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Articles on Fossils

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The bodies of comb jellies like Mertensia ovum are soft, meaning they rarely fossilize. (Alexander Semenov)

Finding a rare fossilized comb jelly reveals new gaps in the fossil record

Fossilized comb jellies, or ctenophores, are rare because the creatures are almost completely soft-bodied. Rare fossil finds are helping us learn more about ancient animals and evolution.
Tyrannosaurus rex was a relentless predator who lived during the Cretaceous Period more than 65 million years ago. Roger Harris/Science Photo Library via Getty Images

Is it possible to recreate dinosaurs from their DNA?

Ever since moviegoers saw the first ‘Jurassic Park,’ millions have wondered if scientists could make a dinosaur in the lab.
Fossil of the skull and. mandibles of the new species. Alberto Valenciano

Fossil find introduces a new ancestor to the jackal family tree

Jackals appeared and established themselves in Africa in at least the last five million years. These animals have evolved and adapted to the changing environment, allowing them to survive.
With the evidence uncovered by paleontologists, an artist sketched El Bosque Petrificado Piedra Chamana as it might have looked long before humans. Mariah Slovacek/NPS-GIP

A volcanic eruption 39 million years ago buried a forest in Peru – now the petrified trees are revealing South America’s primeval history

Using remnants of fossilized trees, scientists and an artist figured out what the forest looked like long before humans existed.
Fossils of Shuvuuia deserti depict a small predatory creature with exceptional night vision and hearing. Mick Ellison/American Natural History Museum

Nocturnal dinosaurs: Night vision and superb hearing in a small theropod suggest it was a moonlight predator

By looking at the eye bones and ear canals of extinct dinosaurs, researchers show that a small ancient predator likely hunted at night and had senses as good as a modern barn owl.
Today the shoreline of Lake Malawi is open, not forested the way it was before ancient humans started modifying the landscape. Jessica Thompson

Early humans used fire to permanently change the landscape tens of thousands of years ago in Stone Age Africa

Combining evidence from archaeology, geochronology and paleoenvironmental science, researchers identified how ancient humans by Lake Malawi were the first to substantially modify their environment.

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