The fossilised skull of a young Australopithecus africanus, known as the Taung Child, is among South Africa’s most famous fossils.
Image courtesy of PAST
Palaeontological finds offer a compelling and profound way to think about our place in nature.
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.
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.
We’re gonna need an even bigger boat.
Megalodons are the latest Hollywood monster to leap out of the fossil record, but what else is lurking in prehistoric seas?
Strange frond-like sea creatures are among the planet's earliest animals, but new research dates them and the entire animal kingdom to much earlier than first thought.
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.
Reconstruction of the bite wound affecting the shoulder of our herbivorous dinosaur.
Zongda Zhang/Lida Xing
New research uses pathology in dinosaur bones to look at predator-prey interactions in the fossil record.
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
You might recognise Spinosaurus, from Jurassic Park 3, but did you realise it is 100% an African dinosaur?
A study of “Mrs” Ples’ tooth sockets has made scientists think differently about “her” sex.
Ditsong National Museum of Natural History
This new research offers compelling proof that the naysayers were right. "Mrs" Ples was actually a "Mr".
Here’s the fossil… what can you tell about how this animal lived?
Matteo De Stefano/MUSE-Science Museum
With no identifiable body parts, it's hard to know how these fossilized creatures lived. A new approach models how the ocean's water would interact with their unique shapes – hinting at their lifestyle.
The stone flakes are flying, but what brain regions are firing?
Shelby S. Putt
We can't observe the brain activity of extinct human species. But we can observe modern brains doing the things that our distant ancestors did, looking for clues about how ancient brains worked.
When new discoveries are jealously guarded under lock and key, science suffers.
A century-old case of scientific fraud illustrates how hard it is to untangle the truth when access to new discoveries is limited.
Upper teeth of a Neanderthal who lived about 40,000 years ago.
Anthropologists gather clues about how our ancient ancestors lived from their teeth. What will future anthropologists make of us based on the fossilized pearly whites we'll leave behind?
The author’s backpack was hiding this almost complete therapsid fossil. Was finding it all down to luck?
Good science isn't rooted in chance. It's based on people with expertise being in the right place at the right time, equipped with enough knowledge to know what they're looking at.
Eoanthropus dawsoni, or the Piltdown Man, never really existed.
One of paleontology's most notorious hoaxes has long been blamed on a serial forger named Charles Dawson. But might a Jesuit priest have been in on a joke that went wrong ?
A 3D model of the long-lost Scalopocynodon gracilis skull.
Evolutionary Studies Unit, Wits University
An old technique to explore the inside of fossils unfortunately ended up destroying some unique specimens. New technology has been used to reconstruct one such fossil.
The first flower grown on the International Space Station.
Have some much needed non-Brexit news.
Royal Saskatchewan Museum/RC McKellar
For the first time, feathers, bone and skin of the earliest birds have been found, trapped in amber.