science
New Evidence From Ancient Amber Shows Dinosaurs Were Plagued By Ticks

New research on 100 million year-old amber with ticks preserved inside indicates these tiny, annoying critters have been around for a long time—and that dinosaurs were among their hosts. Read More >>

science
Freaky New Dinosaur Was Part Duck, Part Raptor

The last few years have yielded some truly bizarre dinosaur discoveries. From rhino-like animals with massive heads and stubby spines, to beaked mishmashes of every dinosaur in the book, there’s been a cavalcade of incredible additions. But perhaps none of these quite measures up to the unrelenting strangeness of a newly-discovered species of dinosaur that lived in the Cretaceous period of Mongolia some 75 million years ago. Read More >>

science
Why Did Male Mammoths Get Stuck in Traps More Often Than Female Mammoths?

While conducting an analysis of woolly mammoth DNA, European researchers noticed something a little strange. A disproportionate number of male mammoths were found preserved in traps, such as holes and bogs. The explanation, say the researchers, can be be tied to the behavior of their distant relatives—the modern elephant. Read More >>

science
This Huge, Four-Horned Mammal Is Rewriting Giraffe Prehistory

Giraffes are hard to miss. Scraping the sky at roughly 18 feet up, they are the tallest animals on Earth. Humans have taken notice, becoming infatuated with giraffes from the first moments of the animals’ lives, and revering their iconic, alien gangliness across the globe. But despite all this attention, our species doesn’t have a particularly good grasp of the evolutionary history of giraffes and their relatives. But now, thanks to a newly-discovered fossil of a new species of extinct, ancestral giraffe, the giraffe family tree just grew a few more limbs and came into tighter focus. Read More >>

science
Adorable Cretaceous-Era Dinosaur Sprouted Raccoon-Like Bandit’s Eyes

By analysing the bones of a small, feathered dinosaur known as Sinosauropteryx, palaeontologists have mapped its unique colour patterning. Incredibly, this creature featured a bandit mask-like stripe across its eyes, similar to some mammals and birds living today. Read More >>

science
This Ancient Australian Beast Is the Only Marsupial Known to Have Made Seasonal Migrations

New research shows that Diprotodon—the largest marsupial to have ever lived—partook in seasonal migrations that took the now-extinct creature on long journeys across Australia’s Ice Age landscape. Read More >>

science
Some Vegetarian Dinosaurs Cheated By Snacking on Seafood

Large plant-eating dinosaurs are typically thought of as strict vegetarians, but an analysis of fossilised dino poo from the Cretaceous Period suggests some of these creatures also feasted on crustaceans. The study, published this week in Scientific Reports, suggests these occasional lapses in vegetarianism might have had something to do with dinosaur reproduction. Read More >>

science
These Dinosaurs Had Colourful Eggs Just Like Birds

In the spring, you might find fragmented blue eggshells sitting on the pavement, a sign that baby robins hatched somewhere up above. Taking the same walk 66 million years ago, you may have found a giant version of those same blue eggs. Except a much larger, sillier-looking dinosaur was probably sitting nearby. Read More >>

science
Super-Accurate Sculpture of Ancient Sea Creature Is Surprisingly Adorable

Well, maybe it’s a face that only a mother could love, but this remarkable recreation of a prolific sea creature that lived over 500 million years ago is offering an entirely new perspective on a particular well-known species. Read More >>

evolution
Ancient, Sharp-Toothed Whales Are Upending Cetacean History

All living whales are descended from terrestrial mammals, but how these aquatic creatures evolved into giant filter-feeders remains a biological mystery. New research shows that ancient whales had razor-sharp teeth similar to land-based carnivores—an observation that’s upsetting a prevailing idea that ancient whales used their teeth for filter feeding. Read More >>

science
Largest Ichthyosaurus Fossil Ever Discovered Contains an Unexpected Gift

An unstudied ichthyosaur fossil dating back to the Jurassic period is now the largest on record—a remarkably well-preserved specimen that also contains the remnants of a developing foetus. Read More >>

science
Bizarre Toothless Dwarf Dolphins Once Sucked Squid Off the Ancient Seafloor

Scientists have uncovered the fossilised remains of an unusual species of dolphin that lived 30 million years ago in what is now South Carolina. These extinct aquatic mammals measured just three feet in length, they featured short snouts, and perhaps strangest of all, they had no teeth. Read More >>

science
Ancient Carnivorous Dread-Possum Is Upending the History of Mammals

During the 65 million years following the extinction of the dinosaurs, the success story of the mammals has been more than a little imbalanced. Eutherians (placental mammals like dogs, horses, you and me) had an evolutionary rager, exploding in diversity and filling vacant ecological roles across the Northern Hemisphere. Metatherians (including marsupials like kangaroos and koalas) only got a modest foothold in the smaller, southern continents of South America and Australia. For tens of millions of years, everything north of the equator seemed to be a land of total placental mammal dominance—but the fossilised remains of a cat-sized metatherian carnivore in Turkey are now challenging that story. Read More >>

science
Newly Named Titanosaur Was the Largest Land Animal Our Planet Has Ever Seen

Four years after six specimens were discovered in Argentina, scientists have finally given a name to what is now considered the largest animal to ever have walked the Earth. Say hello to Patagotitan mayorum—a Cretaceous-era dinosaur that weighed an astonishing 152,000 pounds (68,946 kilograms). Read More >>

science
Incredibly Well-Preserved Fossil Changes Our Understanding of Armoured Dinosaurs

On a fateful day in the Early Cretaceous, a large, four-legged armoured dinosaur dropped dead on a beach in what is now modern-day Alberta. The remains of this 18-foot-long beast drifted out to sea and eventually sank, where it became buried in a thick layer of mud. Over time, the dinosaur became petrified, its soft tissues replaced by hard minerals. And then, quite by chance—some 110 million years later—a Canadian mining operator stumbled upon what is now considered to be one of the finest fossils ever discovered. Read More >>