Paleontology

Blogs about paleontology

A possible moment during the Carnian Pluvial Episode (Image courtesy Davide Bonadonna. All rights reserved)

An article published in the journal “Nature Communications” describes a research on the link between the dinosaur diversification that took place at the end of the Triassic period and an event known as the Carnian Pluvial Episode, which occurred around 232-234 million years ago. According to a team of researchers, in the middle of that period of climate change, dinosaurs started thriving, evolving into many different species, also taking advantage of the extinction of other animals.

The Al Wusta-1 (AW-1) fossil (Image courtesy Ian Cartwright. All rights reserved)

An article published in the journal “Nature Ecology and Evolution” describes the discovery of a fossil finger that belonged to a modern human dating back to about 90,000 years ago in Saudi Arabia. A team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, made that discovery during an archaeological excavation at the site called Al Wusta in the Nefud desert. The modern human bone discovered is the oldest found so far out of Africa and the Levant.

Saniwa ensidens

An article published in the journal “Current Biology” describes a research on a species of reptile called Saniwa ensidens, related to the modern monitor lizards that lived about 49 million years ago in today’s Wyoming, USA. A team of researchers studied fossils of these animals discovered almost 150 years ago, concluding that they had four eyes. The two extra eyes were connected to the pineal and parapineal glands. This is the first discovered case of jawed vertebrate with four eyes.

Reproduction of La Ferrassie 1

An article published in the “Journal of Human Evolution” describes a new examination of the skeleton of one of the most famous Neanderthal men, known as La Ferrassie 1 because he was discovered on the French site of La Ferrassie in 1909. A team of researchers led by Dr. Asier Gomez-Olivencia of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) subjected the skeleton to exams that take advantage of new technologies and get new information on its species and on the physical problems of this man who lived some tens of thousands of years ago.

Colobops noviportensis' skull reconstruction phases (Image courtesy Yale University)

An article published in the journal “Nature Communications” describes the identification of a diapsid, part of a large group of vertebrates, dating back to the Triassic period, about 200 million years ago discovered in today’s Connecticut, USA. The team of researchers who studied the fossil remains and called it Colobops noviportensis concluded that it had a very powerful bite, even comparing it with today’s reptiles, showing an early evolution of the anatomical feeding apparatus.