Fossil Ida: extraordinary find is ‘missing link’ in human evolution

19 May, 2009

NOTICE:
Comments  based on religious doctrine or aimed at ‘debunking’ science

will NOT be posted.  

Scientists have discovered an exquisitely preserved ancient primate fossil that they believe forms a crucial “missing link” between our own evolutionary branch of life and the rest of the animal kingdom.

The 47m-year-old primate – named Ida – has been hailed as the fossil equivalent of a “Rosetta Stone” for understanding the critical early stages of primate evolution.

The top-level international research team, who have studied her in secret for the past two years, believe she is the most complete and best preserved primate fossil ever uncovered. The skeleton is 95% complete and thanks to the unique location where she died, it is possible to see individual hairs covering her body and even the make-up of her final meal – a last vegetarian snack.

via Fossil Ida: extraordinary find is ‘missing link’ human evolution | Science | guardian.co.uk.


The “Doo-doo Balls” are Alive!!

28 March, 2009
Image Credit: Duke University

Image Credit: Duke University

ScienceDaily (Dec. 4, 2008) — A submarine expedition that went looking for visually flashy sea creatures instead found a drab, mud-covered blob that may turn out to be truly spectacular indeed.

The grape-like animal, tentatively named the Bahamian Gromia, is actually a single-celled organism, fully one inch long. But what makes it really fantastic is that it moves — very slowly — by rolling itself along the ocean floor.”

This is a major discovery in paleontology as well as marine biology!

Read the full article at ScienceDaily.com.


A Rodent as Big as a Bull?!

17 January, 2008
The Associated Press
Wednesday, January 16, 2008;
4:29 PM LONDON

giantrodent.jpg

– Eeek! Imagine a rodent that weighed a ton and was as big as a bull. Uruguayan scientists say they have uncovered fossil evidence of the biggest species of rodent ever found, one that scurried across wooded areas of South America about 4 million years ago, when the continent was not connected to North America.
A herbivore, the beast may have been a contemporary, and possibly prey, of saber-toothed cats _ a prehistoric version of Tom and Jerry.

For those afraid of rodents, forget hopping on a chair. Its huge skull, more than 20 inches long, suggested a beast more than eight feet long and weighing between 1,700 and 3,000 pounds….

Read the full article at the Washington Post online.


Looks Like a Duck, and Walks Like a Duck…

4 October, 2007

Then it MUST be 2 newly discovered DINOSAURS!

duckbill.jpg

First:
–Excerpt from original
article by: Scott Norris
for National Geographic News
October 3, 2007

“A massive fossil skull found in southern Utah represents a new species of duck-billed dinosaur, researchers say.

The unusually well-preserved skull shows the duckbill was a muscular vegetarian, with hundreds of teeth and bulging jaws.

“It could have eaten whatever [vegetation] was in its way,” said lead researcher Terry Gates, a paleontologist at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

[...]

Gates and colleague Scott Sampson studied the skull, and concluded that it is a new species of hadrosaur, or duck-billed dinosaur.

The species was given the scientific name Gryposaurus monumentensis in honor of the national monument where the skull was unearthed.”

Read full article at National Geographic.

News in Science article here.

_______________

 

suzhousaurus.jpgSecond:
Excerpt from article at
LiveScience.com

” A strange, long-necked waddling dinosaur with massive arms and probably enormous claws has been discovered.

It walked only on its hind legs like the carnivorous dinosaurs from which it evolved, but Suzhousaurus megatherioides, meaning “giant sloth-like reptile from Suzhou,” was an herbivore, says researcher Daqing Li of the Third Geology and Mineral Resources Exploration Academy of Gansu Province in northwestern China, where the fossil specimen was found.

The creature belongs to a group of dinosaurs called therizinosaurs, characterized by long necks capped by small heads, massive arms and claws, and flaring ribs and hips that made their bodies very wide. [...]“

Read the entire (very detailed) article at LiveScience.com.


What’ll They Do Next- Revive the Dodo? uh..no- really?

9 July, 2007
dodo.jpgFrom an article by
Kate Ravilious
National Geographic News
July 3, 2007

Adventurers exploring a cave on an island in the Indian Ocean have discovered the most complete and well-preserved dodo skeleton ever found, scientists reported yesterday.

Researchers say the find would likely yield the first useful samples of the extinct, flightless bird’s DNA.

Get all the details from the original article at National Geographic Online.


Fisherman Catches “Extinct” Coelacanth

2 June, 2007

May 22, 2007

A native Indonesian fisherman reeled in a 4-foot, 110 pound mystery from the deep.

070522-coelacanth_big.jpg

Yustinus Lahama captured the fish—which scientists not long ago believed had gone extinct with the dinosaurs—Saturday near Bunaken National Marine Park, off Sulawesi island.

Read the entire article by Christine DellAmore at National Geographic Online.


Giant Camel Species in Syria!

8 October, 2006

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis

camel.jpg

“DAMASCUS (Reuters) – Swiss researchers have discovered the 100,000 year old remains of a previously unknown giant camel species in central Syria.

“This is a big discovery, a revolution in science,”. Professor Jean-Marie Le Tensorer of the University of Basel told Reuters. “It was not known that the dromedary was present in the Middle East more than 10,000 years ago.”

“Can you imagine? The camel’s shoulders stood three metres (yards) high and it was around four metres tall, as big as a giraffe or an elephant. Nobody knew that such a species had existed.””

Read the entire story at Reuters.com


Fossils of New Species Found Under Ping-Pong Table!

1 October, 2006

pingpongichthyosaur.jpgCanadian researchers have found a new species (and genus) of ichthyosaur—a type of fishlike reptile that lived between 250 and 90 million years ago.

They found it under a Ping-Pong table.

Researchers at Edmonton’s University of Alberta made the discovery when they came across a long-forgotten box of fossils in an undergraduate science lab.

Officially named Maiaspondylus lindoei, and dubbed the Ping Pong Ichthyosaur, the intrepid fossil-hunters are being pragmatic about the find:
“It was pretty amazing to realize this valuable discovery had sat under a ping pong table for 25 years,” said Dr. Michael Caldwell, paleontologist at the U of A. “But I suppose that after 100 millions of years in the dirt, it’s all relative.”

The bones belong to two juvenile ichthyosaurs, one slightly larger than the other, and two adults, one of which has two embryos preserved near its vertebrae.

The embryos found with the specimens are by far the newest known—80 million years more recent than the oldest previously known ichthyosaur embryos.

“What was really interesting was that at this point in history the Ichthyosaur goes extinct,” said Caldwell. “So anything from this time is going to be really important.”

Find the entire article at ScienceDaily.com

Find another article at NationalGeographic.com


Surfer finds Weird Whale!

16 August, 2006

A teenage surfer in Australia noticed something sticking out of a boulder.
When researcher Erich Fitzgerald began studying the fossil, he soon realized it was an entirely new Family of whale species!

(Image: R Start/Museum Victoria)

From the article:

“Fitzgerald found that the fossil had specific features in the facial region and the base of the skull that marked it as a member of the baleen whale group, which today includes the enormous blue whale.

But unlike modern baleen whales, which eat by filtering tiny krill and plankton from water, the fossil whale had teeth. It also had enormous eyes.

He says it was impossible to fit the fossil whale into existing branches of the evolutionary tree based on its shape, size and characteristics.

“This is something completely new. This was an entirely new family, which is a rare occurrence.”

This new family of small, highly predatory, toothed baleen whales has been named in honour of the town of Jan Juc and its discoverer Staumn Hunder. It is called Janjucetus hunderi.

“…they were truly bizarre, and living in ways completely unlike any baleen whales that have existed over the past 20 million years.”

Find the entire article about these huge-eyed, fanged whales at News in Science.com.


Carnivorous Kangaroo and “Demon Duck of Doom” Found in Australia!

12 July, 2006

Palaeontologists digging in northern Australia have found fossil evidence of several new species – including a “killer kangaroo”.

The flesh-eating marsupial would have lived between 10 and 20 million years ago, scientists say.

The research team has also unearthed evidence of a large carnivorous bird dubbed the “demon duck of doom”.

The dig site in Queensland has yielded remains of at least 20 previously unknown creatures.

Find the full article at BBC news…


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 86 other followers