Menu Close

Articles on Paleontology

Displaying 1 - 20 of 111 articles

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.
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.
Tyrannosaurus rex spanned all of ancient North America, and about 20,000 lived at once. Roger Harris/Science Photo Library vie Getty Images

How many Tyrannosaurus rex walked the Earth?

Using the incredible wealth of fossil data and a modern ecological theory, researchers estimated population density for the extinct apex predator.
The radiodont Anomalocaris, with its large stalked eyes, is considered a top predator that swam in the oceans more than 500 million years ago. Katrina Kenny

Freaky ‘frankenprawns’: ancient deep sea monsters called radiodonts had incredible vision that likely drove an evolutionary arms race

Our study on weird ancient marine animals called radiodonts supports the idea that vision played a crucial role during the Cambrian Explosion, a rapid burst of evolution about 500 million years ago.
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. Charles Helm

Fossil tracks reveal which birds once roamed South Africa’s Cape south coast

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.
Footprints, preserved in solidified ash, hint at human behavior from as long as 19,000 years ago. Cynthia Liutkus-Pierce

Prehistoric human footprints reveal a rare snapshot of ancient human group behavior

The footprints of over 20 different prehistoric people, pressed into volcanic ash thousands of years ago in Tanzania, show possible evidence for sexual division of labor in this ancient community.
Loskop, one of the two hills at the Permo-Triassic boundary site in the Karoo Basin in South Africa’s Free State province. Jennifer Botha

New analysis sheds important light on an ancient mass extinction event

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.
20 years ago, who could predict how much more researchers would know today about the human past – let alone what they could learn from a thimble of dirt, a scrape of dental plaque, or satellites in space. Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo

Archaeological discoveries are happening faster than ever before, helping refine the human story

20 years ago, who could predict how much more researchers would know today about the human past – let alone what they could learn from a thimble of dirt, a scrape of dental plaque, or satellites in space.

Top contributors

More