Articles on Paleontology

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The climate system is highly sensitive to radiative forcing, so it’s no wonder we’re seeing more extreme weather events. Isn’t it time to take notice? AAP

The atmosphere’s shift of state and the origin of extreme weather events

The linear nature of global warming trends projected by the IPCC since 1990 and as late as 2007 (see Figure 1) has given the public and policy makers an impression there is plenty of time for economies…
Since the early 20th century, there have been claims that dinosaurs were warm-blooded. Bharath Kishore

Hot fuss: is warm-blooded dinosaur theory right or wrong?

Mark Twain reputedly said it wasn’t what he didn’t know that bothered him, but what he knew that wasn’t true. A recent contribution on dinosaur physiology in Nature, by palaeontologist Meike Köhler and…
Dinosaur remains have been found on all continents, including Australia. Peter Trusler

Three decades, 37 bones: the long hunt for Victorian dinosaurs

Dinosaur remains have been found on every continent on Earth and we know these creatures dominated the planet’s ecosystems for around 140 million years. But despite their abundance elsewhere, few discoveries…
Yutyrannus huali is the largest known feathered animal, living or extinct. Artist's impression: Dr Brian Choo

Relative of T. Rex was biggest feathered animal ever

A newly discovered species of feathered tyrannosaurus, Yutyrannus huali, grew up to 9 metres in length and weighed about 1400 kg, making it 40 times heavier than the largest previously known feathered…

Winged dinosaur had iridescent plumage

A team of palaeontologists from across the globe has reconstructed the colour and feather pattern of a winged dinosaur that…
You have to go back to the time of the dinosaurs to see where Earth is heading. Mr Kimberley/Flickr

Is another mass extinction event on the way?

Why have mass extinctions of species occurred since the late Proterozoic (from 580 million years ago) and repeatedly through the Phanerozoic? Integral to these extinctions were abrupt changes in the physical…
The demise of the woolly mammoth could teach us much about our effect on other species. George Teichmann

Did climate cause the extinction of the Ice Age megafauna?

When we think of the last 50,000 years of prehistory, particularly the “Ice Age”, extinct species such as the woolly mammoth and woolly rhinoceros often spring to mind. Did humans bring about the extinction…
Our “first” feathered friend no longer has the wind beneath its wings. Xing Lida and Liu Yi

Move over Archaeopteryx – an earlier bird caught the worm

As little as 15 years ago, the boundary between birds and dinosaurs was a fairly sharp one. On one side was Archaeopteryx, a 150 million-year-old magpie-sized creature from Bavaria, southern Germany, long…

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