science
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 >>

science
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 >>

birds
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 >>

dinosaurs
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 >>

science
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 >>

science
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 >>

science
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 >>

Palaeontology
Dolphins Had a Jurassic-Era Reptile Twin Featuring Blubber and Warm Blood

Ichthyosaurs and dolphins are the archetypal examples of convergent evolution in action, in which two completely unrelated species acquire near identical characteristics. The discovery of a new ichthyosaur fossil suggests this Jurassic-era creature was even more dolphin-like than we appreciated, featuring warm-blood, blubber, and even similar camouflage. Read More >>

biology
Toothless, 33-Million-Year-Old Whale Could Be an Evolutionary ‘Missing Link’

A closer examination of a fossil found more than four decades ago has led to the identification of a new species of whale — a 33-million-year-old cetacean featuring neither teeth nor baleen. Its discovery could solve a longstanding mystery about the origin of filter-feeding whales, but some scientists say the new analysis isn’t wholly convincing. Read More >>

science
Spider Mothers Produce Milk for Their Young, Incredible New Study Shows

Jumping spider mothers provide milk to their spiderlings far into development, according to a new study that might turn your understanding of invertebrate parenting on its head. Read More >>

science
Scientists Stabbed Cactus Spines Into Meat to Study Evolution

One benefit of working at a university with an agricultural school is the availability of meat. That’s especially useful if you need something to stab cactus spines into. Read More >>

science
Upsettingly Large Fungus in USA Weighs 440 Tonnes and Is 2,500 Years Old

It’s nicknamed the “humongous fungus” – an unusually large fungal growth belonging to a single genetic individual. An updated analysis of this gigantic fungal beast shows it’s substantially larger and older than scientists initially thought. Read More >>

science
Mysterious Origin of Extinct Jamaican Monkey Solved With DNA Testing

For nearly 100 years, scientists haven’t been able to agree on the evolutionary origins of a strange, now-extinct monkey that lived and thrived in Jamaica for thousands of years. New research suggests its ancestors arrived from South America, and that life on this tropical island caused the species to acquire its odd set of features. Read More >>

science
Shallow Waters Allowed Early Fish-Like Creatures to Experiment With Evolution

The conditions under which early lifeforms originated and exploded into the many animal groups we see today is a mystery that has confounded scientists for decades. New research suggests shallow marine environments were a critical testbed for these early animals, providing the perfect space for them to evolve the physical characteristics required for them to move beyond their nearshore cradle. Read More >>