A newly identified species of 150 million-year-old marine crocodile has given insights into how a group of ancient animals evolved. The ancestor of today’s crocodiles belonged to a group of animals that developed a tail fin and paddle-like limbs for life in the sea, resembling dolphins more than crocodiles. These slender animals, which fed on

Cetaceans, the group including whales and dolphins, originated in south Asia more than 50 million years ago from a small, four-legged, hoofed ancestor. Now, researchers reporting the discovery of an ancient four-legged whale—found in 42.6-million-year-old marine sediments along the coast of Peru—have new insight into whales’ evolution and their dispersal to other parts of the

The chrome plating on the Terracotta Army bronze weapons—once thought to be the earliest form of anti-rust technology—derives from a decorative varnish rather than a preservation technique, finds a new study co-led by UCL and Terracotta Army Museum researchers. The study, published today in Scientific Reports, reveals that the chemical composition and characteristics of the surrounding soil, rather

An ancient group of people made ritual offerings to supernatural deities near the Island of the Sun in Lake Titicaca, Bolivia, about 500 years earlier than the Incas, according to an international team of researchers. The team’s findings suggest that organized religion emerged much earlier in the region than previously thought. “People often associate the

Archaeologists with the University of Cincinnati used the latest technology to find evidence suggesting ancient Maya people grew surplus crops to support an active trade with neighbors up and down the Yucatan Peninsula. They will present their findings at the annual American Association of Geographersconference in Washington, D.C. The Mayan civilization stretched across portions of Mesoamerica,

A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in the U.S. has discovered a new species of mastodon. In their paper uploaded to the peer-reviewed journal PeerJ, the group describes discovering the new species and why it has only just been found. Mastodon were large animals that resembled modern elephants. They existed during parts of the Miocene and

University of Alberta paleontologists have just reported the world’s biggest Tyrannosaurus rex and the largest dinosaur skeleton ever found in Canada. The 13-metre-long T. rex, nicknamed “Scotty,” lived in prehistoric Saskatchewan 66 million years ago. “This is the rex of rexes,” said Scott Persons, lead author of the study and postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Biological Sciences.

One of the ocean’s little known carnivores has been allocated a new place in the evolutionary tree of life after scientists discovered its unmistakable resemblance with other sea-floor dwelling creatures. Comb jellies occupy a pivotal place in the history of animal evolution with some arguing that they were among the first animals to evolve. Now

Guinness World Records have independently certified an astrolabe excavated from the wreck site of a Portuguese Armada Ship that was part of Vasco da Gama’s second voyage to India in 1502-1503 as the oldest in the world, and have separately certified a ship’s bell (dated 1498) recovered from the same wreck site also as the

The largest study to date of ancient DNA from the Iberian Peninsula (modern-day Portugal and Spain) offers new insights into the populations that lived in this region over the last 8,000 years. The most startling discovery suggests that local Y chromosomes were almost completely replaced during the Bronze Age. Starting in 2500 B.C. and continuing

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