| 1000 Prehistorc Animals | Dinosaurs, Fossils, Ruins | Articles and News |

  • Home
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Evolution

    • Evolution / Charles Darwin

      Life on Earth evolved from a universal common ancestor approximately 3.8 billion years ago...

  • Paleontology


Last update04:28:52 PM GMT

Back Paleontology Paleontology


Particles of crystalline quartz wear away teeth

  • PDF
Dental microwear, the pattern of tiny marks on worn tooth surfaces, is an important basis for understanding the diets of fossil mammals, including those of our own lineage. Now nanoscale research by an international multidisciplinary group that included members of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig has unraveled some of its causes. It turns out that quartz dust is the major culprit in wearing away tooth enamel.

Silica phytoliths, particles produced by plants, just rub enamel, and thus have a minor effect on its surface. The results suggest that scientists will have to revise what microwear can tell us about diets, and suggest that environmental factors like droughts and dust storms may have had a large...

Wormholes from centuries-old art prints reveal the history of the 'worms'

  • PDF
A new technique is the first of its kind to use printed art as a "trace fossil" to precisely date insect species and to identify their geographical locations. Blair Hedges, a professor of biology at Penn State University, developed the technique and used it to examine art printed from woodblocks spanning five centuries. He then identified the species responsible for making the ever-present wormholes in European printed art since the Renaissance. These diagrams show the position of a...

Species persistence or extinction: Through a mathematical lens

  • PDF
Scientists have estimated that there are 1.7 million species of animals, plants and algae on earth, and new species continue to be discovered. Unfortunately, as new species are found, many are also disappearing, contributing to a net decrease in biodiversity. The more diversity there is in a population, the longer the ecosystem can sustain itself. Hence, biodiversity is key to ecosystem resilience.

Disease, destruction of habitats, pollution, chemical and pesticide use, increased UV-B...

New clues about ancient water cycles shed light on U.S. deserts

  • PDF
Monument Valley, Utah. (Credit: © Beboy / Fotolia)

1000pa (Sep. 27, 2012) — The deserts of Utah and Nevada have not always been dry. Between 14,000 and 20,000 years ago, when large ice caps covered Canada during the last glacial cooling, valleys throughout the desert southwest filled with water to become large lakes, scientists have long surmised. At their maximum size, the desert lakes covered about a quarter of both Nevada and Utah. Now a team led by a Texas...

'Dinosaur bends' caused by prolonged diving

  • PDF
1000pa (Aug. 15, 2012) — Dinosaurs-like creatures may have injured themselves during leisurely deep-sea diving trips and not from resurfacing too quickly, as previously thought. Share This: See Also: Plants & AnimalsFrogs and ReptilesMarine BiologyExtreme SurvivalFossils & RuinsDinosaursFossilsOrigin of LifeReference IchthyosaurTrace fossilThe evolution of human intelligenceCretaceous

A recent study identified bone deformities on...

World’s greatest plant diversity for the Paleogene: Over a hundred different plant species recorded at the Messel fossil site

  • PDF
1000pa (July 27, 2012) — Scientists from the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt have investigated the extensive collection of fruits and seeds from the Messel pit. They found 140 different plant species, 65 of which were previously unknown.

The results were published July 27 in the series "Abhandlungen der Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung." They show that Messel had one of the world's most diverse floras of the Paleogene -- the era between about 65 and 23...

Earth's oldest known impact crater found in Greenland

  • PDF
1000pa (June 28, 2012) — A 100 kilometre-wide crater has been found in Greenland, the result of a massive asteroid or comet impact a billion years before any other known collision on Earth.

The spectacular craters on the Moon formed from impacts with asteroids and comets between 3 and 4 billion years ago. The early Earth, with its far greater gravitational mass, must have experienced even more collisions at this time -- but the evidence has been eroded away or covered by younger...

New evidence supports theory of extraterrestrial impact

  • PDF
1000pa (June 11, 2012) — An 18-member international team of researchers that includes James Kennett, professor of earth science at UC Santa Barbara, has discovered melt-glass material in a thin layer of sedimentary rock in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Syria. According to the researchers, the material -- which dates back nearly 13,000 years -- was formed at temperatures of 1,700 to 2,200 degrees Celsius (3,100 to 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit), and is the result of a cosmic body impacting...

Potentially civilization-ending super-eruptions may have surprisingly short fuses

  • PDF
1000pa (May 30, 2012) — Enormous volcanic eruptions with potential to end civilizations may have surprisingly short fuses, researchers have discovered.

These eruptions are known as super-eruptions because they are more than 100 times the size of ordinary volcanic eruptions like Mount St. Helens. They spew out tremendous flows of super-heated gas, ash and rock capable of blanketing entire continents and inject enough particulate into the stratosphere to throw the global climate...

Factors behind past lemur species extinctions put surviving species in 'ecological retreat'

  • PDF
1000pa (May 23, 2012) — New research on the long-term impact of species extinctions suggests that the disappearance of one species does not necessarily allow remaining competitor species to thrive by filling now-empty niches.

Instead, in University of Cincinnati-led research on lemur extinctions over the past 2,000 years, findings suggest that one likely result of changes that lead to species' extinctions is that remaining species go into "ecological retreat." And that retreat...

Geological record shows air up there came from below

  • PDF
1000pa (May 23, 2012) — The influence of the ground beneath us on the air around us could be greater than scientists had previously thought, according to new research that links the long-ago proliferation of oxygen in Earth's atmosphere to a sudden change in the inner workings of our planet.

Princeton University researchers report in the journal Nature that rocks preserved in Earth's crust reveal that a steep decline in the intensity of melting within the planet's mantle -- the...

:Mystery of the domestication of the horse solved Competing theories reconciled

  • PDF
1000pa (May 7, 2012) — New research indicates that domestic horses originated in the steppes of modern-day Ukraine, southwest Russia and west Kazakhstan, mixing with local wild stocks as they spread throughout Europe and Asia.

The research was published 07 May, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

For several decades scientists puzzled over the origin of domesticated horses. Based on archaeological evidence, it had long been thought that horse...

Mystery of the domestication of the horse solved: Competing theories reconciled

  • PDF
1000pa (May 7, 2012) — New research indicates that domestic horses originated in the steppes of modern-day Ukraine, southwest Russia and west Kazakhstan, mixing with local wild stocks as they spread throughout Europe and Asia.

The research was published 07 May, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

For several decades scientists puzzled over the origin of domesticated horses. Based on archaeological evidence, it had long been thought that horse...

Pattern of large earthquakes on San Jacinto fault identified

  • PDF
1000pa (Mar. 29, 2012) — The San Jacinto Fault (SJF) Zone is a seismically active, major component of the overall southern San Andreas Fault system. Researchers from San Diego State University (SDSU) and U.S. Geological Survey have mapped evidence of past ruptures consistent with very large earthquakes along the Clark Fault, an individual strand associated with the SJF.

James Barrett Salisbury, now at Arizona State University and formerly a graduate student at SDSU, and his...

Scientists refine Earth's clock: Some events in planet's history happened more recently than previously thought

  • PDF
1000pa (Mar. 29, 2012) — New research has revealed that some events in Earth's history happened more recently than previously thought. Scientists from the British Geological Survey and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, publishing recently in the journal Science, have refined the data used to determine how much time has passed since a mineral or rock was formed. They report uranium isotopic composition of minerals, used to date major geological events, which are more accurate...

Exploding dinosaur hypothesis implodes

  • PDF
1000pa (Mar. 28, 2012) — The pregnant ichthyosaur female from Holzmaden (Germany) that perished 182 million years ago puzzled researchers for quite some time: The skeleton of the extinct marine reptile is almost immaculately preserved and the fossilized bones of the mother animal lie largely in their anatomical position. The bones of the ichthyosaur embryos, however, are a different story: For the most part, they lie scattered outside the body of the mother. Such peculiar bone...

Global extinction: Gradual doom is just as bad as abrupt

  • PDF
1000pa (Feb. 3, 2012) — A painstakingly detailed investigation shows that mass extinctions need not be sudden events. The deadliest mass extinction of all took a long time to kill 90 percent of Earth's marine life, and it killed in stages, according to a newly published report.

Thomas J. Algeo, professor of geology at the University of Cincinnati, worked with 13 co-authors to produce a high-resolution look at the geology of a Permian-Triassic boundary section on Ellesmere Island...

Leaping lizards and dinosaurs inspire robot design

  • PDF
1000pa (Jan. 4, 2012) — Leaping lizards have a message for robots: Get a tail! University of California, Berkeley, biologists and engineers -- including undergraduate and graduate students -- studied how lizards manage to leap successfully even when they slip and stumble. They found that lizards swing their tails upward to prevent them from pitching head-over-heels into a rock.

But after the team added a tail to a robotic car named Tailbot,...

1000pa (Jan. 4, 2012) — Leaping lizards have...

Modern humans have a better sense of smell than Neanderthals

  • PDF
1000pa (Dec. 14, 2011) — Compared to Neanderthals, modern humans have a better sense of smell. Differences in the temporal lobes and olfactory bulbs also suggest a combined use of brain functions related to cognition and olfaction.

The increase of brain size is intimately linked to the evolution of humanity. Two different human species, Neanderthals and modern humans, have independently evolved brains of roughly the same size but with...

1000pa (Dec. 14, 2011) — Compared to Neanderthals...

Evidence of ancient lake in California's Eel River emerges

  • PDF
1000pa (Nov. 14, 2011) — A catastrophic landslide 22,500 years ago dammed the upper reaches of northern California's Eel River, forming a 30-mile-long lake, which has since disappeared, and leaving a living legacy found today in the genes of the region's steelhead trout, report scientists at two West Coast universities.

Using remote-sensing technology known as airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and hand-held...

1000pa (Nov. 14, 2011) — A catastrophic landslide 22,500 years ago...

Terrestrial biodiversity recovered faster after Permo-Triassic extinction than previously believed

  • PDF
1000pa (Oct. 10, 2011) — While the cause of the mass extinction that occurred between the Permian and Triassic periods is still uncertain, two University of Rhode Island researchers collected data that show that terrestrial biodiversity recovered much faster than previously thought, potentially contradicting several theories for the cause of the extinction.

David Fastovsky, URI professor of geosciences, and graduate student David Tarailo...

1000pa (Oct. 10, 2011) — While the cause of the...

First Bird

First Bird
What was the earliest known bird?

Unexplained artifacts

unexplained artifacts
The 10 most amazing unexplained artifacts


Timeline: Human Evolution

Biggest Dinosaurs

The 10 Biggest Dinosaurs


Fossil Formation: How Do Fossils Form?

Book review

Dinosaurs Encyclopedia

Book Review

Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages ... WRITTEN BY A PROFESSIONAL paleontologist specifically for young readers, this guide to the Dinosauria is packed...