04/18/2014 - 09:20

Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists exploring large fields of impact glass in Argentina suggest that what happened on Earth might well have happened on Mars millions of years ago. Martian impact glass could hold traces of organic compounds.

09/26/2013 - 07:16

An international team of scientists including the University of Adelaide's Dr Marc Jones has reported that the fossilised remains of a reptile closely related to lizards unearthed in Germany are the oldest 'lepidosaur' fossils yet to be discovered.


06/28/2012 - 06:56

For the first time, researchers have found plant remains in the two-million-year-old dental plaque of ancient hominins’ teeth. The first direct evidence of what our earliest ancestors actually ate has been discovered due to a two-million-year-old mishap that befell two early members of the human family tree. Amanda Henry of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and co-workers determined the diet of these hominins by looking at patterns of dental wear and analysing tiny plant fragments on their teeth.

05/18/2012 - 10:36

Picture a turtle the size of a Smart car, with a shell large enough to double as a kiddie pool. Paleontologists from North Carolina State University have found just such a specimen – the fossilized remains of a 60-million-year-old South American giant that lived in what is now Colombia.

05/04/2012 - 16:50

A crocodile large enough to swallow humans once lived in East Africa, according to a University of Iowa researcher. "It’s the largest known true crocodile,” says Christopher Brochu, associate professor of geoscience. “It may have exceeded 27 feet in length. By comparison, the largest recorded Nile crocodile was less than 21 feet, and most are much smaller.”

05/01/2012 - 22:25

It takes a gutsy insect to sneak up on a huge dinosaur while it sleeps, crawl onto its soft underbelly and give it a bite that might have felt like a needle going in – but giant “flea-like” animals, possibly the oldest of their type ever discovered, probably did just that. And a few actually lived through the experience, based on the discovery by Chinese scientists of remarkable fossils of these creatures, just announced in Current Biology, a professional journal.