In a Utah cave, paleontologists are exploring the fossil record preserved in owl pellets since the Pleistocene glaciation. The fossils in the pellets are giving the scientists a glimpse of how the ecosystems have changed over time both from natural variation and more recent changes brought on by human settlement.
With the Internet, science and a little imagination, scientists are able to bring remote worlds to life. Dinologue.com brings the Mesozoic to life, and EARTH Magazine reviews it in the July 2015 issue.
Analyzing thousands of records, researchers have reinforced the claim that for marine life, bigger has been better for the last 542 million years. The study examined Cope's rule - the idea, named for paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope, that species evolve to larger sizes over time.
The evolutionary age of grass has been hotly contested.Scientists have previously dated the earliest grasses to 55 million years ago; after the dinosaurs went extinct. Now, a new 100-million-year-old specimen of amber from Myanmar potentially pushes back grass evolution to the Late Cretaceous.
The Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM) announces an unusual paper in their journal PALAIOS that combines ‘forensic’ paleontology and archeology to identify origins of the millstones commonly used in the 1800’s. While all millstones were used similarly, millstones quarried in France were more highly valued than similar stones quarried in Ohio, USA.
Last November, fossils were put on the block at Bonhams auction house in New York City — but they did not sell. Had the set fetched the nearly $9 million it was expected to, it would have set a record for a fossil sale. For now, the Dueling Dinosaurs remain locked in an unidentified warehouse somewhere in the United States — along with any scientific information the unique specimens may reveal.
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and the National Park Service (NPS) invite you to participate in the fourth annual National Fossil Day on October 16, 2013, during Earth Science Week (October 13-19).
The Burgess Shale provides us with a rare glimpse into the softer side of paleontology. Most fossils are preserved hard parts - bones, teeth and shells - but one of the most famous fossil locales in the world, the Burgess Shale, reveals subtle soft body structures like gills and eyes delicately preserved between the layers of dark rock. For more than 100 years, the Burgess Shale has been giving us a unique perspective on what life was like in the Cambrian seas. This month, EARTH Magazine contributor Mary Caperton Morton reminds us that no matter how well we think we know a fossil locality, it can still surprise us.
Ask your kid what happened to the dinosaurs, and he or she will likely tell you that an asteroid killed them all. But ask how dinosaurs rose to prominence and you'll likely get a blank stare. Even many paleontologists may have little to say about the subject. But now, as EARTH explores in a feature in the February issue, new fossil discoveries are revealing the backstory of the rise of dinosaurs.