Recently in the Fossils Category


If you could dive down to the ocean floor nearly 540 million years ago just past the point where waves begin to break, you would find an explosion of life--scores of worm-like animals and other sea creatures tunneling complex holes and structures in the mud and sand--where before the environment had been mostly barren.

A few years ago, geologist Abderrazak El Albani and his team at the Institut de chimie des milieux et matériaux de Poitiers (CNRS/Université de Poitiers) discovered the oldest existing fossils of multicellular organisms in a deposit in Gabon

Step aside, skeletons -- a new world of biochemical "signatures" found in all kinds of ancient fossils is revealing itself to paleontologists, providing a new avenue for insights into major evolutionary questions.

Earth turned faster at the end of the time of the dinosaurs than it does today, rotating 372 times a year, compared to the current 365, according to a new study of fossil mollusk shells from the late Cretaceous. This means a day lasted only 23 and a half hours, according to the new study in AGU's journal Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology.

Virginia Tech paleontologists have made a remarkable discovery in China: 1 billion-year-old micro-fossils of green seaweeds that could be related to the ancestor of the earliest land plants and trees that first developed 450 million years ago.

The eyes of the extinct sea scorpion Jaekelopterus rhenaniae have the same structure as the eyes of modern horseshoe crabs (Limulidae). The compound eyes of the giant predator exhibited lens cylinders and concentrically organized sensory cells enclosing the end of a highly specialized cell.

The search for evidence of life on Mars could be helped by fresh insights into ancient rocks on Earth. Research which suggests that structures previously thought to be fossils may, in fact, be mineral deposits could save future Mars missions valuable time and resources.

Stromatolites are complex microbial mats that form lithified layers and ancient forms are the oldest evidence of life on earth, dating back over 3.4 billion years. Their emergence aligns with the oxygenation of the Earth's atmosphere and insight into these ancient structures would shed light on the earliest days of Earth.

Though our understanding of the anatomy of the earliest animals is growing ever more precise, we know next to nothing about their behaviour.

A clutch of marine fossil specimens unearthed in northern Portugal that lived between 470 and 459 million years ago is filling a gap in understanding evolution during the Middle Ordovician period.