Blogs about paleontology

Parvancorina minchami fossil (Photo Masahiro miyasaka)

An article published in the journal “Biology Letters” describes a research on an organisms that belongs to the Parvancorina genus that lived over 540 million years ago, concluding that it had a higher mobility than previously thought. A team of researchers created simulations to understand how the water flowed around the body of a Parvcorina to understand its mobility. This research contradicts the common idea that organisms belonging to the so-called Ediacara fauna had a static life.

Simulation of Tyrannosaurus rex anatomy (Image courtesy Gregory Erickson e Paul Gignac / Florida State University/Oklahoma State University / Scientific Reports)

An article published in the journal “Scientific Reports” describes a research on the bite force of Tyrannosaurus rex. Researchers Gregory Erickson and Paul Gignac created computer models based not only on fossils but also on the study of dinosaurs’ living relatives, crocodiles and birds, to estimate T.rex’s bite characteristics concluding that it could crush its prey’s bones.

Zuul crurivastator Skull (Photo courtesy Brian Boyle/Royal Ontario Museum)

An article published in the journal “Royal Society Open Science” describes the study of a dinosaur called Zuul crurivastator that lived about 75 million years ago in today’s Montana, USA. It’s an Anchilosaurus, a group of armored herbivores that appeared during the Jurassic period that lived until the end of the Cretaceous. The name Zuul is inspired by the monster of the movie “Ghostbusters” because the discoverers saw some similarities with it.

Skull of the Homo naledi nicknamed Neo (Image courtesy John Hawks/University of Wisconsin-Madison/Wits University)

Three articles published in the journal “eLife” describe as many aspects of the research about Homo nalidi, the hominids discovered in the cave system called Rising Star in South Africa. The announcement of their discovery in September 2015 was accompanied by many questions. New fossils were discovered while the original individuals were dated between 236,000 and 335,000 years, relatively young considering their various primitive features.

Acritarch from the Doushantuo Formation (Image courtesy John Cunningham, University of Bristol)

An article published in “The Journal of the Geological Society” describes a research on fossils dating back to about 600 million years ago found in the Chinese site of Weng’an. A team of researchers led by the British University of Bristol believes that those might not be some of the oldest remains of animals ever found but algae.