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News About The Primordial Earth
September 29, 2016
Ornamented heads drove arms race of giant dinosaur bodies
Raleigh, N.C. (UPI) Sep 27, 2016
Which came first, giant dinosaur heads or massive dino bodies? New research suggests large ornamented heads triggered the rapid increase in body mass among Jurassic predators. When researchers at North Carolina State University analyzed the evolution of body size among theropods, they found lineages with ornamented heads - large heads with crests, horns or nobs - got bigger faster. The heads of 20 of the largest 22 theropod species are marked by bony lumps or crests. The group includes ... read more

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Study: Dinosaurs' color patterns reveal habitat preferences
Until recently, colors used in renderings of dinosaurs were simply an artist's best guess. New technologies and the discovery of preserved dino pigments have allowed paleontologists to get a better idea of the colors splashed across dino scales. ... more
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Did meteorites bring life's phosphorus to Earth?
Meteorites that crashed onto Earth billions of years ago may have provided the phosphorous essential to the biological systems of terrestrial life. The meteorites are believed to have contained a ph ... more
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First Signs Of Animal Life On Earth May Be From Microbes
Evidence suggests that microbes existed on Earth as far back as 3.7 billion years ago, a billion years after the planet formed. Animal remains, however, don't appear in the fossil record until 600 m ... more
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Chemistry says Moon is proto-Earth's mantle, relocated
Measurements of an element in Earth and Moon rocks have just disproved the leading hypotheses for the origin of the Moon. Tiny differences in the segregation of the isotopes of potassium between the ... more
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Researchers name a new species of reptile from 212 million years ago
An extinct reptile related to crocodiles that lived 212 million years ago in present day New Mexico has been named as a new species, Vivaron haydeni, in a paper published this week by Virginia Tech' ... more
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History of tetrapod move onto land rewriten
This week in the journal Nature, a team of researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in France and the University of Cambridge in the United K ... more
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Earth's Carbon Points to Planetary Smashup
In a new study this week in Nature Geoscience, Rice petrologist Rajdeep Dasgupta and colleagues offer a new answer to a long-debated geological question: How did carbon-based life develop on Earth, ... more
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Move over Nessie: Real Scottish sea monster found
A toothy, dolphin-like predator which prowled the oceans in the Jurassic era, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, has been uncovered in a Scottish museum where it lay buried for 50 years, scientists said Monday. ... more
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A monster put in its place
An analysis of the fossil known as the Minden Monster has enabled paleontologists to assign the largest predatory dinosaur ever found in Germany to a previously unknown genus, among a group that und ... more
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3.7 billion-year-old microbial fossils unearthed in Greenland
Newly unearthed microbial fossils suggests life thrived on Earth earlier than previously thought. ... more
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A rare small specimen discovered from the age of flying giants
A rare small-bodied pterosaur, a flying reptile from the Late Cretaceous period approximately 77 million years ago, is the first of its kind to have been discovered on the west coast of North Americ ... more
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Arctic gives clues on worst mass extinction of life
96 percent of marine species, and 70 percent of terrestrial life died off in the Permian-Triassic extinction event, as geologists know it. It is also known as The Great Dying Event for obvious reaso ... more
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Looking to saliva to gain insight on evolution
There's no need to reinvent the genetic wheel. That's one lesson of a new study that looks to the saliva of humans, gorillas, orangutans, macaques and African green monkeys for insights into evoluti ... more
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Beetles pollinated orchids millions of year ago, fossil evidence shows
When most people hear the word "pollinator," they think of bees and butterflies. However, certain beetles are known to pollinate plants as well, and new fossil evidence indicates that they were doin ... more
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Humble moss helped create our oxygen-rich atmosphere
The evolution of the first land plants including mosses may explain a long-standing mystery of how Earth's atmosphere became enriched with oxygen, according to an international study led by the Univ ... more
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Moss boosted Earth's oxygen 400 million yrs ago: study
Scientists have long wondered what gave Earth enough oxygen to support the rise of animals and people, and researchers said Monday they believe it all started with moss. ... more
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Unearthed: The cannibal sharks of a forgotten age
Scientists have discovered macabre fossil evidence suggesting that 300 million-year-old sharks ate their own young, as fossil poop of adult Orthacanthus sharks contained the tiny teeth of juveniles. ... more
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Understanding the feeding ecology of Pleistocene proboscideans
The proboscidean fossil record in China is characterized by a high evolutionary rate, wide spatio-temporal distribution and richness of environmental indicators. Therefore, proboscideans make import ... more
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University of Leicester discovery sheds light on how vertebrates see
New research led by the University of Leicester has overturned a long-standing theory on how vertebrates evolved their eyes by identifying remarkable details of the retina in the eyes of 300 million ... more
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New fossil evidence supports theory that first mass extinction engineered by early animals
Newly discovered fossil evidence from Namibia strengthens the proposition that the world's first mass extinction was caused by "ecosystem engineers" - newly evolved biological organisms that altered ... more
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'Ecosystem engineers' responsible for first mass extinction
Some 540 million years ago, the first animals disappeared. It's an event known as the end-Ediacaran extinction. New research suggests another group of early animals, known as Metazoans, were responsible. ... more
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Before animals, evolution waited eons to inhale
A couple of times in four billion years, evolution has slowed to a crawl. And an eon or so has passed before more complex life forms, such as simple animals, could arise. Evolution may have been wai ... more
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Paleontology: Aftermath of a mass extinction
A new study of fossil fishes from Middle Triassic sediments on the shores of Lake Lugano provides new insights into the recovery of biodiversity following the great mass extinction event at the Perm ... more
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Ancient rocks reveal how Earth recovered from mass extinction
Scientists have shed light on why life on Earth took millions of years to recover from the greatest mass extinction of all time. The study provides fresh insight into how Earth's oceans became ... more
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