A 14,000-year paleoecological reconstruction of the sub-Antarctic islands led by University of Maine researchers has found that seabird establishment occurred during a period of regional cooling 5,000 years ago. Their populations, in turn, shifted the Falkland Islands ecosystems through the deposit of high concentrations of guano that helped nourish tussac, produce peat and increase the incidence of fire.
Despite having bat-like wings, two small dinosaurs, Yi and Ambopteryx, struggled to fly, only managing to glide clumsily between the trees where they lived, according to a new study led by an international team of researchers, including McGill University Professor Hans Larsson. Unable to compete with other tree-dwelling dinosaurs and early birds, they went extinct after just a few million years. The findings, published in iScience, support that dinosaurs evolved flight in several different ways before modern birds evolved.
The crocodiles that inhabited the coasts of North Africa during the late Miocene period embarked on a journey to Europe across what is now the Mediterranean basin. This is confirmed by the analysis of the first fossils of the Crocodylus genus in the Iberian Peninsula, found in the Valencian site of Venta del Moro between 1995 and 2006, and which are now being described for the first time.
Despite having bat-like wings, two small dinosaurs, Yi and Ambopteryx, struggled to fly, only managing to glide clumsily between the trees where they lived, researchers report October 22 in the journal iScience. Unable to compete with other tree-dwelling dinosaurs and early birds, they went extinct after just a few million years. The findings support that dinosaurs evolved flight in several different ways before modern birds evolved.
Geological investigations of low-temperature young deposits on the Styrian Erzberg provide paleoclimatology with new data on the earth's history and its development.
The first analysis of a sedimentary drill core representing 1 million years of environmental history in the East African Rift Valley shows that at the same time early humans were abandoning old tools in favor of more sophisticated technology and broadening their trade, their landscape was experiencing frequent fluctuations in vegetation and water supply that made resources less reliably available. The findings suggest that instability in their landscape was a key driver of human adaptability.
252 million years ago at the boundary between the Permian and Triassic epochs, Earth witnessed a mass extinction event that extinguished about three-quarters of all species on land and some 95 percent of all species in the ocean. Volcanic activity in today's Siberia has long been debated as a likely trigger of this event. Now, an international team of researchers provides for the first time a conclusive reconstruction of the key events that led to the mega-catastrophe.
252 million years ago, at the transition from the Permian to the Triassic epoch, most of the life forms existing on Earth became extinct. Using latest analytical methods and detailed model calculations, scientists from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, in cooperation with the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences and international partners, have now succeeded for the first time to provide a conclusive reconstruction of the geochemical processes that led to this unprecedented biotic crisis.
Mammals and birds today are warm-blooded, and this is often taken as the reason for their great success.
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have mapped the entire nuclear genome of a sabre-toothed cat. The genetic study reveals new insights about a socially intelligent pack animal, specialized in endurance-based hunting over long distances.