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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Dec 10, 2019 at 23:00.

Amber Fossils Reveal Lice-Like Bugs Crawling in Dinosaur Feathers

Amber Fossils Reveal Lice-Like Bugs Crawling in Dinosaur Feathers

Ancient insects similar to modern lice parasitized dinosaurs by feasting on their feathers, as evidenced by a pair of fascinating new amber fossils.

Modern birds are sometimes infested by feather-chewing and feather-feeding lice, and as new research published today in Nature Communications shows, their Mesozoic predecessors had a similar problem.

The new paper, led by paleontologist Dong Ren...

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 30, 2019. 22 comments

Found Frozen and Almost Perfectly Preserved in Permafrost, this 18,000-Year-Old Puppy Could Be a Huge Deal

Found Frozen and Almost Perfectly Preserved in Permafrost, this 18,000-Year-Old Puppy Could Be a Huge Deal

The DNA of an exquisitely preserved puppy found in Siberia doesn’t appear to fit the profile of a dog or a wolf, which means the specimen might be something in between.

The frozen puppy, found near Yakutsk in eastern Siberia, was just two months old when it died, reports CNN. Scientists from the Centre for Palaeogenetics—a joint project between Stockholm University and the Swedish Museum of...

22 Comments

Nov 12, 2019. 1 comments

Radar Scans Reveal Ancient Human Footprint Embedded in Mammoth Track

Radar Scans Reveal Ancient Human Footprint Embedded in Mammoth Track

Tens of thousands of years ago, a human walked north at what is now White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. A large proboscidean, possibly a Columbian mammoth, later walked west, stepping onto one of the footprints left by the human. Soon after, a person—perhaps the same individual who had gone north—walked south, parallel to the earlier tracks. And in walking south, they stepped...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 07, 2019. 4 comments

Ancient Apes May Have Learned to Walk Upright in the Trees

Ancient Apes May Have Learned to Walk Upright in the Trees

Scientists in Germany have discovered the fossilized remains of a previously unknown ancient ape with an unusual way of moving through the treetops. By standing upright on two feet and grasping branches with its long arms, this animal may have set an important evolutionary precedent for the bipedal primates that followed.

The ability to stand upright and walk on two feet may have emerged as a...

4 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Oct 25, 2019. 14 comments

Incredible New Fossils Show How Quickly Mammals Took Over After Dinosaur Extinction

Incredible New Fossils Show How Quickly Mammals Took Over After Dinosaur Extinction

An absolute treasure trove of rare fossils has been uncovered in central Colorado. The collection reveals the stunning speed at which mammals emerged and diversified once the dinosaurs were gone.

New research published today in Science describes thousands of new mammal, reptile, and plant fossils recovered from the Corral Bluffs site in Colorado’s Denver Basin. The fossils span the 1 million...

14 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Sep 10, 2019. 12 comments

Meet the ‘Cold Dragon of the North Winds,' a Gigantic Canadian Pterosaur

Meet the ‘Cold Dragon of the North Winds,' a Gigantic Canadian Pterosaur

An updated analysis of a 77-million-year-old fossil found in Alberta, Canada has resulted in the creation of a new genus and species of pterosaur. The newly named flying reptile, dubbed Cryodrakon boreas, featured an impressive 32-foot wingspan (but probably not the Canadian flag colors depicted above).

When this species was first discovered in 1992, paleontologists knew very little about...

12 Comments

Tom McKay Tom McKay Sep 09, 2019.

Healing Crystals, Hurricane Dorian, and a $14,000 Gamer Chair: Best Gizmodo Stories of the Week

Healing Crystals, Hurricane Dorian, and a $14,000 Gamer Chair: Best Gizmodo Stories of the Week

The first week of September 2019 is over, folks, and we came back from Labor Day cool, relaxed, and ready for news—and boy did we get it.

Over the past few days, we’ve hit everything from an exclusive look at a letter former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick wrote admitting his failures , a major Wikileaks source being called to testify before a grand jury, and NYC subway workers’ losing battle...

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Sep 06, 2019. 2 comments

Newly Discovered Japanese Duck-Billed Dinosaur Was a Cretaceous Beach Bum

Newly Discovered Japanese Duck-Billed Dinosaur Was a Cretaceous Beach Bum

Introducing Kamuysaurus japonicus—an entirely new genus and species of hadrosaur from Japan. The location of its fossilized remains suggests these majestic herbivores browsed ancient shorelines, expanding our knowledge of this wildly successful group of dinosaurs.

New research published today in Scientific Reports describes Kamuysaurus japonicus, a species of hadrosaur, or duck-billed...

2 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Sep 05, 2019. 5 comments

Incredible Fossils Link Ancient Creature to Earliest ‘Footprints’ on Earth

Incredible Fossils Link Ancient Creature to Earliest ‘Footprints’ on Earth

Aquatic, worm-like animals capable of crawling through mud appeared at least 550 million years ago, according to new fossil evidence. The discovery is helping to resolve a longstanding question as to when segmented, mobile animals first appeared on the planet.

It’s the paleontological equivalent of finally being able to put a face to a name.

In this case, a team of scientists from Virginia...

5 Comments

Tom McKay Tom McKay Aug 26, 2019.

Galaxy Note 10+, Alternate Internets, and Bernie's Climate Plan: Best Gizmodo Stories of the Week

Galaxy Note 10+, Alternate Internets, and Bernie's Climate Plan: Best Gizmodo Stories of the Week

This week at Gizmodo, we took a long, hard look at what could have been with our Alternate Internet series, cataloging some of the ways the web could have been different—or still could be. While we didn’t have the time to write a sweeping, The Wheels of Time-length series on what would happen if I was given absolute control over the internet (nothing good!), we did take the time to look at...

Aug 22, 2019. 15 comments

Fossil Hunters Found Bones From an Ancient Whale... and Then They Saw the Bite Marks

Fossil Hunters Found Bones From an Ancient Whale... and Then They Saw the Bite Marks

There was tremendous turmoil at the top of the water’s surface. An island of flesh, once living and swimming gracefully through these ancient seas, bobbed silently, at times yanked violently to the side or jolted upward by forces below it.

Pelagornis miocaenus, an enormous prehistoric seabird circling lazily above the scene, may have noticed the whale carcass in its entirety, partially exposed...

15 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Aug 22, 2019. 5 comments

Scientists Reveal Brain Structure of 20-Million-Year-Old Monkey

Scientists Reveal Brain Structure of 20-Million-Year-Old Monkey

Paleontologists operating CT scanners have revealed the structure of a 20-million-year-old primate brain, thanks to an extremely well-preserved fossil skull.

Understanding the evolution of our wildly complex human brains isn’t easy, and there aren’t ancient brains just sitting around in the dirt to compare with. Instead, researchers must look indirectly for evidence of brain shapes, based on...

5 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Aug 14, 2019. 15 comments

Nah or Aww? Human-Size Penguins Once Waddled Across New Zealand

Nah or Aww? Human-Size Penguins Once Waddled Across New Zealand

A fossil discovery has added another entry to the list of comically large New Zealand birds: a 5-foot-tall penguin.

Just last week, we reported that researchers found fossil evidence of a child-size parrot in 16-million-year-old rock. Some of those same researchers have now announced the finding of a penguin that could have grown over 5 feet tall and weighed over 150 pounds, according to a

15 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Jul 09, 2019. 9 comments

Research Sheds Light on Strange Seaway That Once Covered the Sahara

Research Sheds Light on Strange Seaway That Once Covered the Sahara

The Sahara might seem like one of Earth’s most lifeless regions today, but its fossils show it was once a vast seaway filled with giant fish and some of the largest sea snakes the planet has ever seen.

From 100 million to 50 million years ago, a large seaway up to 160 feet deep covered much of West Africa, leaving behind lots of marine fossils, including vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, and...

9 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Jun 28, 2019. 12 comments

Fossilized Teeth Suggest Some Ancient Crocodiles Were Vegetarians

Fossilized Teeth Suggest Some Ancient Crocodiles Were Vegetarians

Alligators and crocodiles are some of the scariest carnivores on Earth today, but new research suggests their ancient relatives developed a preference for plants.

A common misconception about crocodilians is that they’ve remained largely unchanged over the course of their 200-million-year history. New research published in Current Biology provides further evidence that ancient crocodyliforms—a...

12 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Jun 27, 2019. 10 comments

Ancient Bird Weighed Nearly 1,000 Pounds but Could Still Haul Ass Like an Ostrich

Ancient Bird Weighed Nearly 1,000 Pounds but Could Still Haul Ass Like an Ostrich

Paleontologists working in Crimea have uncovered evidence of the largest bird ever found in Europe. Standing taller than an elephant and weighing nearly 1,000 pounds, this enormous bird could still run at a face pace when threatened.

Big birds have been discovered in Eurasia before, but nothing quite on this scale. In fact, the only birds that really compare are the extinct elephant birds of...

10 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Jun 18, 2019. 9 comments

During the Ice Age, Long-Legged Hyenas Prowled the Arctic

During the Ice Age, Long-Legged Hyenas Prowled the Arctic

A pair of fossilized teeth confirms the presence of hyenas north of the Arctic circle during the last Ice Age. The discovery fills an important fossil gap that finally explains how hyenas ended up in North America.

A pair of isolated hyena teeth found in the Old Crow Basin of Canada’s Yukon Territory shows that hyenas occupied the Arctic during the last Ice Age, according to new research...

9 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Jun 18, 2019. 3 comments

Meet the New King of Trilobites, R. rex

Meet the New King of Trilobites, R. rex

Nobody messes with the king. Well, except for the relentless passing of time.

Scientists analyzing a large collection of trilobite specimens realized that one species, Redlichia takooensis, seemed to fit into two different shape categories. They suggested splitting off the larger group into a new species, Redlichia rex, which, like T. rex, uses the latin for king. And it was big, by trilobite...

3 Comments

Ryan F. Mandelbaum Ryan F. Mandelbaum Jun 13, 2019. 5 comments

Pterosaurs Could Somehow Fly Right After Hatching, New Fossils Suggest

Pterosaurs Could Somehow Fly Right After Hatching, New Fossils Suggest

New analysis of recent fossil finds suggest that pterosaurs could fly very soon after they hatched, unlike today’s birds or bats.

The pterosaurs were a group of flying reptiles that lived alongside the dinosaurs and included the famous pterodactyls. Humans have been aware of these creatures through fossils for at least three centuries, but researchers have only in the past 15 years started...

5 Comments

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