War in the time of Neanderthals: how our species battled for supremacy for over 100,000 years

Did Neanderthal military superiority delay our migration out of Africa?

Nicholas R. Longrich, Senior Lecturer in Evolutionary Biology and Paleontology, University of Bath • conversation
Nov. 2, 2020 ~9 min

anthropology neanderthals war homo-sapiens palaeontology

Pterosaurs increased their flight efficiency over time – new evidence for long-term evolution

Fossils reveal that dinosaurs' flying cousins become twice as efficient at flying over 150 million years.

Michael J. Benton, Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology, University of Bristol • conversation
Oct. 28, 2020 ~6 min

 evolution  dinosaurs  fossils  palaeontology  flight  pterosaurs

Fossilised teeth reveal first mammals were far from warm blooded

New study used X-rays of the teeth of early mammals' to show they were more like cold blooded reptiles.

Pam Gill, Senior Research Associate in Palaeontology, University of Bristol • conversation
Oct. 13, 2020 ~5 min

 mammals  x-ray  fossils  palaeontology

Ancient sea creatures spent years crossing the ocean on rafts – we've worked out how it was possible

New research show how crinoids could live for so long on floating wood without it breaking up.

Aaron W Hunter, Science Guide & Tutor, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge • conversation
Aug. 10, 2020 ~7 min

fossils palaeontology

Why some species thrive after catastrophe – rules for making the most of an apocalypse

When the dinosaurs went extinct, some species took over the world. Adaptability, not survivability, explains why.

Nick Longrich, Senior Lecturer in Evolutionary Biology and Paleontology, University of Bath • conversation
July 20, 2020 ~9 min

 evolution  dinosaurs  extinction  palaeontology  mass-extinction  dinosaur-extinction  bird-evolution  ancient-mammals

New dinosaur discovery in Switzerland fills a gap in evolutionary history of sauropods

How we identified a new ancestor of the likes of _Diplodocus_ from old bones.

Femke Holwerda, Postdoctoral Researcher in Palaeontology, Utrecht University • conversation
July 16, 2020 ~6 min

dinosaurs fossils palaeontology sauropod

Prehistoric climate change damaged the ozone layer and led to a mass extinction

New research on the Late Devonian extinction suggests the ozone layer could be naturally depleted as the temperature rises.

John Marshall, Professor of Earth Science, University of Southampton • conversation
June 1, 2020 ~7 min

geology climate-change palaeontology mass-extinction ozone-layer ozone ozone-depletion devonian-period

How did insects get their colours? Crystal-covered beetle discovery sheds light

Researchers realised a dull-looking 13,000-year-old weevil was actually covered in brilliant green, blue and yellow nanoscopic crystals.

Luke McDonald, Postdoctoral Researcher, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University College Cork • conversation
April 16, 2020 ~7 min

beetles palaeontology palaeobiology nanophotonics colours

Monkey teeth fossils hint several extinct species crossed the Atlantic

New research suggests African monkeys crossed the ocean to South America earlier than previously thought.

Isabelle Catherine Winder, Lecturer in Zoology, Bangor University • conversation
April 9, 2020 ~7 min

 evolution  primates  palaeontology  monkeys  non-human-primates  palaeobiology

Smallest ever dinosaur skull found in 3cm piece of amber

The fossil includes the tiny flying creature's original bone and flesh.

David Martill, Professor of ​Palaeobiology, University of Portsmouth • conversation
March 11, 2020 ~7 min

 dinosaurs  fossils  palaeontology  amber