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Tag: fossils

Human origins: ‘Little Foot’ fossil’s big journey out of Africa

Human origins: ‘Little Foot’ fossil’s big journey out of Africa

Science
A priceless fossil was briefly brought to a UK research centre in complete secrecy two years ago, in an operation that had more than a touch of the spy novel about it. The specimen was transported across South Africa with an armed guard, treated like an incognito VIP on an international flight, and then whisked slickly to the Diamond X-ray Light Source just south of Oxford.It was at the British research facility that scientists were able to see some microscopic details in the ancient remains that could help unravel key clues to the origins of modern humans.Details of the operation have been made public only now, as the first results from the X-ray investigations have been shared with the wider research community."It was immensely nerve-wracking," palaeoanthropologist Dominic Stratford reca...
Fossils purported to be world’s earliest animals revealed as algae

Fossils purported to be world’s earliest animals revealed as algae

Science
Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Fossils previously heralded as the earliest evidence of animal life have been revealed to be algae. The reinterpretation, announced Monday in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, will force scientists to reconsider early animal evolution. "It brings the oldest evidence for animals nearly 100 million years closer to the present day," study co-author Lennart van Maldegem said in a news release. Advertisement "We were able to demonstrate that certain molecules from common algae can be altered by geological processes -- leading to molecules which are indistinguishable from those produced by sponge-like animals," said van Maldegem, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Australian National University. The new research reverses the trend of fresh discoveries pushing the eme...
Court: Montana family owns dinosaur fossils worth millions

Court: Montana family owns dinosaur fossils worth millions

Technology
An appeals court has ruled dinosaur fossils worth millions of dollars unearthed on an eastern Montana ranch belong to the owners of the land's surface rightsBy AMY BETH HANSON Associated PressJune 23, 2020, 7:03 PM3 min read3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleHELENA, Mont. -- Dinosaur fossils worth millions of dollars unearthed on a Montana ranch belong to the owners of the land’s surface rights, not the owners of the mineral rights, a U.S. appeals court ruled. The June 17 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 2016 decision by U.S. District Judge Susan Watters of Billings that found dinosaur fossils were part of the surface estate, not the mineral estate, in cases of split ownership. The surface rights where the fossils were found are ow...
One billion-year-old green seaweed fossils unearthed in China

One billion-year-old green seaweed fossils unearthed in China

Science
Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Scientists have found evidence that green seaweeds were proliferating in Earth's oceans several hundred million years before modern plants began colonizing dry land. The 1-billion-year-old micro-fossils, tiny imprints left behind by the algae species Proterocladus antiquus, comprise the oldest evidence of green seaweeds yet discovered. The algae imprints were discovered in rock slabs recovered near the city of Dalian in the Liaoning Province of northern China. After dying in the shallow seas where they lived, the green seaweed became baked into layers of ancient marine sediment -- the shapes of their multiple branches and upright growths preserved in rock for millions of years. Researchers described the record discovery this week in the journal Nature Ecology and Evoluti...
Fish fossils show how fins became limbs

Fish fossils show how fins became limbs

Science
Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Before early marine species could make the transition to land, they had to develop tools for getting around out of the water. They needed limbs. Now, thanks to the discovery and study of an ancient fish fossil, scientists are beginning to understand how fins became limbs. Using CT scans, paleontologists at the University of Chicago created digital 3D models of the fin of the fishapod species Tiktaalik roseae. Researchers described their efforts in a new paper published this week in the journal PNAS. The study of the evolution of limbs during the Devonian period, some 375 million years ago, has mostly focused on the development of upper arm, forearm, wrist and digits -- knowledge gleaned from the study of ancient endoskeletons, the structure formed by bones and cartilage....