Paleontology

Reconstruction of a trilobite attacking a worm-like prey (Image courtesy Stacy Turpin Cheavens of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Missouri)

An article published in the journal “Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology” describes a research of truly exceptional fossils because they kept in ancient ocean sediments the traces left in the Cambrian by trilobites and their prey, worm-like creatures. Their analysis reveals the trilobites’ predatory behavior, which was already sophisticated more than half a billion years ago.

Tyrannosauroid teeth (Image courtesy L.J. Krumenacker, D. Jade Simon, Garrett Scofield & David J. Varricchio. All rights reserved)

An article published in the journal “Historical Biology: An International Journal of Paleobiology” describes various dinosaur fossils discovered in Idaho, USA. Those are several species belonging to the theropod (Theropoda) suborder showing a much greater diversity than was known. The fossils date back about 95 million years ago and according to the team of paleontologists who examined them also include tyrannosaur ancestors.

New hominin molar found at the Sterkfontein Caves (Photo courtesy Jason Heaton. All rights reserved)

An article published in “Journal of Human Evolution” describes the exam of some fossils belonging to the genus Homo which may be associated with early stone tools dated at around 2.18 million years ago. Those are a finger bone and of a molar found in the Sterkfontein Caves, in South Africa. Their features make their precise attribution difficult but intriguing.

Fossil of Dollocaris ingens (Photo courtesy Jean Vannier, University of Cologne)

An article published in the journal “Nature Communications” describes the extraordinary study on the eyes of fossilized specimens of Dollocaris ingens, a crustacean that lived about 160 million years ago, in the middle Jurassic. In the deposits of La Voulte, in the southeast of France, fossils were found in which various soft tissues were also well preserved and this allowed to reconstruct their eyes, giving us an idea of ​​how they saw and indirectly of the environment in which they lived.

Outline of Dracoraptor haniganis skeleton with the bones found in green (Image David M. Martill, Steven U. Vidovic, Cindy Howells, John R. Nudds)

An article published in the journal “PLOS ONE” describes the analysis of the partial skeleton of a new species of dinosaur found on a beach near Cardiff, Wales. The fossils date back about 200 million years ago, at the beginning of the Jurassic period. This makes them even more interesting because just a few dinosaur fossils from that period were found so far. According to Dr. David Martill from the University of Portsmouth and his colleagues, the dinosaur found belongs to a genus previously unknown and was named Dracoraptor hanigani.