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Key: Meeting Journal Funder
Public Release: 16-Oct-2014
GSA 2014 Annual Meeting
Top paleontological society presentations: Fossils, evolution, and extinctions
What is the 'Sixth Extinction'? How do paleontologists determine North America's future fire threats? What do trilobites look like on the inside? Did the Chicxulub impact trigger an eruption? Here, the Paleontological Society highlights some of the best science and current work in paleontology to be presented at the 126th Annual Meeting of The Geological Society of America on Oct. 19-22 in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America

Public Release: 15-Oct-2014
Paleoceanography
Microfossils reveal warm oceans had less oxygen, Syracuse geologists say
Researchers in Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences are pairing chemical analyses with micropaleontology -- the study of tiny fossilized organisms -- to better understand how global marine life was affected by a rapid warming event more than 55 million years ago. Their findings are the subject of an article in the journal Paleoceanography.

Contact: Rob Enslin
rmenslin@syr.edu
315-443-3403
Syracuse University

Public Release: 15-Oct-2014
BMC Evolutionary Biology
Ancient fossils confirmed among our strangest cousins
More than 100 years since they were first discovered, some of the world's most bizarre fossils have been identified as distant relatives of humans, thanks to the work of University of Adelaide researchers.
Australian Research Council, Spanish Research Council, National Geographic Society

Contact: Diego Garcia-Bellido
diego.garcia-bellido@adelaide.edu.au
University of Adelaide

Public Release: 15-Oct-2014
GSA 2014 Annual Meeting
Geologists dig into science around the globe, on land and at sea
UC research and discoveries will be highlighted at The Geological Society of America's Annual Meeting and Exposition in Vancouver, Canada.

Contact: Dawn Fuller
dawn.fuller@uc.edu
513-556-1823
University of Cincinnati

Public Release: 15-Oct-2014
Royal Society Open Science
Prehistoric crocodiles' evolution mirrored in living species
Crocodiles which roamed the world's seas millions of years ago developed in similar ways to their modern-day relatives, a study has shown.

Contact: Catriona Kelly
Catriona.Kelly@ed.ac.uk
44-131-651-4401
University of Edinburgh

Public Release: 15-Oct-2014
PLOS ONE
Extinct giant kangaroos may have been hop-less
Now extinct giant kangaroos most likely could not hop and used a more rigid body posture to move their hindlimbs one at a time.

Contact: Kayla Graham
onepress@plos.org
PLOS

Public Release: 15-Oct-2014
PLOS ONE
These roos were 'made' for walking, study suggests of extinct enigmas
Based on a rigorous comparative analysis of kangaroo anatomy, researchers posit that the ancient family of sthenurine kangaroos that lived until 30,000 years ago likely preferred walking to hopping.
Bushnell Foundation

Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University

Public Release: 14-Oct-2014
Journal of Avian Biology
A canary for climate change
Researchers find that wing-propelled diving seabirds, as well as their extinct relatives, may have served as an indicator species for environmental changes and faunal shifts. The findings also elucidate how past extinctions have influenced the modern distribution and population size of existing species.
National Science Foundation, National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, University of Texas at Austin

Contact: Nicole Duncan
nicole.duncan@nescent.org
919-668-7993
National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent)

Public Release: 14-Oct-2014
Palaeogeoraphy, Palaeocilmatology, Palaeoecology
Past climate change and continental ice melt linked to varying CO2 levels
Scientists at the Universities of Southampton and Cardiff have discovered that a globally warm period in Earth's geological past featured highly variable levels of CO2.

Contact: Steven Williams
s.williams@soton.ac.uk
0238-059-2128
University of Southampton

Public Release: 13-Oct-2014
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Earliest-known lamprey larva fossils unearthed in Inner Mongolia
Researchers describe the oldest identified lamprey fossils displaying the creature in stages of pre-metamorphosis and metamorphosis.
National Basic Research Program of China, Asian-Swedish Research Partnership Program of the Swedish Research Council, KU Endowment

Contact: Brendan M. Lynch
blynch@ku.edu
785-864-8855
University of Kansas

Public Release: 8-Oct-2014
PLOS ONE
Ancient rhino-relatives were water-loving
The discovery of new bones from a large land mammal that lived about 48 million years ago has led scientists to identify a new branch of mammals closely related to modern horses, rhinos, and tapirs.

Contact: Kayla Graham
onepress@plos.org
PLOS

Public Release: 7-Oct-2014
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
How dinosaurs divided their meals at the Jurassic dinner table
How the largest animals to have ever walked the Earth fed, and how this allowed them to live alongside one another in prehistoric ecosystems is the subject of new research from the University of Bristol and the Natural History Museum, London.
Natural Environment Research Council

Contact: Hannah Johnson
hannah.johnson@bristol.ac.uk
University of Bristol

Public Release: 2-Oct-2014
Current Biology
52-million-year-old amber preserves 'ant-loving' beetle
Scientists have uncovered the fossil of a 52-million-year old beetle that likely was able to live alongside ants --preying on their eggs and usurping resources -- within the comfort of their nest. The fossil, encased in a piece of amber from India, is the oldest-known example of this kind of social parasitism, known as 'myrmecophily.' The research also shows that the diversification of these stealth beetles, which infiltrate ant nests world-wide today, correlates with the ecological rise of modern ants.
Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ellison Medical Foundation, Constantine Niarchos Foundation

Contact: Kendra Snyder
ksnyder@amnh.org
212-496-3419
American Museum of Natural History

Public Release: 30-Sep-2014
PLOS Biology
How dinosaur arms turned into bird wings
Although we now appreciate that birds evolved from a branch of the dinosaur family tree, a crucial adaptation for flight has continued to puzzle evolutionary biologists. During the millions of years that elapsed, wrists went from straight to bent and hyperflexible, allowing birds to fold their wings neatly against their bodies when not flying. A resolution to this impasse is now provided by an exciting new study publishing on Sept. 30 in PLOS Biology.

Contact: PLOS Biology
biologypress@plos.org
PLOS

Public Release: 29-Sep-2014
Geology
Glaciers in the Grand Canyon of Mars?
For decades, planetary geologists have speculated that glaciers might once have crept through Valles Marineris, the 2,000-mile-long chasm that constitutes the Grand Canyon of Mars. Using satellite images, researchers have identified features that might have been carved by past glaciers as they flowed through the canyons; however, these observations have remained highly controversial and contested.

Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America

Public Release: 29-Sep-2014
Naturwissenschaften, The Science of Nature
Tooth serves as evidence of 220-million-year-old attack
At the beginning of the age of dinosaurs, gigantic reptiles -- distant relatives of modern crocodiles -- ruled the earth. Some lived on land and others in water and it was thought they didn't much interact. But a tooth found by a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, researcher in the thigh of one of these ancient animals is challenging this belief.

Contact: Whitney Heins
wheins@utk.edu
865-974-5460
University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Public Release: 29-Sep-2014
Genome Biology and Evolution
Ancient human genome from southern Africa throws light on our origins
The skeleton of a man who lived 2,330 years ago in the southernmost tip of Africa tells us about ourselves as humans, and throws some light on our earliest common genetic ancestry. The man's genome was sequenced and shown to be one of the 'earliest diverged' -- oldest in genetic terms -- found to-date in a region where modern humans are believed to have originated roughly 200,000 years ago.

Contact: Alison Heather
a.heather@garvan.org.uv
61-292-958-128
Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Public Release: 26-Sep-2014
Naturwissenschaften
Tooth buried in bone shows prehistoric predators tangled across land, sea
Before dinosaurs, it was thought the top aquatic and terrestrial predators didn't often interact. But researchers at Virginia Tech and the University of Tennessee discovered that the smaller of the two apex predators was potentially targeting the larger animal.

Contact: Rosaire Bushey
busheyr@vt.edu
540-231-5035
Virginia Tech

Public Release: 25-Sep-2014
Science
Innovative Stone Age tools were not African invention, say researchers
A new discovery of thousands of Stone Age tools has provided a major insight into human innovation 325,000 years ago and how early technological developments spread across the world, according to research published in the journal Science.
University of Connecticut, UK Natural Environment Research Council, Leakey Foundation, Irish Research Council, University of Winchester

Contact: Paul Teed
paul.teed@rhul.ac.uk
01-784-443-552
Royal Holloway, University of London

Public Release: 25-Sep-2014
Current Biology
Dinosaur family tree gives fresh insight into rapid rise of birds
The most comprehensive family tree of meat-eating dinosaurs ever created is enabling scientists to discover key details of how birds evolved from them.
European Commission, National Science Foundation, University of Edinburgh, Columbia University, American Museum of Natural History, Swarthmore College/Research Fund, James Michener Faculty Fellowship

Contact: Corin Campbell
Corin.Campbell@ed.ac.uk
44-131-650-2246
University of Edinburgh

Public Release: 24-Sep-2014
Nature
Fossil of multicellular life moves evolutionary needle back 60 million years
Virginia Tech geobiologist Shuhai Xiao and collaborators from the Chinese Academy of Sciences shed new light on multicellular fossils from a time 60 million years before a vast growth spurt of life known as the Cambrian Explosion occurred on Earth.

Contact: Rosaire Bushey
busheyr@vt.edu
540-231-5035
Virginia Tech

Public Release: 24-Sep-2014
PLOS ONE
New dinosaur from New Mexico has relatives in Alberta
University of Alberta scientists help create new family tree for armoured dinosaur with northern cousins.

Contact: Jennifer Pascoe
jennifer.pascoe@ualberta.ca
780-492-3802
University of Alberta

Public Release: 19-Sep-2014
Journal of Systematic Palaeontology
New hadrosaur noses into spotlight
Call it the Jimmy Durante of dinosaurs -- a newly discovered hadrosaur with a truly distinctive nasal profile. The new dinosaur, named Rhinorex condrupus by paleontologists from North Carolina State University and Brigham Young University, lived in what is now Utah approximately 75 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period.

Contact: Mick Kulikowski
mick_kulikowski@ncsu.edu
919-515-8387
North Carolina State University

Public Release: 18-Sep-2014
GSA Bulletin
Tree rings and arroyos
A new GSA Bulletin study uses tree rings to document arroyo evolution along the lower Rio Puerco and Chaco Wash in northern New Mexico, USA. By determining burial dates in tree rings from salt cedar and willow, investigators were able to precisely date arroyo sedimentary beds 30 cm thick or greater. They then combined this data with aerial imagery, LiDAR, longitudinal profiles, and repeat surveys to reconstruct the history of these arroyos.

Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America

Public Release: 18-Sep-2014
Geology
Miranda: An icy moon deformed by convection
Miranda, a small, icy moon of Uranus, is one of the most visually striking and enigmatic bodies in the solar system. Despite its relatively small size, Miranda appears to have experienced an episode of intense resurfacing that resulted in the formation of at least three remarkable and unique surface features -- polygonal-shaped regions called coronae.

Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America