fossils

Investigating the diversity of sea-urchins

Research into sea-urchin fossils collected from Portugal has revealed that diversity of the taxa seems to be linked with the evolution of the sea basin. Dr Marcello Ruta, from the School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, UK, was part of the team which investigated how echinoid (sea-urchin) diversity...

Prehistoric fossil sheds light on parenting in reptiles

A fossil specimen discovered by a farmer in China represents the oldest record of post-natal parental care, dating back to the Middle Jurassic. The tendency for adults to care for their offspring beyond birth is a key feature of the reproductive biology of living archosaurs – birds and crocodilians...

Science and art reconstruct 300 million-year-old vertebrate

Paleontologists have provided a new cranial reconstruction of a long-extinct limbed vertebrate (tetrapod) from previously unrecognised specimens found in coal deposits from the Czech Republic. The team of academics reviewed the cranial structural features of the Late Carboniferous Gephyrostegus bohemicus – a small animal of generally lizard-like build that...

New research on early tetrapod feeding habits

A study of the jaws of one of the earliest known limbed vertebrates shows the species still fed underwater, not on land. Scientists from the University of Lincoln, UK, University of Zurich, Switzerland, University of Cambridge and University of Bristol, developed an innovative new method to infer the feeding...

Land animals kept fish-like jaws for millions of years

Research has confirmed how early land vertebrates, which evolved from fish, developed weight-bearing limbs and other adaptations long before their feeding systems adjusted to a vegetation-based diet. Now, for the first time, fossil jaw measurements have demonstrated this gap in evolutionary development. Scientists from the University of Lincoln (UK),...