Fossil Tells the “Tail” of an Ancient Beast

Approximately 200 million years ago, Antarctica was attached to South America, Africa, India, and Australia in a single “supercontinent” called Gondwana. Paleontologists have long wondered about the unique mammals that lived only on this ancient supercontinent, including a particularly elusive group…

Fossil CSI: Analysis of giant extinct marine reptile graveyard suggests mysterious site was ancient birthing grounds

Marine giants make migrations across the ocean to give birth where predators are scarce, congregating annually along the same stretches of coastline. A study suggests that 200 million years before whales evolved, school bus-sized marine reptiles called ichthyosaurs may have made similar migrations.

Cold Temperatures Paved the Way for T. Rex

About 201 million years ago, volcanic eruptions covered an area roughly the size of South America in lava as Pangaea started to split. The Earth was changed. In the years that followed, 40% of all four-legged land animals were wiped out in the End Triassic Extinction (ETE). The exact cause was unknown. However, researchers recently discovered that atmospheric changes as a result of the eruptions caused freezing temperatures at high latitudes. The land animals that survived had feathers or hair as insulation: large dinosaurs.

University of Washington researchers discover four dinosaurs in Montana

A team of paleontologists from the University of Washington excavated four dinosaurs in northeastern Montana this summer. The four dinosaur fossils are: the ilium of an ostrich-sized theropod; the hips and legs of a duck-billed dinosaur; a pelvis and limbs from another theropod; and a Triceratops specimen.

Climate changed the size of our bodies and, to some extent, our brains

The average body size of humans has fluctuated significantly over the last million years and is strongly linked to temperature. Colder, harsher climates drove the evolution of larger body sizes, while warmer climates led to smaller bodies. Brain size also…