A tick sucks some monkey blood. A monkey’s grooming partner picks the tick off. The tick lands in some sap. The whole thing fossilizes. Scientists discover the cells inside the tick in the amber. They turn the blood cells into monkey clones and you’ve essentially got some sort of Jurassic Park in real life.
The past is often portrayed as a Pandora’s Box of terrifying monsters. But while many paleontologists reject this stereotype, the scientists behind the newly-discovered marine worm Websteroprion armstrongi have decided to embrace it. It turns out this Palaeozoic prince of darkness, which roamed the seas roughly…
See that creepy long-necked green beast eating a little fish in the illustration above? It’s called a Dinocephalosaurus, and it will haunt you like it now haunts me. But believe it or not, that serpentine silhouette isn’t even the weirdest thing about this Triassic sea monster. That would be the ancient reptile’s…
Say hello to Aethiocarenus burmanicus, an ancient insect so strange—and so god awfully ugly—its discoverers had to create an entirely new scientific classification to catalogue it.
Fossils don’t exactly come clean and ready to be displayed in museums. Which, duh, of course. They’re a mess because they’ve been in the ground for thousands and thousands of years. So it’s on the job for fossil preparators like Nathan Ong at the Natural History Museum of Utah to clean up the vertebrae of dinosaurs…
Last week, a construction project for the Los Angeles subway turned into a scientific excavation after workers uncovered fossilized skull, tooth and tusk fragments from ancient elephant relatives that have been extinct for 10,000 years.
An exquisitely preserved fossil found in China still contains the original biological compounds that gave a 130-million-year-old bird its shading and color. The find extends the timeframe in which scientists thought these substances can be preserved.
Behold Tongtianlong, a new species of oviraptor uncovered in China. The fossilized remains of this feathered, bird-like dinosaur were preserved with its limbs outstretched, and its head raised—suggesting it was hopelessly stuck in a patch of mud, where it eventually died.
Thanks to a poor dinosaur who scientists believe fell into a noxious pond after it died, we may have the first known fossilized dinosaur brain on our hands.
Researchers working in Africa have uncovered 3.8 million-year-old protein fragments encased in an ostrich eggshell. These biological building blocks are millions of years older than the oldest DNA ever found, highlighting the possibility of recovering ancient proteins from extinct animals—and even the remains of early…
Paleontologists working on an island off the coast of California’s Ventura County have discovered a strange mammoth skull that exhibits features never seen before in the extinct elephantine creatures. Not too big and not too small, this skull could represent a transitional species.
Researchers from Bristol University have reconstructed the color patterns of a Cretaceous-era Psittacosaurus, revealing not just its colors and distinct shading patterns, but also clues about the life and environment in which this extinct dinosaur lived.
Is it possible to find trace evidence of supernovae from millions of years ago in the sediment lining the ocean floor? One astrophysicist has spent the better part of a decade trying to find the proverbial smoking gun to prove that it is. And now, it seems, he has succeeded.
Finding ancient bugs trapped in amber is a relatively common occurrence, but the recent discovery of two ancient bird wings fossilized in Burmese amber is unprecedented. These 3D fossils—which still contain feather arrangements and traces of soft tissue—are simply amazing.
Fossils are cool and during an expedition earlier this year in Antarctica, scientists from the University of Queensland scientists collected a whole ton of them, some dating back to the Cretaceous era.
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.
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.