After reconstructing the color patterns of a well-preserved dinosaur from China, researchers have found that the long-lost species called Psittacosaurus was light on its underside and darker on top. This color pattern, known as countershading, is a common form of camouflage in modern animals. The findings reported in Current Biology on Sept. 15 lead the researchers to conclude that Psittacosaurus most likely lived in an environment with diffuse light, such as in a forest.
Stable isotope analysis of hair from bonobos shows that the diet of these great apes may vary with social rank and reproductive status, according a study published Sept. 14, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Vicky Oelze from Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany, and colleagues.
From skeletal remains found among ancient owl pellets, a team of scientists has recovered the first ancient DNA of the extinct West Indian mammal Nesophontes, meaning 'island murder.' They traced its evolutionary history back to the dawn of mammals 70 million years ago. The authors, including Selina Brace, Jessica Thomas, Ian Barnes et al., published their findings in the advanced online edition of Molecular Biology and Evolution.
An extinct reptile related to crocodiles that lived 212 million years ago in present day New Mexico has been named as a new species, Vivaron haydeni, in a paper published this week by Virginia Tech's Department of Geosciences researchers.
In Nature, researchers from Uppsala University, Sweden, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, France, the University of Cambridge, UK shows that fossils of the 360 million-year-old tetrapod Acanthostega, one of the iconic transitional forms between fishes and land animals, are not adults but all juveniles. This conclusion based on high-resolution synchrotron X-ray scans of fossil limb bones, sheds new light on the life cycle of Acanthostega and the so-called conquest of land by tetrapods.
The discovery of a group of young, prehistoric fish fossils provides some insights into the way the extinct creatures survived their youth -- and how fish today might be similar to them.
By comparing the timing of the evolution of thorns on about 2,000 woody tree species in southern Africa and the time that antelopes arrived in Africa, a group of scientists found that trees like African acacias evolved thorns as a defense mechanism at exactly the same time that antelope arrived in Africa.
A multidisciplinary UPV/EHU team made up of researchers from the Department of Geography, Prehistory and Archaeology and from the Department of Stratigraphy and Palaeontology has presented the discovery of the new Artazu VII site located in the Kobate Quarry in Arrasate.
New research, led by the University of Southampton, suggests that the release of methane from the seafloor was much slower than previously thought during a rapid global warming event 56 million years ago.
A University of Adelaide-led project has overturned the theory that the evolution of human intelligence was simply related to the size of the brain -- but rather linked more closely to the supply of blood to the brain.