Landscape of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah, one of the most abundant fossil fields in the world.
P. David Polly, 2018
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
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.
The fossil of a Mesosaurus tenuidens, which provided important clues about tectonic shifts.
Courtesy of Philippe Loubry - CNRS/MNHN
Ancient indigenous people often collected fossil shells, teeth and bones that have provided critical clues about human origins.
India’s Mawmluh Cave, home of the reference stalagmite for the newly named age.
2018 brought the announcement of a new geologic age that covers the last 4,200 years. How do scientists divide up Earth's timeline and what do these demarcations mean?
3D model of
They hovered in the skies of the Earth 300 million years ago... The giant dragonflies will soon be the stars of the paleontology gallery of France’s Natural History Museum in Paris.
Dinosaurs had some bad luck, but sooner or later extinction comes for all of us.
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.
If you discovered a new type of dinosaur, what would you name it?
Mavis Wong CC-BY-ND
We know of about 900 valid dinosaur species that existed. 'Valid' means scientists know the dinosaur from enough of the skeleton bones to feel pretty sure that it differs from other known dinosaurs.
Euphanerops, a primitive jawless fish from the World Heritage site at Miguasha, Quebec, which has now been found to have paired hind limb structures and copulatory sex organs.
François Miville-Deschênes with permission
Sexual organs similar to what we see in sharks and rays today appeared many millions of years ago in much more primitive ancient fishes than was previously thought.
Cyanobacteria filled the ancient oceans and used chlorophyll to harvest the sun’s energy.
Did you recently hear news that Earth's oldest pigments were hot pink? That's not quite right. When they were in living bacteria a billion years ago, they were performing photosynthesis – and green.
The Earth is losing more and more biodiversity every day, and we should all be worried
A life reconstruction of
Brindabellaspis stensioi, an unusual placoderm fish from the 400-million-year old Burrinjuck reef in New South Wales, Australia.
Jason Art, Shenzhen
Brindabellaspis had eyes on the top of the head, facing upwards, and a skull stretched into a long and broad snout. Although around 400 million years old, it was clearly a specialised fish.
Following NASA's latest discovery of organic matter on the red planet, new findings in a salt lake in California could point to where to look for alien life.
An artist’s impression of Tutusius at Waterloo Farm.
Illustration by Maggie Newman
The discovery of two separate fossils tetrapod species proves that they lived all over the world by the end of Devonian.
The spectacular Wellington Caves are a tourist attraction - and a fossil site.
The 19th-century British anatomist Richard Owen downplayed the role of colonial contributors and largely ignored the importance of Aboriginal testimony and knowledge in describing the marsupial lion.
Mars seen by Curiosity.
NASA and ESA have signed a letter of intent to collect samples from Mars and return them to Earth.
: Alex McClelland, Bournemouth University
How we discovered ancient footprints of early human hunters and their megafauna prey.
A fossil tooth contains isotopes that offer clues of aridification.
A study has found that a local event rather than a global shift in climate caused the mass extinction in South Africa.
A jaw bone found on a beach in Somerset could be from the largest ichthyosaur of its kind ever discovered.
: Ian Cartwright/Michael Petraglia/Palaeodeserts Project
How we found the oldest human fossil ever discovered outside Africa and the Levant.
Paleoloxodon antiquus has been extinct for 120 000 years.
By Apotea (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
DNA studies reveal that African elephants belong to a very successful and widespread family.