Articles on Paleontology

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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.
3D model of Meganeura monyi.

Are the Paleozoic era’s giant dragonflies still among us?

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. 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?
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.

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