Posts tagged with ‘paleontology

Who would win in a fistfight between a modern human and a Neanderthal?

Without a big advance in genetics technology, it’s not a fight that’s going to ever happen, but if it could— and it probably once did— who would win in a one-on-one weapons-free brawl between a Neanderthal and a Homo sapien? The Neanderthal has the definite weight and strength advantage, but humans have more endurance, are quicker and are smarter. It’s like a classic brains vs brawn comic book brawl…

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Dinos developed feathers to look sexy, not to fly

After being fed a lifetime of pictures of featherless dinos, it still may be hard to wrap one’s head around some dinosaurs being feathered. At least it is for me. But for those beasts of death that did have feathers, apparently they did so because it was sexy, not because they were flying or anything.

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Ancient spider captured forever in amber, just as it’s about to have dinner
This is a spider, which was encased in tree sap while in the act of attacking a wasp. The sap turned to amber, leaving an incredible preserved scene, with even individual strands of silk from the spider’s web remaining unbroken for 100 million years.
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Ancient spider captured forever in amber, just as it’s about to have dinner

This is a spider, which was encased in tree sap while in the act of attacking a wasp. The sap turned to amber, leaving an incredible preserved scene, with even individual strands of silk from the spider’s web remaining unbroken for 100 million years.

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What do you get when you cross a dinosaur and a porcupine? This badass.

It’s an absolute fact of nature that dinosaurs are fucking awesome. And it seems like every time someone discovers a new dinosaur, it ups the awesome bar. Like this beauty, with fangs and spikes like a porcupine. I want one of these as a pet.

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Ancient turtles died in the act of making sweet, sweet turtle love

Normally, when scientists find fossils, the calcified bones are alone, left where they died as the herd ran off. But for a pair of turtles living in Germany 47 million years ago, they died in each others turtle embrace and have been forever preserves in congress.

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Giant feathered carnivorous dinosaur found in China. SO FLUFFY!

While not all dinosaurs had feathers, most of the ones that were feathered that have been discovered so far were small dinosaurs, not much bigger than a turkey. And then scientists discovered the remains of Yutyrannus huali, a relative of the fearsome T-rex in China, who is the largest feathered dino found to date. A large, feathered T-rex essentially.

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Incredibly well preserved mammoth found and ready for eating and/or cloning

Finding well-preserved frozen woolly mammoths isn’t anything new. Siberia seems to be just chock full of ‘em. But this juvenile mammoth that scientists have named “Yuka” is the best specimen found so far, with its foot pads and hair all perfectly intact and only slightly freezer burned.

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New dinosaur species help scientists fill in evolutionary gaps

In the rich fossil beds of southern Alberta, paleontologists have identified two new dinosaur species that are smaller, earlier plant eating relatives of the triceratops. This new find fills in an evolutionary gap between earlier small dinosaurs and the larger “thunder lizards” that are more familiar to most people.

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Giant prehistoric penguins stood nearly five feet tall

Modern penguins are fairly harmless, medium sized birds that waddle around the southern part of the planet. But about 25 million years ago, in what is now New Zealand, giant penguins roamed around. These five foot tall birds were the terror of the southern hemisphere… nah, just kidding. They were tall, but probably just as harmless.

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T-Rex had the strongest bite of any animal ever, still no cure for wee little arms

T-Rex has been the king of the dinosaurs in the public imagination for a while now, even though it seemed lately that people were trying to dethrone him by painting him not as an awesome beast, but a mere giant scavenger, like an overgrown buzzard. But in a new study of T-Rex skulls, it looks like the dino had the strongest bite force of any animal ever. Suck it sharks and crocodiles.

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Paleontologists announce plans to create 3D-printed dinosaur bones

There aren’t enough dinosaur bones to go around to every museum that wants them, so traditionally, museums would make plaster or concrete replicas of dino bones so that a museum in Florida can have a T-rex skeleton just like a museum in the UK. But with modern technology, bones can now be scanned and printed in 3D.

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300 million year old forest found preserved in China under a thick layer of ash

Under a thick layer of volcanic ash, a 300 million year old forest has been uncovered in China, giving a rare glimpse at a nearly intact ancient tropical forest. 

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No, this is not a saber tooth cat, but Thylacosmilus, an ancient saber toothed marsupial
From the look of the fossilized skull, you’d think this was a Smilodon, a sabertooth tiger. But no, this is Thylacosmilus, not a cat at all, but an ancient form of today’s marsupials. Note the strange lower jaw that runs the length of the saber teeth.
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No, this is not a saber tooth cat, but Thylacosmilus, an ancient saber toothed marsupial

From the look of the fossilized skull, you’d think this was a Smilodon, a sabertooth tiger. But no, this is Thylacosmilus, not a cat at all, but an ancient form of today’s marsupials. Note the strange lower jaw that runs the length of the saber teeth.

More here

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Near perfect dinosaur fossil unearthed in Germany

Most of the time, if you’re lucky enough to find any dinosaur bones at all, it’s a piece here, a piece there, a fragment here, a fragment there and it’s up to a paleontologist to slowly and meticulously assemble the remains into something coherent. And then, if you’re impossibly lucky, you’ll find something like the above young theropod that’s 98% intact, including some hair (proto-feathers) and skin.

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