Largest marsupial ever, found on Australia’s Kangaroo Island

In this not-too-distant prehistoric past, when giant megafauna and flightless birds, Tasmanian tigers and devils roamed around Kangaroo Island, their footprints left trails for scientists to track in the future. Fast forward more than 140,000 years and extensive studies of

Read More

Impact of early Jurassic low oxygen oceans

Using a combination of fossils and chemical markers, scientists have tracked how a period of globally low ocean-oxygen turned an Early Jurassic marine ecosystem into a stressed community inhabited by only a few species. The study zeroes in on a

Read More

Fossil shows birds rapidly diversified after dinosaurs demise

Palaeontologists have announced a very important discovery of a new species of fossil bird in New Mexico. The fossil is important because it is the oldest tree-dwelling species among modern bird groups. It lived just a few million years after

Read More

Shape-shifting animals from the dawn of time

Why did life on Earth change from small to large when it did? Researchers have determined how some of the first large organisms, known as rangeomorphs, were able to grow up to two metres in height, by changing their body

Read More

The first air-breathing land animal is now unknown

Some good scientific sleuthing has helped rewrite one of the earliest chapters in the planet’s evolutionary history regarding the first air-breathing land animal. The research, led by the UT Jackson School of Geosciences, has shown that the millipede thought to

Read More

How did plesiosaurs swim with such long necks?

When dinosaurs ruled the land, plesiosaurs ruled the oceans. Famous for their incredibly long necks – some of which were up to 7 metres long – plesiosaurs have remained an evolutionary mystery for hundreds of years. Pernille V. Troelsen, a

Read More

Gigantic Jurassic crocodile with T. rex teeth

Paleontologists document the features of a giant crocodile relative — the largest and oldest known ‘notosuchian,’ predating the other forms by 42 million years. Little is known about the origin and early evolution of the Notosuchia, hitherto unknown in the

Read More

Significant sauropod dinosaur find in outback Queensland

The remains of what might be the most complete sauropod dinosaur ever found in Australia have been uncovered by a team including a Swinburne palaeontologist. The team has discovered four teeth, at least 10 interconnected neck vertebrae, and several vertebrae,

Read More

Fish size not important in largest mass extinction

Understanding modern biodiversity and mass extinction threats is important. It is commonly assumed that being large contributes to vulnerability during extinction crises. However, researchers from the University of Bristol and the Chengdu Center of the China Geological Survey, have found

Read More

Ancient reptile reveals its bizarre scale armour

Grisons Mountains – 241 million years ago: Amidst the high mountains, a small reptile suns itself on an island beach in a warm shallow sea, where many fish and marine reptiles frolic. This is the story told by an excellently

Read More