Sam Heads and his team had just received a donation of fossil insects at the Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. But when they started going through it, Heads realized that one of the fossils wasn’t a bug at all. “It looks like a mushroom,” he said. He showed it to a colleague. “It…
It looks like an alien parasite come to invade our brains, but the truly bizarre creature pictured above is a mud dragon—a tiny worm, roughly half the size of a grain of rice, that squirmed about the seafloor 530 million years ago. It’s one of the first fossils of a mud dragon ever discovered, and it could help…
Scientists recently identified a new species of penis worm, a marine invertebrate named after its allegedly penislike shape.
For the next month, the Journal of Zoology's special issue on paleoethology (the study of how extinct species behaved) is totally free to read (and download).
These divers had an incredibly close encounter with two humpback whales recently, while exploring the waters of Central California's Souza Rock.
A site in China contains 190-million-year old organic remains from non-avian dinosaurs and dinosaur embryos, and some of the world’s oldest known eggshells, according to a new study.
When looking at any living creature, you should ask yourself two things: Does it have a jaw? Does it have a spinal column? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you share a common ancestor with it — a very distant common ancestor, but a shared one, nonetheless. Now, research findings published in this week's…
It's possible that whales can sense things that no other living creatures can. Scientists have discovered a grapefruit-sized mass of vessels and nervous tissues located in whales' chins, and they believe it's an entirely new kind of sensory organ. It's possible the organ is what allows these massive creatures to eat…
Two hundred million years ago, the world's most fearsome fangs came bundled in an appropriately bite-sized package. Measuring just two inches long, eel-like creatures known as conodonts may not have looked like much from a distance — but up close, their mouths were the stuff of nightmares.
Don't miss your chance to participate in a live talk about dinosaurs with members of the American Museum of Natural History's Paleontology Division, today at 12:30 ET!
What color were the dinosaurs? It's a question that people have puzzled over for close to 200 years, and one that many long believed to be unanswerable. But a few years ago, scientists discovered that microscopic structures called melanosomes could be used to reveal prehistoric creatures' true hues.
One of the largest paleontological finds in history has been discovered in the United Arab Emirates. Researchers working in the country's deserts have uncovered a massive tract of land riddled with the footprints of four-tusked titans called Stegotetrabelodon syrticus — the earliest known members of the elephant…
The narrow-leafed campion is not a particularly long-lived flower; and yet, the parents of the campion pictured here blossomed in the presence of mammoths and woolly rhinos. How is that possible?
An international team of researchers has used three-dimensional laser scans to determine that Tyrannosaurus rex were likely 30% more massive that we once thought — and a whole lot hungrier. Be honest, now...how many of you woke up this morning thinking you'd hear the words "three-dimensional laser" and "Tyrannosaurus…
Heart and brain surgeries are called "hypothermia-dependent" procedures because doctors often have to lower their patients' temperatures during surgery. The thing is, human blood doesn't transport oxygen as well at cold temperatures. Surgeons rely on synthetic blood substitutes to help the patient's body cope.
The term "living fossil" gets bandied about a lot, but this eel found in an underwater cave in the Pacific Ocean is unlike any living relative, and has features that are only found in the fossilized remains of its ancient brethren.
Countless animal and plant species teeter on the brink of extinction, but the DNA of their ancestors may point the way to survival. Paleobiologists are scouring fossil DNA to determine why species once thrived...and how they can do so again.
Ripped straight from King Kong, creatures known as "terror birds" stalked South America millions of years ago, brandishing impressively huge beaks. New research into how they used this appendage shows just how appropriate their name really is.
Using ancient DNA from Siberian specimens, a team of Australian researchers have managed to resurrect the proteins of mammoth blood and figure out precisely how they survived such a hostile environment.