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Tag "Paleontology"

Skeletons in the Ice Age Closet

Skeletons in the Ice Age Closet

How much did the Ice Age’s widespread mammal extinctions actually impact the ecosystem, and what can this tell us about our mass extinctions today? Dr. Matt Davis of the Department of Geology and Geophysics investigates this question.

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Perplexing Fossils and Peculiar Forms: Mapping the Tully Monster onto the Tree of Life

Perplexing Fossils and Peculiar Forms: Mapping the Tully Monster onto the Tree of Life

Researchers from Yale University and other institutions, headed by Dr. Victoria McCoy, have unearthed the origins of the Tully Monster, a Carboniferous creature with highly unusual morphology.

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Lucy [Falling Through] the Sky with Diamonds: Compressive fractures suggest cause of early hominin’s death

Lucy [Falling Through] the Sky with Diamonds: Compressive fractures suggest cause of early hominin’s death

One of the oldest cold cases in history is the death of Lucy, the 3.2-million-year-old hominin. John Kappelman, who completed his undergraduate training at Yale, did some detective work on Lucy’s skeleton; an analysis of her bone fractures revealed that she may have died from falling out of a tree.

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A Real-life “Jurassic World”:  Recreating Historic Evolutionary Transitions in the Laboratory

A Real-life “Jurassic World”: Recreating Historic Evolutionary Transitions in the Laboratory

Rather than speculate on how organisms evolved certain adaptations, scientists are attempting to recreate some of these historic transitions—such as the development of fins into feet—in the lab.

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TV Review: Raising the Dinosaur Giant

TV Review: Raising the Dinosaur Giant

Just a few seconds into Raising the Dinosaur Giant, David Attenborough’s voice fills the room and begins to set the scene for a spellbinding documentary. Attenborough, known for narrating The Blue Planet, speaks with a passion that is infectious and

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Ancient Flowering Plants ‘Hibernated’ Through Trouble

Ancient Flowering Plants ‘Hibernated’ Through Trouble

New fossil evidence of ancient angiosperms explains how tiny embryos facilitated seed dormancy, allowing these plants to survive in harsh climates.

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Masters of Light: The Science Behind Nature’s Brightest Colors

Masters of Light: The Science Behind Nature’s Brightest Colors

Many of nature’s most brilliant colors arise not from pigments, but from curious tricks of light. From the brilliant blue of a morpho butterfly to a beetle’s iridescent emerald, structural colors continue to mystify physicists and biologists. A recently unearthed beetle fossil sheds light on the evolution of these spectacular colors.

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Deep in the Lungs of the Earth: Exploring the Effect of Vegetation on Atmosphere and Climate

Deep in the Lungs of the Earth: Exploring the Effect of Vegetation on Atmosphere and Climate

Using advanced computer modeling and three million years worth of climate data, Dr. Nadine Unger has pioneered new research on the way vegetation affects climate change.

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Volcanoes Implicated in Murder of Dinosaurs: New Evidence Points to Volcanism as the Main Cause of Dinosaur Extinctions

Volcanoes Implicated in Murder of Dinosaurs: New Evidence Points to Volcanism as the Main Cause of Dinosaur Extinctions

New analyses show that the Yucatan Peninsula meteor impact did not cause the demise of the dinosaurs. Rather, mega-volcanism occurring in India correlates with the decrease in species diversity and eventual mass extinctions of this time period.

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A Hard Case: Shucking the Mollusk Mystery

A Hard Case: Shucking the Mollusk Mystery

A new fossil find clarifies the evolution of a group of mollusks and provides insights into mollusk evolution overall.

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