ethanol save us from our fossil fuel addiction?

On November 1415, over 40 scientists will convene at the Institute of Ecosystem Studies (IES) in Millbrook, New York to discuss the future of biofuel production in the United States. Participants will include some of our nations leading biofuel experts, including Drs. David Pimentel (Cornell Unive...

First orchid fossil puts showy blooms at some 80 million years old

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Biologists at Harvard University have identified the ancient fossilized remains of a pollen-bearing bee as the first hint of orchids in the fossil record, a find they say suggests orchids are old enough to have co-existed with dinosaurs. Their analysis, published this week i...

Origin of claws seen in 390-million-year-old fossil

New Haven, Conn. A missing link in the evolution of the front claw of living scorpions and horseshoe crabs was identified with the discovery of a 390 million-year-old fossil by researchers at Yale and the University of Bonn, Germany. The specimen, named Schinderhannes bartelsi , was found fos...

Caltech geobiologists discover unique 'magnetic death star' fossil

PASADENA, Calif.-- An international team of scientists has discovered microscopic, magnetic fossils resembling spears and spindles, unlike anything previously seen, among sediment layers deposited during an ancient global-warming event along the Atlantic coastal plain of the United States. The...

Researchers find 6,000-year-old fossil evidence

Researchers, including a paleoethnobotanist at the University of Missouri-Columbia, recently found fossil evidence in seven archaeological sites ranging from the Bahamas to present-day Peru that showed people were eating domesticated chili peppers as long as 6,000 years ago. This makes chili pepper...

West Australian fossil find rewrites land mammal evolution

A fossil fish discovered in the West Australian Kimberley has been identified as the missing clue in vertebrate evolution, rewriting a century-old theory on how the first land animals evolved. Monash University PhD students Mr Erich Fitzgerald and Mr Tim Holland were part of the research team, le...

Ancient fossil DNA found preserved in crystal

Scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science recently discovered a new source of well-preserved ancient DNA in fossil bones. Their findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Fossil DNA is a potential source of information on the evolution, population...

'Banana-jawed' fossil mammal linked to rare sound-producing skill

Paleontologists at the Duke Lemur Center have assembled a new picture of a 35-million-year-old fossil mammal -- and they even have added a hint of sound. By painstakingly measuring hundreds of specimens of a fossil mammal called Thyrohyrax, recovered from the famous fossil beds of Egypt's Fayum P...

Bugs expose underground carbon traffic system 10 times more important than fossil fuel burning

The flow of carbon through soil is ten times greater than the amount of carbon moved around by the burning of fossil fuel but until now how this happens was at best poorly understood. Soil was almost literally a black box to scientists interested in carbon. Now researchers at the University of Warw...

Missing fossil link 'Dallasaurus' found

When amateur fossil finder Van Turner discovered a small vertebra at a construction site near Dallas 17 years ago, he knew the creature was unlike anything in the fossil record. Scientists now know the significance of Turner's fossil as the origin of an extinct line of lizards with an evolutionary ...

Space matters: Estimating species diversity in the fossil record

Estimates for the number of living species on earth range from 3.5 million to over 30 million but only 1.9 million species have been classified and described. Estimating historical biodiversity from the fossil record is an even more daunting task. One tool ecologists - but not paleontologists - h...

Oldest fossil human protein ever sequenced

An international team led by researchers at the Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Liepzig, Germany and Washington University in St. Louis, has extracted and sequenced protein from a Neanderthal from Shanidar Cave, Iraq dating to approximately 75,00...

Scientists find fossil proof of Egypt's ancient climate

Earth and planetary scientists at Washington University in St. Louis are studying snail fossils to understand the climate of northern Africa 130,000 years ago. While that might sound a bit like relying on wooly bear caterpillars to predict the severity of winter, the snails actually reveal clues...

Climate-caused biodiversity booms and busts in ancient plants and mammals

...Museum of Paleontology and Richard Stucky of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science examined the records of ancient temperatures and information on the fossil plants and mammals that inhabited North America during the Eocene epoch and found that diversity increased and declined with rising and falling temper...

University of Hawaii at Manoa researchers reveal ocean acidification at Station ALOHA

... The burning of fossil fuels has released tremendous amounts of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) into the atmosphere, significantly impacting global climate. Were i...

Scary ancient spiders revealed in 3-D models, thanks to new imaging technique

...ogists analyse fossils by splitting open a rock and looking at the creatures encased inside. This means that scientists can often only see part of the fossil and cannot explore all of the fossil's physical features. The researchers believe their new technique could be used to re-explore previously analys...

Fossil plants bring Wilf distinguished speaker honor

...atest Cretaceous through the middle Eocene -- 66 to 45 million years ago -- fossil sites in Patagonia, Argentina and the western interior U.S. This time inter... of the World: Paleogene Floras of Patagonia Rediscovered," "Insect-Damaged fossil Leaves Show How food Webs Respond to Ancient Climate Change and Extinction"...

August 2009 Geology and GSA Today media highlights

...rnia 94583, USA. Pages 719-722. The most extreme biological crisis on Earth, the end-Permian mass extinction, is recorded in terrestrial vertebrate fossil assemblages and paleosol horizons of the spectacularly preserved Karoo Basin, South Africa. By analyzing and dating 205 zircon grains extracted from d...

Naming evolution's winners and losers

...pes and others do not, even if there are many species. He and his colleagues use DNA sequencing to tease apart evolutionary relationships, analyze the fossil record and conduct sophisticated statistical analysis. "We are interested in understanding the causes of biodiversity," Alfaro said. "We are try...

Humans 'damaging the oceans'

...expect to see the loss of most of our coral reefs and the arctic seas." "The climate is currently warming faster than the worst case known from the fossil record, about 56 million years ago, when temperatures rose about 6 degrees over 1000 years. If emissions continue it is not unreasonable to expect wa...

Bizarre walking bat has ancient heritage

...e also present in one of its extinct rainforest-dwelling Australian ancestors, fossils of which have been found at the rich Riversleigh World Heritage fossil Site in north-west Queensland, it says in a report published in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. "The lesser short-tailed bat seems to be the s...

Sex in the Caribbean: Environmental change drives evolutionary change -- eventually

...tute and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The fossil record shows that if a species could shift from cl...he Pacific Ocean, many new species appeared in the fossil record, and all reproduced sexually," said Aaron O... being reduced in abundance. The forecast from the fossil record is that even if they survive now, the ultim...

Earliest animals lived in a lake environment, research shows

...h's environment changed to enable animal evolution. In their research, the authors focused on South China's Doushantuo Formation, one of the oldest fossil beds that houses highly preserved fossils dated to about 600 million years ago. These beds have no adult fossils. Instead, many of the fossils appea...

DOE-funded research projects win 46 R&D 100 Awards for 2009

...eloped this technology. SIMTECHE Carbon Dioxide Capture Process This process captures and compresses the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide emitted by fossil fuel power plants and other industrial operations. The process is less energy and capital intensive than the technologies currently in use. Los Alam...

Early initiation of Arctic sea-ice formation

...ynedropsis species so well preserved and in such abundance is truly remarkable." In fact, the ACEX Synedropsis species represent the earliest known fossil record of sea-ice diatoms. The researchers attribute the presence of Synedropsis fossils in these sediments to the presence of sea ice, and silic...

Wood stoves -- a viable home heat source?

...high by 4 feet wide - 128ft3 ). This was a yearly savings of $50 at market fossil fuel prices of 2005-2007 without taking into account rising fossil fuel prices or the impending carbon tax. Should these variables come into ...

Down Under dinosaur burrow discovery provides climate change clues

...els of his discovery in Montana of the first trace fossil of a dinosaur burrow, Emory University paleontolog...as astounded to see, right at eye level, the trace fossil of what appeared to be a burrow almost identical t...e, carnivorous dinosaur in Victoria, and the first fossil crayfish burrows from the same area. Martin tea...
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