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This 560-Million-Year-Old Fossil Is Earth’s Earliest Known Animal Predator

Amongst thousands of impressions in a large rock surface, one stood out from the crowd. The imprint of a tough tubular exoskeleton topped with waving tentacles, now frozen in time, looked strikingly familiar, unlike any of its neighbors.   It looked just like a relative of corals, anemones, and jellyfish from a sediment layer dated […]

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Amazing Prehistoric Fish Fossil Looks Like It’s ‘Leaping Out of The Rock’

A farm in England was the unlikely source of a Jurassic jackpot: A treasure trove of 183 million-year-old fossils. On the outskirts of Gloucestershire in the Cotswolds, beneath soil that is currently trampled under the hooves of grazing cattle, researchers recently uncovered the fossilized remains of fish, giant marine reptiles called ichthyosaurs, squids, insects, and […]

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Fossils: 1.4 million-year-old jaw may belong to Europe’s oldest-known human relative

Palaeoanthropologists unearthed the fossil last month at Sima del Elefante, the “Pit of the Elephant”, an archaeological site in the Atapuerca Mountains near the city of Burgos. The specimen includes both part of the upper jawbone of a hominin, along with its tooth. Prior to this discovery, the oldest known hominin fossils found in Europe […]

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1.4 Million-Year-Old Fossil Hints Modern Human Faces Were Present Earlier Than Thought

An ancient upper jawbone discovered in Spain reveals the unique facial features of an individual who may be the oldest known ancient human relative in Europe.  A team of paleoanthropologists unearthed the fossil in June at Sima del Elefante (Spanish for “Pit of the Elephant”), an archeological site in the Atapuerca Mountains near the city […]

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A Bizarre Three-Eyed Fossil Brain Just Changed Our Understanding of Insect Evolution

Perched at over 1,500 meters above sea level, it is difficult to imagine a time when the mountainside Walcott Quarry in Canada – the first excavation site within the Burgess Shale – was submerged by ocean. And yet, that’s why it has become one of the world’s most famous and unique fossil sites.    508 […]

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A Fossil Gorgosaurus Could Sell For $8 Million, And Scientists Are Not Happy

The full fossilized skeleton of a Gorgosaurus dinosaur that roamed 76 million years ago will be auctioned off on July 28, auction house Sotheby’s announced Tuesday.  At nearly 10 feet (3 meters) tall and 22 feet (7 meters) long, the well-preserved specimen is a smaller cousin of the Tyrannosaurus rex. It was discovered in the Judith River Formation […]

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This Confusing Aquatic Creature Could Be The Oldest Known Relative of All Vertebrates

A strange creature that sloshed about in Earth’s oceans over half a billion years ago seems to be the earliest vertebrate relative we’ve found to date. They’re called yunnanozoans, dating to the Early Cambrian some 518 million years ago. Cartilaginous features found in their fossilized remains are comparable to modern vertebrates, paleontologists have discovered.   […]

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After The Largest Extinction Event on Earth, These Animals Were The First to Recover

The Permian–Triassic extinction event, which happened roughly 252 million years ago, is colloquially known as the Great Dying because of the way it obliterated life on Earth – almost ending it completely. It’s the most severe extinction event in history.   Life did recover however, and new research identifies that deposit feeders like worms and […]

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‘Cradle of Humankind’ Fossils May Be a Million Years Older Than Previously Thought

Multiple ancient hominin remains from caves in South Africa may be much, much older than previous estimates suggested. The Sterkfontein limestone cave system, not far from Johannesburg, has yielded so many ancient bones from the hominin genus Australopithecus over the last century that its location has been dubbed the Cradle of Humankind – deeply important […]

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This Ancient Vampire of The Deep Ocean Really Sucked

A fearsome ‘vampire’ predator that lurked in Earth’s oceans more than 160 million years ago probably did actually suck its prey, at least in a sense. A new analysis of exceptionally well-preserved fossils of a small cephalopod named Vampyronassa rhodanica, related to modern vampire squids (neither actually vampires, nor squids), reveals the presence of muscular […]