A retractable, jawed proboscis. A lithe, slippery body. A tiny dumbbell with slow blinking eyes. Meet the Tully monster, an actual sea creature that seems to have sprung to life out of a drug-induced fever dream involving vibrators and surgical tools. At long last, scientists think they know what kind of creature it…
A team of scientists has discovered a fossil with what may be the the oldest and most well-preserved example of a central nervous system ever found. Uncovered in southern China, the specimen goes by the name of Chengjiangocaris kunmingensis and clocks in at roughly 520 million years old.
Researchers working in Burma have uncovered the fossilized remains of a 99-million-year old male daddy longlegs with its penis fully extended and erect. It’s possibly the oldest—and longest held—erection in the history of science.
The nearly intact fossil of a 4-million-year old whale has been unearthed at a construction site in Santa Cruz County. Discovered well above sea level, the bones made their way to the mountains through the shifting of tectonic plates.
It’s always a good day when you get your stolen, $230,000 Tyrannosaurus skull back.
A new dinosaur species sheds some light on how duck-billed dinosaurs got their crests. Paleontologists say Probrachylophosaurus bergei is a missing link between two other species, and it fills in vital pieces of the story of how crests evolved.
Conventional wisdom says that brains don’t fossilize, but these seven fossilized brains beg to differ.
It’s easy to get excited about new fossil discoveries, but sometimes a second look at an old find can reveal something just as surprising.
Paleontologists in Germany have identified the fossilized remains of a horse-like animal that dates back 48 million years. Remarkably, the fossil still contains its unborn foal and traces of soft tissue—leading scientists to call it the earliest and best-preserved specimen of its kind.
Birds have been around for a good 150 million years, but they likely looked very different from the birds we see today. Some paleontologists have wondered if early birds were even able to fly. A newly discovered fossil clears that up.
While digging in his field on Monday, Michigan farmer James Bristle found what he thought was ordinary debris in his field. After digging further, he discovered that what he had found wasn’t a fence post, but bones from a Woolly Mammoth.
Remember that adorable (horrifying?) four legged snake fossil that made such a sensation last month? Well, not everyone’s tickled pink about it. Brazilian officials suspect the fossil was stolen from their country, and if it was, they’d like it back, thank you very much.
The global positioning system (GPS) can keep you from getting lost, manage air traffic, and track the migration of endangered species. And in a new study published today by Nature, it’s helped paleontologists understand how an organism that’s been extinct for about 540 million years reproduced.
From trilobites to tyrannosaurs, most fossils are of creatures with hard shells or bones. These materials don’t easily biodegrade and sediment has time to build up around them and turn them into a record of the creature that is still with us millions of years after it has died. Soft-bodied organisms like worms, on the…
I’m sitting here trying and failing to think of a cooler desk ornament than a bona-fide velociraptor claw. I mean sure, you could have a Newton’s cradle, but that doesn’t subtly hint in quite the same way that you might just have a trained dinosaur waiting to wreak havoc under your desk.
Dinosaurs fossils, we’ve all been taught, consist of bone—their flesh, skin, and organs having decayed long ago. But a new discovery might upend that assumption: Scientists have found evidence of blood cells with the protein intact in eight fossils which were not even particularly well-preserved.
There’s a new branch on the human family tree. Anthropologists say they’ve found a new human ancestor, who lived 3.5 million years ago, right beside Australopithecus afarensis on the plains of what is now Ethiopia.
This might look unlike most cockroaches you’ve ever seen—but that’s because it was probably quite a lot more aggressive than any you’ve seen, too. It had to be, because, it likely survived by hunting (admittedly quite small) prey, some 100 million years ago.
More than 250 million years before the first dinosaur, the most fearsome killers on Earth may have been lobsters. Yawunik kootenayi, a common ancestor to spiders, shrimp and butterflies, was a predatory "lobster-like" creature that ruled the seas half a billion years ago.
Like it or not, museums can be boring places for kids to explore. Outside of a T-rex, fossils and skeletons are only interesting once you've got a few years of school under your belt. But don't worry, kids, the Smithsonian has got your back during field trips with a new iOS app called Skin & Bones that brings fossils…