These fossil trackways resemble the tracks left by flamingos today, but are bigger. Just above the scale bar one can see (more faintly) the ‘tramline traces’ made by the ancient birds’ stomping action.
One avian track, probably made by a large gull or a small goose, was found in sediments that have been dated to about 400,000 years. That makes it the oldest avian track reported from southern Africa.
Artefacts suggest a ‘great leap’, a recent evolution of modern intelligence. Fossils and DNA argue that’s an illusion.
You can gauge a dinosaur’s body mass either by reconstructing it as accurately as possible, or by scaling its leg bones against those of today’s animals. Research shows both methods work well together.
New research show how crinoids could live for so long on floating wood without it breaking up.
Sperm whale skull.
How we worked out when whales first evolved asymmetrical skulls.
Schleitheimia (left) and Plateosaurus (above right).
University of Utrecht
How we identified a new ancestor of the likes of Diplodocus from old bones.
Dimitris Siskopoulos/Wiki commonc
During the Paleozoic Era, giant sea scorpions would have been the equivalent of a great white shark in their food web.
What South Africa’s West Coast might have looked like 5 million years ago. In the foreground, a giant wolverine feeds on a pig while chasing away a primitive hyena.
Maggie Newman, Geological Society of South Africa and the University of the Witwatersrand
The teeth and limb bones we studied help to understand the role and lifestyle of these species in extinct ecosystems.
We found footprints that measure around 24 centimetres long. We suspect they came from animals with legs the same height as humans.
LONDON NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM / EPA
You can’t own a human, so why can you own their remains? We need to stop treating human fossils as objects.
The Joggins Fossil Cliffs in Nova Scotia are a unique and rich site for preserved fossils.
A very early mammal ancestor is one of the most recent discoveries at the Joggins Fossil Cliffs in Nova Scotia. This new finding sheds further light on theories of mammalian evolution.
The ~2 Ma Homo erectus cranium, DNH 134, from the Drimolen Fossil Hominin site.
Matthew V. Caruana
This is a hugely important find. It means that one of our earlier ancestors possibly originated in southern Africa.
Reptile, avian and mammal tracks and Middle Stone Age artefacts on a large track bearing surface which has since been buried by a landslide.
Images modified from Helm, et al. 2020. South African Journal of Science, 116
While crocodylian fossil swim traces have been described from other continents, to the best of our knowledge the examples we describe are the first such reptilian swim traces from Africa.
The arrangement of bones in our specimen’s fins are the same as those of ‘fingers’ in tetrapods. The only difference is the digits are locked within the fin, and not free moving.
Little Foot’s skull, with the arrow on the right-hand image indicating the specimen’s atlas.
R.J. Clarke/Author supplied
The findings suggest that this specimen could climb and move in trees. But it may also have been able to walk on the ground. This echoes previous studies.
The fossil in amber.
The fossil includes the tiny creature’s original bone and flesh.
Amber holds the secret to the tiny world of the age of dinosaurs.
The skull of Oculudentavis, found encased in amber, provides new clues into the transition from dinosaurs to birds and may be smallest of either ever found.
Hypacrosaurus skeleton at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, Alberta.
Scientists claim to have found DNA in fossilised dinosaur cartilage.
Loskop, one of the two hills at the Permo-Triassic boundary site in the Karoo Basin in South Africa’s Free State province.
The analysis suggests that there was a mass extinction event at the time of the end-Permian, on land - and that it happened at the same time as the marine end-Permian extinction.
Examining the fossilised teeth of dinosaur species like Spinosaurus Aegyptiacus can reveal clues about their diets and place on the food chain.
Teeth can reveal a lot about diversity when they are reasonably well-preserved.