Articles on Paleontology

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Around 66 million years ago, a huge rock from outer space (called an asteroid) smashed into the Earth. Michael J/flickr

Curious Kids: why did the dinosaurs die?

Dinosaurs ruled the Earth for about 180 million years. But around 66 million years ago, a huge rock from outer space (called an asteroid) smashed into the Earth. Then things got worse for dinosaurs.
A modern mouse lemur Microcebus sits upon the cranium of an extinct Megaladapis lemur. Dao Van Hoang www.daovanhoang.com

Last of the giants: What killed off Madagascar’s megafauna a thousand years ago?

A series of new studies sheds light on the population crash and extinction of the giant birds, lemurs and more that roamed the island until around A.D. 700-1000.
Landscape of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah, one of the most abundant fossil fields in the world. P. David Polly, 2018

Shrinking the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is a disaster for paleontology

Twenty-two years ago, President Clinton established Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument for paleontological conservation. As the Trump administration shrinks its borders, that mission is jeopardized.
With a lot not on display, museums may not even know all that’s in their vast holdings. AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Digitizing the vast ‘dark data’ in museum fossil collections

A tiny percentage of museums’ natural history holdings are on display. Very little of these vast archives is digitized and available online. But museums are working to change that.
Dinosaurs had some bad luck, but sooner or later extinction comes for all of us. rawpixel/Unsplash.com

What makes some species more likely to go extinct?

Death is inevitable for individuals and also for species. With help from the fossil record, paleontologists are piecing together what might make one creature more vulnerable than another.
The Spinosaurus was just one example of a dinosaur that roamed Africa hundreds of millions of years ago. By Mike Bowler from Canada (Spinosaurus) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Africa’s rich fossil finds should get the air time they deserve

You might recognise Spinosaurus, from Jurassic Park 3, but did you realise it is 100% an African dinosaur?

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