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Dinosaurs' Extinction May Have Been the Birth of Wine

Plant that gave rise to commercial grapes spread in dense forests after asteroid impact

(Newser) - Had an asteroid not struck the planet some 66 million years ago, dinosaurs might still exist—but there would potentially be no wine. According to researchers, grapes might have originated only after the Chicxulub impact transformed the environment, wiping out 76% of all living species, per IFL Science . "We...

Welcome to the Poozeum. Yes, It's a Poop Museum

Arizona museum has some record-setting pieces of feces on display—and a lot of them

(Newser) - One way to tell how a Tyrannosaurus rex digested food is to look at its poop. Bone fragments in a piece of fossilized excrement at a new museum in northern Arizona—aptly called the Poozeum—are among the tinier bits of evidence that indicate T. rex wasn't much of...

With Great Ape Discovery, a Possible Evolutionary Bombshell

Study suggests Europe was a hotbed for great ape evolution, and possible cradle of humanity

(Newser) - For the first time, researchers have found evidence that two distinct species of great apes coexisted outside of Africa many millions of years ago. It's an important, though contested, discovery that suggests European ecosystems in the Miocene Epoch, from about 23 million to 5 million years ago, "enabled,...

Boys' Find of a Lifetime: T. Rex
Boys' Find of a Lifetime: T. Rex

Boys' Find of a Lifetime: T. Rex

Now the fossil is starring in a Denver museum exhibit and a documentary

(Newser) - Two young brothers and their cousin were wandering a fossil-rich stretch of the North Dakota Badlands when they made a discovery that left them "completely speechless": a T. rex bone poking out of the ground. As the AP reports, the trio announced their discovery publicly Monday as workers at...

Girl, 11, Helps Discover Largest Ever Reptile
Girl, 11, Helps Discover
Largest Ever Reptile

Girl, 11, Helps Discover Largest Ever Reptile

Ichthyotitan severnensis estimated at 82 feet long, with a 7-foot-long jawbone

(Newser) - It was the largest reptile to ever prowl Earth's oceans. At some 82 feet, this giant ichthyosaur would've been nearly as large as a blue whale, a marine mammal and the largest animal known to exist at any point in the planet's history. Yet the ichthyosaur, dubbed...

Dino 'From Hell' Suggests There Was No Decline
Dino 'From Hell' Suggests
There Was No Decline

Dino 'From Hell' Suggests There Was No Decline

New caenagnathid species, and a possible second, suggest this dino family was doing fine

(Newser) - Paleontologists have been debating whether the asteroid that killed non-avian dinosaurs took out a varied group of thriving reptiles or one already in decline . Now, researchers say they've discovered a new dinosaur species whose very existence disputes the latter argument. The argument is largely based on apparent declines in...

This Modern-Looking Reptile Skin Is Nearly 300M Years Old
This Skin Is Nearly
300M Years Old

This Skin Is Nearly 300M Years Old

Fossilized sample predating the dinosaurs represents oldest epidermis ever found

(Newser) - It looks a lot like crocodile skin, with a pebblelike texture someone might desire for a purse. But for the small sample size, you'd never guess it's 289 million years old, dating to the late Paleozoic Era, when many species were just beginning to venture from water to...

In Birdlike Tracks, an Evolution Mystery
'We're Pretty Sure
It's Not a Bird'

'We're Pretty Sure It's Not a Bird'

But what made bird-like tracks before birds existed isn't clear

(Newser) - The earliest known fossils attributed to ancestors of modern birds date to around 160 million years ago, which is why birdlike tracks discovered in southern Africa and dated to tens of millions of years earlier have become a fascinating topic of discussion for paleontologists. In reviewing 163 tracks found across...

This Guy Might've Been the Heaviest Animal Earth's Seen

Meet the long-extinct Perucetus colossus

(Newser) - There could be a new contender for heaviest animal to ever live. While today's blue whale has long held the title, the AP reports that scientists have dug up fossils from an ancient giant that could tip the scales. Researchers described the new species—named Perucetus colossus, or "...

Claim on Joe Rogan Podcast Sparks a 'Bone Rush' in NYC

Gold miner John Reeves says mammoth bones were dumped in East River in the 1940s

(Newser) - Ask people what you might find buried in the muck at the bottom of New York City's East River and they'd likely say "mob boss" before thinking of mammoth bones. But several groups of treasure hunters have taken to the waterway in recent weeks after hearing a...

Veteran Fossil Hunter, Age 9, Makes a Rare Find

Molly Sampson wades out and spots giant megalodon tooth

(Newser) - Molly Sampson has been searching for a giant megalodon tooth for eight of her nine years. "She's been shark tooth hunting since age 1 when she would crawl along the beach," said her mother, Alicia. When Molly opened the insulated wading boots that she'd asked for...

A Scientific Misfire Gave Us 'Nebraska Man'
A Scientific Misfire Gave Us
'Nebraska Man'

A Scientific Misfire Gave Us 'Nebraska Man'

In the 1920s, an old tooth was misinterpreted in a very public way

(Newser) - For a while in the 1920s, it appeared that we'd be talking about "Nebraska Man" for generations as an evolutionary milestone. But as Madeline Bodin writes at Atavist , the name has since faded into obscurity for good reason—it was a very public scientific misfire. The saga began...

Ancient Marine Graveyard May Have Been Maternity Ward
Fossil Site May Be
'Ancient Maternity Ward'

Fossil Site May Be 'Ancient Maternity Ward'

Researchers describe how ancient ichthyosaurs traveled to Nevada site to give birth

(Newser) - Scientists have uncovered new clues about a curious fossil site in Nevada, a graveyard for dozens of giant marine reptiles. Instead of the site of a massive die-off as suspected, it might have been an ancient maternity ward where the creatures came to give birth, per the AP . The site...

Christie's Abruptly Axes T. Rex Auction

US firm noticed skeleton, which Christie's was to auction off in Hong Kong, borrowed a lot from 'Stan'

(Newser) - A 15-foot-tall T. rex skeleton that was unearthed in Montana had been set to be put on the auction block later this month. Now, Christie's has yanked the bone set nicknamed Shen from the Hong Kong sale, after an American fossil firm questioned some of the skeleton's parts....

Researchers Create Model of Huge, Ancient Shark
Researchers Create Model
of Huge, Ancient Shark
new study

Researchers Create Model of Huge, Ancient Shark

Megalodon could have devoured a killer whale in 5 bites, research shows

(Newser) - Today's sharks have nothing on their ancient cousins. A giant shark that roamed the oceans millions of years ago could have devoured a creature the size of a killer whale in just five bites, new research suggests. For their study published this week, researchers used fossil evidence to create...

Fossil Discovery Spurs Believers in Nessie
Fossil Discovery Spurs
Believers in Nessie

Fossil Discovery Spurs Believers in Nessie

Study suggests ancient plesiosaurs lived in freshwater bodies of water, though not Loch Ness

(Newser) - A new study offering some of the best evidence yet for ancient long-necked reptiles living in freshwater lakes has been seized upon by believers in the Loch Ness Monster. Plesiosaurs, small-headed beasts with flippers that disappeared from the fossil record 66 million years ago, certainly inhabited Earth's oceans. There...

Remains of 'Hector' Just Sold for Really Big Bucks

Skeleton of dino that inspired velociraptors in 'Jurassic Park' was bought for $12.4M at auction

(Newser) - "Hector" has been sold. The skeleton of the Deinonychus antirrhopus dinosaur species, said to be the inspiration for the velociraptors in 1993's Jurassic Park, was auctioned off by Christie's on Thursday to an undisclosed buyer for $12.4 million, more than double the price the auction house...

Fossils More Than 200M Years Old Stolen From Utah Park

NPS offers $1K reward after Capitol Reef National Park theft

(Newser) - Fossils of reptile tracks in Capitol Reef National Park have been dated to the Triassic period more than 200 million years ago—and their theft has been dated to some time between August 2017 and August 2018. The National Park Service, which describes the fossils as "irreplaceable paleontological resources,...

Scientist: This Dinosaur Died on the Day of Asteroid Strike

Leg was among many finds at North Dakota site that preserved the 'death blow'

(Newser) - The asteroid that hit the Earth around 66 million years ago brought an abrupt end to the Cretaceous period—and to the life of a Thescelosaurus dinosaur whose incredibly well-preserved leg was found at a North Dakota site. Researchers say they can pinpoint the day of the dinosaur's death...

Lost Continent Explains a 34M-Year-Old Extinction
Lost Continent Explains
a 34M-Year-Old Extinction

Lost Continent Explains a 34M-Year-Old Extinction

Researchers discover Balkanatolia, an ancient island turned land bridge

(Newser) - About 34 million years ago, native fauna disappeared from Western Europe, as mammals from Asia took over. The extinction, known as the Grande Coupure or "great break," might as well have been called the great puzzle. For decades, researchers have been unable to explain how animals from eastern...

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