New Breakthrough Means We Can Finally Detect the Colour Red in Ancient Fossils

Some 3 million years ago, a tiny mouse featuring reddish fur on its back and a white belly scurried across the landscape of what is now Germany. We know this thanks to a remarkable new breakthrough in which reddish colour pigment was detected in an ancient fossil—a scientific first. Read More >>

Bed Bugs Have Been Creeping Around and Sucking Blood Since the Age of Dinosaurs

While bed bugs have been tormenting humanity for millennia, it’s long been assumed their evolutionary journey as parasites first began tens of millions of years ago, when they fed on bats. But an international team of scientists has found evidence suggesting the origin of these vampiric insects extends even further into the past—back to the heyday of dinosaurs. Read More >>

This Bird Went Extinct, Then Evolution Recreated It

Sometime between 136,000 and 240,000 years ago, a flock of awkward, leggy birds took off from Madagascar and arrived at a pristine island in the Aldabra atoll 250 miles away. “This is nice,” they may have thought—there were no predators, and the birds colonised the island. Without the threat of predation, they eventually lost their ability to fly. But 136,000 years ago, a flood washed over the island, wiping out this unique flightless species. Read More >>

Adorable Jurassic Dinosaur May Have Flown With Bat-Like Wings

During the Jurassic period, various dinosaurs experimented with different forms of powered flight. The discovery of a new dinosaur species in China suggests some of these pioneering flyers evolved webbed fingers and an elongated forelimb, allowing them to fly in a distinctly bat-like fashion. Read More >>

Newly Discovered Cousin of T. Rex Was a Pint-Sized Killer

Palaeontologists have identified a previously unknown relative of T. rex that stood just below 3 feet at the hip. The discovery is shedding new light on the evolutionary origins of tyrannosaurs, while providing a glimpse of these fearsome creatures before they reached enormous sizes. Read More >>

This Fish Has Evolved to Thrive in Intensely Polluted Water

A small fish somehow evolved resistance to the heavily polluted water of the Houston Ship Channel by mysteriously acquiring genes from another fish from thousands of miles away, according to a new paper. Read More >>

Newly Discovered Ancient Carnivore Was Bigger Than a Polar Bear and Is True Nightmare Fuel

New research describes the remains of a gigantic, four-legged mammalian carnivore that terrorised Africa some 22 million years ago. Read More >>

Newly Discovered African Titanosaur Had a Distinctly Heart-Shaped Tailbone

Titanosaurs were the giants of the giants—four-legged behemoths that stomped around Cretaceous South America and Africa 100 million years ago. The discovery of a previously unknown titanosaur in Tanzania with a unique heart-shaped tailbone is adding to our knowledge of these enigmatic beasts, and how they lived and evolved on the African continent. Read More >>

2-Billion-Year-Old Squiggles Could Be the Earliest Evidence of a Mobile Life Form

The reported discovery of 2.1-billion-year-old fossilized track marks etched in sedimentary rock is pushing back the earliest evidence of self-propelled movement by an organism on Earth by a whopping 1.5 billion years. Read More >>

Cartoonishly Well-Preserved Fossil Is the Earliest Bird of Its Kind

A 52-million-year-old fossil found in Wyoming is now the earliest known seed-eating perching bird in the scientific record, a discovery that’s shedding new light on the history and early eating habits of these now-ubiquitous birds. Read More >>

Newly Discovered Spiked Dinosaurs From South America Look Like Creatures From ‘No Man’s Sky’

Palaeontologists in Argentina have uncovered a dinosaur unlike anything ever seen before. Alive some 140 million years ago, these majestic herbivores featured long, forward-pointing spikes running along their necks and backs. These spikes may have served a defensive role, but their exact purpose now presents a fascinating new mystery. Read More >>

See What Trees Look Like to a Bird’s Ultraviolet-Sensitive Eyes

A bird’s-eye view can completely change your perspective on things. And I mean that literally. Read More >>

Ancient Shark With Spaceship-Shaped Teeth Named After Vintage Video Game

A newly described freshwater shark from the Cretaceous Period had teeth that resembled the iconic Galaga video game spacefighter. Remarkably, the remains of this shark were found in the same pile of debris that contained Sue the T. rex – the largest and most complete fossil of the species ever found. Read More >>

giz asks
What’s the Newest Animal?

Bears. Donkeys. Fat, friendly dogs. These animals—animals, generally—have been around for an extremely long time, long enough to feel like a fixed part of the landscape. It’s easy to forget that these creatures weren’t always there, and didn’t always look like they do now. On human—as opposed to geologic—time, forms seem more or less fixed; sexual mores and national attitudes towards fascism might change in the course of one’s lifetime, but zebras stay more or less the same. Taking the long view, though, it’s worth wondering—which of these animals, as we know them now, has been around for the least amount of time? Read More >>

Ancient Flying Reptiles Featured Distinctly Dino-Like Feathers

Feathers were common among dinosaurs, but scientists aren’t certain if the fur-like coverings of pterosaurs—a group of flying reptiles—were of the same sort seen on dinos and birds or something completely different. The discovery of two exquisite fossils in China now suggests pterosaurs were very much covered in feathers, potentially pushing back the origin of this critically important evolutionary feature by 70 million years. Read More >>