fossil

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Category archives for fossil

What’s an Octopus Fossil Look Like?

As boneless, gelatinous bags, octopuses rarely find themselves preserved as fossils but just this week it was announced in the journal Palaeontology that three new 95,000,000 year old octopus fossils have been discovered. These are the oldest on record. So what does an octopus fossil look like? Apparently, like something your elementary school child would…

Scientists in Madagascar recently discovered the remains of a giant prehistoric frog, a relative of today’s horned toads, which blew away the previous record for the largest known frog, Bennicus Bleimanicus. Dubbed Beelzebufo, meaning “frog from hell,” the Devil Frog had important differences from today’s frogs. To begin with, it was freakin huge. Susan Evans,…

First Flight, then Sonar

For years debate has raged amongst bat researchers as to whether or not bats were really just “flying rodents…”

Dr. Emily Rayfield, a researcher at the University of Bristol has pioneered methods using computer modeling to determine dinosaur physiology. Research by Dr. Rayfield just published in the Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontolology sheds new light on the feeding habits of Baryonyx, which had a body similar to meat eating dinosaurs but now appears to have…

Reported last month in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a fascinating fossil was discovered in the Saar-Nahe Basin of Southwestern Germany (sounds more like somewhere in Middle-earth than Bavaria to us, but go figure). The fossil(s?) comprises a fish that was eaten by an amphibian which was eaten by a shark. It…

Using a technique called very high-resolution x-ray computed tomography, researchers at the University of Manchester dissected a 50 million year old spider encased in amber. As reported in Zootaxa, leveraging the same technology used in CAT scans, it can make out features the width of a human hair. In this case, the technique enabled the…

Giant Prehistoric Organism Identified

For over a century the nature of prototaxites has been a source of mystery and debate among scientists. Growing over 20 feet tall and a yard wide, the organism grew straight up like a tree trunk, but had no leaves or branches. Prototaxites fossils from between 420 and 350 million years ago have been found…