Paleontology

Reconstruction of the Azhdarchid Pterosaur found in Canada (Image courtesy Mark Witton)

An article published in the “Royal Society journal Open Science” describes the discovery of a pterosaur attributed to the azhdarchid family. This flying reptile lived about 77 million years ago, in the Late Cretaceous period and is the first of its kind discovered in the British Columbia coast. For now indicated only as RBCM.EH.2009.019.0001, the specimen is a partial skeleton found subjected to CT scans to obtain information about a rare type of small-sized pterosaur.

Reconstruction of Allkauren koi (Image courtesy Gabriel Lío. All rights reserved)

An article published in the journal “PeerJ” describes the discovery of a new species of pterosaur that was called Allkauren koi from the early Jurassic period. A team of scientists discovered a partial skeleton in the Cañadón Asfalto Formation, in the province of Chubut, Patagonia, Argentina, with a braincase in excellent conditions. For this reason its study can provide new information about the origins and evolution of these flying reptiles.

Professor Allen Nutman, Associate Professor Vickie Bennett and a piece of fossil stromatolite (Photo courtesy Yuri Alemin)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes the discovery of microbial structures dating back to 3.7 billion years ago. A team of researchers led by Professor Allen Nutman of the University of Wollongong (UOW), Australia, discovered fossil stromatolites in the oldest sedimentary rocks in the world, in the Isua Greenstone Belt in Greenland. These fossils show that in such an ancient time there was already a diversity of life forms.

Cave bear skeleton

An article published in “Journal of Quaternary Science” describes a research on the cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) (photo ©Ra’ike). An international team of paleontologists led by Professor Hervé Bocherens of the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment (HEP) at the University of Tübingen studied the bones of these ancient animals and concluded that their diet was vegan. They also propose the hypothesis that their diet was wat led to the extinction of these bears about 25,000 years ago.

Reconstruction of a Thylacoleo carnifex attacking a Diprotodon (Image roman uchytel)

An article published in the journal “Paleobiology” describes a research on Thylacoleo carnifex. Commonly known as the marsupial lion, it was a predator native of Australia that lived between the Paleocene period and the beginning of the Pleistocene period, about 50,000 years ago. Christine Janis at the University of Bristol along with Figueirido Borja and Alberto Martín-Serra of the University of Malaga examined this animal’s elbows and concluded that it had a unique hunting style.