Articles on Fossils

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A 3D model of the long-lost Scalopocynodon gracilis skull. Evolutionary Studies Unit, Wits University

3D technology brings a lost mammalian ancestor back to life

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.
This skull belongs to the carnivorous gorgonopsian therapsid Smilesaurus ferox which lived 255 million years ago. Cradle of Humankind/Flickr/Wikimedia

You can thank our pre-mammalian ancestors for your sexy teeth

Modern sabre-tooth mammals have their canines constantly on display. This allows them to seduce mates. But was sexual selection also an important phenomenon among our pre-mammalian ancestors?
If life survived on Earth 3.7 billion years ago, why not elsewhere in the solar system? Shutterstock/Filip Fuxa

Ancient life in Greenland and the search for life on Mars

Scientists say they've found fossils showing life existed on Earth 3.7 billion years ago. How good is the evidence? And what does it mean for the search for life elsewhere in our solar system?
Coal has provided us with some stunning fossils. Bart Bernardes/Flickr

Coal’s formation is a window on an ancient world

Despite its insidious influence on the climate and our health, coal has a lesser-known positive side to its otherwise dark soul. It has provided us with some stunning fossils.

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