Ancient fatty molecules, once believed to be traces of some of the first animals to live on Earth, may have been produced by algae instead.
Cain killing Abel.
A war with Neanderthals makes a compelling narrative but the evidence is limited is best.
Peretti Museum Foundation / Illustration by Stephanie Abramowicz
If albanerpetontids were around today, they'd easily fit in your hand. And although their bones are found all over the world, these unique amphibians eluded experts for a long time.
Cimoliopterus pterosaurs, with 5m wing spans.
Mark Witton/University of Reading
Fossils reveal that dinosaurs' flying cousins become twice as efficient at flying over 150 million years.
Fossil remains indicate these birds had a wingspan of over 20 feet.
Paleontologists have discovered fossil remains belonging to an enormous 'toothed' bird that lived for a period of about 60 million years after dinosaurs.
Drilling 139 meters down to volcanic rock provided scientists with a million-year environmental record.
Human Origins Program, Smithsonian
A new environmental record for a prehistoric site in Kenya helped researchers figure out how external conditions influenced which of our ancient ancestors lived there, with what way of life.
Artist’s impression of early mammals.
John Sibbick/University of Bristol
New study used X-rays of the teeth of early mammals' to show they were more like cold blooded reptiles.
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.