The aerial scene depicts two Late Devonian early tetrapods — Ichthyostega and Acanthostega — coming out of the water to move on land. Footprints trail behind the animals to show a sense of movement. Credit: Davide Bonadonna It’s hard to overstate how much of a game-changer it was when vertebrates […]

Mollusks of a sample from Southern Israel: in red, those belonging to species of Red Sea origin, in blue, those of Mediterranean origin. Native species are very few, whereas tropical ones are dominant, marking the transformation of the ecosystem. Credit: © Paolo Albano Most native species are going locally extinct, […]

ANIMATION New research by scientists at the University of Bristol explains how a “stop-start” pattern of evolution, governed by environmental change, could explain why crocodiles have changed so little since the age of the dinosaurs. Crocodiles today look very similar to ones from the Jurassic period some 200 million years ago. There are also […]

The newly described python species Messelopython freyi is the world’s oldest known fossil record of a python. Credit: Senckenberg Fossils suggest that the constrictors’ origin lies in Europe. Together with his colleague Hussam Zaher of the University in São Paulo, Senckenberg scientist Krister Smith described the world’s oldest known fossils […]

An artist’s impression of the new sea dragon, Thalassodraco etches, in the Late Jurassic seas. Credit: Megan Jacobs An amateur fossil hunter has unearthed a new type of prehistoric ‘sea dragon’ on the beach of the UK’s Dorset coast. The new 2m-long ichthyosaurus is named ‘Etches sea dragon,’ after fossil […]

The Pacific Ocean’s currents support a diverse ecosystem, seen here from space with green indicating blooms of photosynthesizing plankton. Warmer currents during the ice age may also have supported early human settlements. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, The SeaWiFS Project and GeoEye, Scientific Visualization Studio New research reveals significant changes […]

Braincase and endocast of Thecodontosaurus antiquus. From CT scans of the braincase fossil, 3-D models of the braincase and the endocast were generated and studied. Credit: Created by Antonio Ballell with, Thecodontosaurus silhouette from A pioneering reconstruction of the brain belonging to one of the earliest dinosaurs to […]

A new study applies machine learning to the fossil record to visualize life’s history, showing the impacts of major evolutionary events. This shows the long-term evolutionary and ecological impacts of major events of extinction and speciation. Colors represent the geological periods from the Tonian, starting 1 billion years ago, in […]

A skeleton of an island fox. Credit: University of Missouri University of Missouri researcher adds to timeline of human evolution by studying an island fox. Nearly two decades ago, a small-bodied “human-like” fossil, Homo floresiensis,was discovered on an island in Indonesia. Some scientists have credited the find, now nicknamed “Hobbit,” as […]

An artist’s reconstruction of ‘Anomalocaris’ briggsi swimming within the twilight zone. Credit: Katrina Kenny Ancient marine creatures called radiodonts had incredible vision that likely drove an evolutionary arms race according to new research published on December 2, 2020. The international study, led by Professor John Paterson from the University of […]