Articles on Paleontology

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Semitransparent flesh reconstruction of an embryonic dinosaur inside an egg, with skeleton shown. D Mazierski

Dinosaur Jr: raising 200-million-year-old embryos

We should forget about ever finding something as small and delicate as a dinosaur embryo, right? A few months ago I would have agreed – but now, well, things have changed. When my colleague, palaeontologist…
The discovery of the skeleton of the Homo floresiensis has sparked significant debate among evolutionary scientists. Ryan Somma

Saga of ‘the Hobbit’ highlights a science in crisis

To state the obvious: human evolution is not without its drama – and the latest salvo in the ongoing Hobbit, or Homo floresiensis, battle confirms this yet again. The 2004 announcement of Homo floresiensis…
Reconstruction of a 390 million year-old multiplacaphoran … easy when you know how. Jakob Vinther/University of Texas at Austin.

3D printing? Make mine a mollusc

When you think 3D you probably imagine the cinema and popcorn, or that fancy TV you’ve just blown the kids’ university fees on. What you probably don’t think - unless you’re a particular breed of palaeontologist…
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…

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