Articles on Paleontology

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An anaconda peers above and below the water. Did snakes evolve on land or underwater? Michael Lee (Flinders University & South Australian Museum)

Did snakes evolve from ancient sea serpents?

One of the enduring controversies in evolution is why snakes evolved their long, limbless bodies. A new study suggests snakes may have lost their legs at sea, before crawling ashore.
A prehistoric scene showing ancient penguins, elephant seals and giant marsupials. A rich diversity of both marine and land creatures once lived at Beaumaris, Melbourne, about 7 million years ago. Peter Trusler, Monash University

We need to protect the fossil heritage on our doorstep

Palaeontologists say it's rare to find a rich fossil site in an urban area. That's why they're worried such a site near Melbourne could be threatened by proposed development.
A great white shark captured off the coast of Mexico. Flickr/Brook Ward

No bones about it: sharks evolved cartilage for a reason

We used to think of sharks as primitive fish because the had cartilage instead of bones. Turns out there was a good reason why and it makes them anything but primitive.
Excavating stone artifacts that date from 3.3 million years ago in Kenya. MPK-WTAP

Our stone tool discovery pushes back the archaeological record by 700,000 years

Stone tools excavated in Kenya date back 3.3 million years – making them about a million years older than the oldest known fossils from our own hominid genus Homo. Who made and used these tools?

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