News About The Primordial Earth
July 10, 2017
Ancient animal thought to be first air breather on land loses claim to fame
Austin TX (SPX) Jul 07, 2017
Some good scientific sleuthing by an undergraduate at The University of Texas at Austin has helped rewrite one of the earliest chapters in the planet's evolutionary history. The research, led by the UT Jackson School of Geosciences, has shown that the millipede thought to be the world's oldest known air-breathing land creature is in fact about 14 million years younger than previously thought and cannot be the original land breather. The paper was published June 28 in the journal PLOS ONE. The stud ... read more

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Ancient molecules on fossil leaves reveal relationships among Jurassic-era plants
Thanks to a new molecular analysis technique, researchers have established relationships among 200-million-year-old plants for the first time. ... more
Dinosaurs' loss was frogs' gain: The upside of a mass extinction
Most of the frogs alive today owe a big thank you to the asteroid or comet that delivered the coup de grace to the dinosaurs. A new study by Chinese and American biologists shows that if the c ... more
New study reveals how frogs flourished after dinosaurs croaked
A massive asteroid strike that wiped out the dinosaurs millions of years ago created room for frogs to colonize the Earth, said a study Monday that shows how frogs became among the most diverse vertebrates in the world. ... more
Size not important for fish in the largest mass extinction of all time
Understanding modern biodiversity and extinction threats is important. It is commonly assumed that being large contributes to vulnerability during extinction crises. However, researchers from ... more
Ancient Swiss reptile shows its bizarre scale armor for the first time
Grisons, 241 million years ago - Instead of amidst high mountains, a small reptile suns itself on an island beach in a warm shallow sea, where many fish and marine reptiles frolic. This is the story ... more
Paleontologists identify extinction event among marine megafauna
The disappearance of terrestrial megafauna - like wooly mammoths and saber tooth tigers - during the last ice age is well documented. Now, scientists have found evidence that marine megafauna also suffered a previously unknown extinction event. ... more
How eggs got their shapes
The evolution of the amniotic egg - complete with membrane and shell - was key to vertebrates leaving the oceans and colonizing the land and air. Now, 360 million years later, bird eggs come in all ... more
Fossil holds new insights into how fish evolved onto land
"It's like a snake on the outside, but a fish on the inside." The fossil of an early snake-like animal - called Lethiscus stocki - has kept its evolutionary secrets for the last 340-million ye ... more

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Animal evolution: Hot start, followed by cold shock
The initial phases of animal evolution proceeded faster than hitherto supposed: New analyses suggest that the first animal phyla emerged in rapid succession - prior to the global Ice Age that set in ... more
Volcanic eruptions triggered dawn of the dinosaurs
Huge pulses of volcanic activity are likely to have played a key role in triggering the end Triassic mass extinction, which set the scene for the rise and age of the dinosaurs, new Oxford University ... more
Brazilian carnivorous mammal-like reptile fossil may be new Aleodon species
Some Late Triassic Brazilian fossils of mammal-like reptiles, previously identified as Chiniquodon, may in fact be the first Aleodon specimens found outside Africa, according to a study published Ju ... more
Otter fossil suggests ancient mammals migrated across Mexico, from Florida to California
An ancient sea otter fossil found in Central Mexico suggests mammals once followed an east-to-west migration route from Florida to California. ... more
Comets may have delivered significant portions of Earth's xenon
A new study suggests that roughly 22% of the element xenon found in Earth's atmosphere may have come from comets. The finding - shedding light on a decades-long mystery about the source for some of ... more
Paleontologists find Cretaceous-era baby bird trapped in amber
Scientists have discovered the remains of a Cretaceous-era baby bird inside a piece of 99-million-year-old amber. The amber fossil was found in Myanmar and purchased by scientists from local amber hunters. ... more
Geology and biology agree on Pangaea supercontinent breakup dates
Scientists at The Australian National University (ANU) have found that independent estimates from geology and biology agree on the timing of the breakup of the Pangaea supercontinent into today's co ... more
3-D-modeling of food residues in 230 million years old fossil feces
Synchrotron scanning can produce high-quality 3D models of well-preserved food residues from fossil faeces. That's the result of a new study, by palaeontologists from Uppsala University and from ESR ... more

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Scientists unveil Japan's largest complete dinosaur skeleton
Scientists in Japan have discovered the island nation's largest complete dinosaur skeleton. The record-breaking, 72-million-year-old fossils were unearthed on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido. ... more
Scientists unearth world's oldest mushroom fossil
Some paleontologists look for dinosaur bones. Others look for mushrooms. And one of those fungus hunters, a paleontologist from the University of Illinois, has discovered the oldest fossil mushroom in the world. ... more
How methane-making microbes kept the early Earth warm
For much of its first two billion years, Earth was a very different place: oxygen was scarce, microbial life ruled, and the sun was significantly dimmer than it is today. Yet the rock record shows t ... more
Paleobiologists make intriguing new discoveries about dinosaur ancestors
Dinosaurs emerged in Triassic, a geological period of the Mesozoic era which started 252 Mya. It was then when archosaurs split into two evolutionary branches - bird-like and crocodile-like. D ... more
Just how old are animals
The origin of animals was one of the most important events in the history of Earth. Beautifully preserved fossil embryos suggest that our oldest ancestors might have existed a little more than half ... more
New insights into the ancestors of all complex life
A team of scientists led by the University of Bristol has provided new insights into the origins of the Archaea, the group of simple cellular organisms that are the ancestors of all complex life. Th ... more
Genetic analysis of New World birds confirms untested evolutionary assumption
Biologists have always been fascinated by the diversity and changeability of life on Earth and have attempted to answer a fundamental question: How do new species originate? An implicit assump ... more
New species of bus-sized fossil marine reptile unearthed in Russia
A new species of a fossil pliosaur (large predatory marine reptile from the 'age of dinosaur') has been found in Russia and profoundly change how we understand the evolution of the group, says an in ... more
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