Paleontology

An artist's rendering of two massive Ichthyotitan severnensis—a newly discovered species—swimming in the open ocean some 200 million years ago.

11-Year-Old Uncovers Fossils of Giant Ichthyosaur in England, the Largest Marine Reptile Ever Found, Scientists Say

The jawbone fragments belonged to an 82-foot-long creature that represents a new species, according to a new study

The tracks are located west of Ouray, Colorado, in the San Juan Mountains.

You Can Visit the World's Largest Continuous Dinosaur Trackway, Now on Protected Public Land

In the Late Jurassic, a long-necked dinosaur made a 270-degree turn while walking in present-day Colorado—and left behind a rare treat for paleontologists

Indonesia's Lake Toba, formed by a volcanic eruption around 74,000 years ago. In the new study, researchers uncovered fragments of glass from the eruption at an archaeological site in northwest Ethiopia, pointing to the volcano's global impacts.

Stone Age People Survived a Supervolcano Eruption by Adapting to Dry Periods, Archaeologists Suggest

Humans living in northwest Ethiopia around 74,000 years ago switched to eating more fish following the eruption, a behavior that might have enabled migration out of Africa

This artistic interpretation shows what Pebanista yacuruna might have looked like some 16 million years ago.

New Extinct Species of Giant Dolphin Discovered in Peru From a 16-Million-Year-Old Skull

Pebanista yacuruna is the largest freshwater dolphin ever found, but it is more closely related to today's river dolphins of South Asia than those in the Amazon

An elephant seal pup on South Georgia Island

Why Did Seals and Sea Lions Never Commit to a Life Fully at Sea?

While whales moved from living on land to an existence immersed in water, pinnipeds embraced an amphibious lifestyle

An illustration of the fossil skeleton of the new bird species Imparavis attenboroughi and a reconstruction of what the animal would have looked like in flight.

'Strange' New Prehistoric Bird Discovered in China and Named for David Attenborough

The proto-bird lived some 120 million years ago and did not have teeth—a trait more similar to birds of today than to birds of its time—sharpening scientists' understanding of avian evolution

P. karlraubenheimeri lived during the Miocene Epoch roughly 8.8 million years ago.

Fossil Hunter Discovers Gigantic Crab in New Zealand—a New, Extinct Species

The massive creature is 8.8 million years old, and its modern descendants in Australia can grow to be the weight of a human toddler

An artist’s illustration of Glikmanius careforum swimming beneath Troglocladodus trimblei in ancient waters.

Paleontologists Discover Two New Shark Species From Fossils in Mammoth Cave National Park

The "active predators" prowled the oceans more than 325 million years ago, before the time of Pangea

Paleontologists are still investigating what the carnivorous dinosaur Megalosaurus looked like.

Paleontologists Are Still Unraveling the Mystery of the First Dinosaur

Two hundred years after it was first named, scientists are just beginning to reveal the secrets of Megalosaurus

A Kronosaurus, one of the top predators in Cretaceous-era tropical oceans, prepares to feast on an ammonite.

Uncovering the Secrets of Colombia's Rich Fossil Deposits

Paleontologists are working hard to understand oceanic remains buried high in the Andes

The newly discovered tree would have supported a wide crown of leaves over a narrow trunk, scientists say.

Rare Fossil Shows Trees Looked Very Different 350 Million Years Ago

The newly discovered specimen looks like something from the imagination of Dr. Seuss, and it sheds light on a little-understood era of prehistory

Paleontologists have recognized three related, parrot-like dinosaurs in the Hell Creek Formation. Eoneophron infernalis (top left) walks by MOR 752 (bottom left) and Anzu wyliei (right).

Newly Discovered, Parrot-Like Dinosaur Roamed North America Alongside T. Rex

While larger dinosaurs are comparatively well-known, finding smaller species paints a more complete picture of life before the mass extinction

A museum curator gives a sense of scale to the reconstructed jaws of the fossil shark Otodus megalodon.

Was Megalodon Slimmer Than Previously Thought?

A new study has spurred scientists to debate the shape of prehistory’s biggest shark

To understand Elma's life, researchers cut her tusk lengthwise and took samples to study the elements present in the ivory.

Meet Elma, a Woolly Mammoth Who Roamed Far and Wide More Than 14,000 Years Ago

By analyzing a fossilized tusk, scientists have pieced together the animal's movements

An artist's rendering of the newly identified species, called Tyrannosaurus mcraeensis. The species may be the closest known relative of T. rex.

Fossils Reveal a Possible New Tyrannosaur Species, the Closest Relative of T. Rex

The remains, dug up in the 1980s, might shed light on T. rex's mysterious origins, according to a new paper

Paleontologists say the collection of uncovered bones likely represents the most complete mammoth ever found in North Dakota.

Miners Discover Seven-Foot Mammoth Tusk in North Dakota

After coal mine workers found the 50-pound specimen, paleontologists studied the site and uncovered more than 20 additional bones

The earliest known fossil of epidermis was preserved due to unique circumstances.

This 288-Million-Year-Old Fossilized Scrap of Skin Is the World's Oldest

The remains, found in an Oklahoma cave, belonged to a lizard-like reptile

Cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, on the surface of a lake. Bacteria were the first organisms to photosynthesize, creating the oxygen essential for the evolution of life on Earth.

Scientists Uncover the Earliest Fossil Evidence of Photosynthesis

Ancient cyanobacteria contained structures for producing oxygen around 1.75 billion years ago, according to a new study

An illustration of Nanotyrannus attacking a juvenile T. rex

Decades-Long Debate on 'Teenage' Tyrannosaur Fossils Takes Another Turn

A new paper adds to evidence suggesting a group of disputed fossils, identified by many scientists as young T. rex, are actually another species

Advances in artificial intelligence and dinosaur discoveries were just some of the major science stories this year.

The Ten Most Significant Science Stories of 2023

From an asteroid sample that was delivered to Earth to a discovery about human migration from North America, these were the biggest moments of the year

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