Biology, Geology, News

Researchers find rare marine reptile fossil in Alaska

Artistic reconstruction of the Elasmosaurus. Image via Wikipedia.

Fossils of an elasmosaur, a rare type of plesiosaur were discovered in Alaska by Anchorage-based fossil collector Curvin Metzler. Researchers have confirmed this discovery and identified the species.

Biology, Geology, News

Four-legged snake is missing link between lizards and serpents

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An “absolutely exquisite” fossil of a juvenile snake with limbs has been discovered by English paleontologists in Brazil. The fossil dates back from the early Cretaceous, 110 million years ago, and is the oldest evidence of a definitive snake.

Geology, Science ABC

Domes of ice and grass: the Pingos [with great pics]

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Also called hydrolaccoliths, pingos are spectacular domes of earth and vegetation covered ice usually found in the Arctic and subarctic. They can reach up to 90 metres (300 feet) high and more than 800 metres (0.5 mile) across and are usually circular or oval-shaped. They may be green on the outside, but the core is solid, clear ice. Pingos are not easy to

Biology, Geology, News

Chinese paleontologists uncover spectacular dinosaur-bird fossil

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Researchers have discovered a new dinosaur species covered with feathers. Its wings were very short and it likely wouldn’t have been able to fly or glide, but the creature was on the cusp of evolving into a bird. It was also one of the ancestors of the velociraptors.

Biology, Geology, News

50 Million Year Old Sperm Found by Accident in Antarctica

50-million-year-old spermatozoan entrapped on the inner surface of a cocoon wall from Antarctica (Photo: Department of Palaeobiology, Swedish Museum of Natural History)

Scientists have stumbled on some incredibly old sperm in the wall of a fossilized cocoon in Antarctica. The remains of the long, thin cells represent the oldest animal sperm known to man – 50 million years old.

Geology, News

Australian Biologists Discover Volcano Cluster by Mistake

submerged-volcanoes

A chance discovery revealed an impressive cluster of extinct volcanoes 150 miles off the coast of Sydney, three miles below the water surface. The four volcanoes, which are now calderas, may reveal why Australia and New Zealand separated between 40 and 80 million years ago. Don’t you just hate it when you go searching for lobsters and you stumble upon massive,

Biology, Geology, News

Jesus lizard ancestor skimmed the tropical waters of Wyoming, 48 million years ago

The Jesus Lizard running on water

Paleontologists have discovered what looks like the earliest member of the Corytophanidae (also known as casquehead or helmeted lizards) judging from fossils collected in Wyoming. The ancient species is also the earliest ancestor of the modern basilisk, or better known as the Jesus Lizard because of its ability to skim the surface of water over short distances.

Geology, News, Science, Space

Rosetta spacecraft finds huge sinkholes on comet’s surface

A catalogue of sinkholes spotted by Rosetta on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Image via: forbes.com

Rosetta is a robotic space probe built and launched by the European Space Agency. Along with Philae, its lander module, the craft is performing a detailed study of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The probe usually orbits 67P at a distance of a few hundred kilometers. Footage received from Rosetta over the last year showed a number of dust jets coming from the comet,

Animals, Biology, Geology

Saber-tooth cats grew their fangs faster than human fingernails

Skeleton of Smilodon (Smilodon fatalis). Exhibit in the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo, Japan.

Saber-tooth cats, the bane of early humans (and pretty much every creature that co-existed with them), roamed the Earth for 42 million years before going extinct at the end of the ice age. Now, a new study has found that their trademark teeth may have evolved later in their evolutionary stage, but when they grew, they grew fast. The saber-tooth cats were

Biology, Geology, News

500 million year old worm had impressive spiky armor

Collinsium ciliosum. Image credit: Jie Yang.

Paleontologists working in China have discovered fossils of an impressively armored worm that lived during the Cambrian, 500 million years ago. Called  Hairy Collins’ Monster, this is one of the first creatures to develop a spiky armor. Today, the 180 species of velvet worms are pretty similar – they have tiny eyes, antennae, multiple pairs of legs, and slime glands. They