science
Humans Have Even More Neanderthal DNA Than We Realised

A international team of researchers has completed one of the most detailed analyses of a Neanderthal genome to date. Among the many new findings, the researchers learned that Neanderthals first mated with modern humans a surprisingly long time ago, and that humans living today have more Neanderthal DNA than we assumed. Read More >>

science
This 10-Foot-Long Jurassic Crocodile Once Menaced Britain’s Seas

A reanalysis of a heavily damaged fossil found nearly 150 years ago has revealed the existence of an absolute monster of the ancient seas. And the discovery of the new species, nicknamed the “Melksham Monster,” shows that an extinct group of ancient reptiles appeared on Earth millions of years earlier than previously thought. Read More >>

science
Exquisite Skeleton of a Neanderthal Kid Offers Clues to Human Evolution

He was just seven-and-a-half when he died some 49,000 years ago, an otherwise healthy Neanderthal boy whose cause of death remains a mystery. An analysis of his well-preserved skeleton is providing new insights into how these extinct humans developed and matured, revealing an extended period of growth in certain aspects compared to modern humans. Read More >>

science
Rare African Titanosaur Was Among the Smallest of the Giants

During the Cretaceous Era some 70 to 100 million years ago, long-necked sauropods ruled the Earth. But in Africa, not so much. The discovery of a previously-unknown species of titanosaur in Tanzania expands what we know about dinosaurs on this continent, while revealing the surprising degree to which these creatures were related to similar dinos living in other parts of the world. Read More >>

science
Life As We Know Could Have Come From Algae on Steroids

What was life really like here on planet Earth before animals were big enough to leave fossils behind? How did living things turn from dinky capsules of genetic material into the intelligent, complex organisms that do things like fart and type curse words into posts on the internet? Scientists think they’ve found the answer... in algae steroids. Read More >>

dinosaurs
One of the Most Puzzling Dinosaurs Ever Discovered Just Got a Major Rebrand

Paleontologists uncovered a strange new dinosaur a few years ago—a crazy, patchwork quilt of a creature dubbed Chilesaurus diegosuarezi. Its bizarre and often conflicting characteristics defied classification, forcing scientists to make an educated guess about its place on the dino family tree. New research suggests the initial attempt to classify Chilesaurus was wrong, and that this animal represents an important transitional species within a different group of dinosaurs. Read More >>

cannibalism
Bone Etchings Suggest Ancient Cannibals Weren’t Just Doing it for the Meat

Distinctive zig-zag etchings on a prehistoric human bone found at Gough’s Cave in England suggests that Ice Age cannibals consumed human flesh not purely for the nutritional value, but as part of a sophisticated funeral practice. Read More >>

science
Did Scientists Just Discover the Last Common Ancestor of All Apes?

Fossils of ancient apes are even rarer than those of ancient humans, so very little is known about these important evolutionary missing links. The unexpected discovery of a 13-million-year-old infant ape skull in Kenya is offering a tantalising glimpse of a new species that lived well before humans and apes embarked upon their very different evolutionary paths. Read More >>

science
Mammalian Ancestors Went Airborne Earlier Than We Thought

The origin of flight remains a perplexing topic in the scientific community, as tends to be the case with any origin story. Flight probably evolved multiple times in different groups. Insects probably started flying over 300 million years ago, and pterosaurs, large flying reptiles, evolved 230 million years ago. Add gliding and the complex origins of mammals into the mix, and the story becomes even more confusing. Read More >>

science
This Newly-Discovered Dinosaur Looks Just Like a Modern Day Cassowary

As virtually every school-aged child knows, birds are descended from dinosaurs. But holy toledo, does this newly discovered oviratporid ever look like a modern cassowary—right from the dramatic crest atop its head through to its long neck and ostrich-like shape. The palaeontologists who discovered the dino are now studying modern cassowaries to get a better sense of its potential behaviour. Read More >>

science
T. Rex Couldn’t Sprint But It Could Still Move Faster Than You

Films like Jurassic Park have led us to believe that Tyrannosaurus rex was capable of chasing down its prey at full tilt. New research done with simulations suggest this dino was no sprinter, and that it couldn’t move any faster than a brisk walk. Well, a brisk walk for a nine tonne carnivore. At a top speed of 12 miles per hour, you’d still have a hard time outrunning this prehistoric beast. Read More >>

science
Nightmarish Crocodile Relative Terrorised Dinosaurs in Prehistoric Madagascar

Roughly 165 million years ago during the mid-Jurassic, Madagascar was an alien place. The famously large island has yet to fully cleave itself tectonically from India and Africa, still crammed together with the rest of the southern supercontinent of Gondwana. Primates have yet to evolve, and flowers aren’t even a thing yet. This Madagascar is instead alive with a spectacular diversity of dinosaurs and reptiles, racing along the dirt and soaring above the forests. But everything that slinks, bounds, and lumbers across this sun-baked, proto-Madagascan theatre is united in unshakeable wariness over the region’s most feared apex predator: Razanandrongobe sakalavae, an enormous, land-striding relative of crocodiles with a nightmare where its face ought to go. Read More >>

science
Giant Flying Turkeys Once Roamed Australia Because of Course They Did

Bird enthusiasts will be disappointed to know they were born millions of years too late. Palaeontologists from Flinders University in Australia have discovered five extinct megapode birds—among them, a giant brush-turkey called Progura gallinacea. The big bird was roughly the size of a kangaroo and weighed about eight kilograms yet it still managed to fly. Read More >>

science
Please Don’t Eat The Oldest Mushroom Fossil

Sam Heads and his team had just received a donation of fossil insects at the Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. But when they started going through it, Heads realised that one of the fossils wasn’t a bug at all. “It looks like a mushroom,” he said. He showed it to a colleague. “It looks like a mushroom,” the colleague said. They brought it to their mushroom expert (a mycologist), Andrew Miller. “That’s a mushroom,” he said. Read More >>

science
How Much Force Could a T-rex Bite Deliver?

In the 1993 cult classic Jurassic Park, a T-rex manages to scare the living shit out of kid heroes Lex and Tim Murphy by casually ripping apart their Ford Explorer like it’s a scrap of meat. It’s a scene that crystallised the destructive power of this extinct apex predator in the public consciousness — and as a new study highlights, it might not have been that hyperbolic. Read More >>