The nano-dinosaur Kongonaphon, ‘tiny bug slayer,’ was an ancient member in the lineage that included pterosaurs and T-rex
Paleontology is the scientific study of all fossil life forms other than humans, from plants asnd animals to fungi to creatures that bizarre that we don't know what they were (Ediacarans, looking at you). Paleontologists need knowledge of geology, ecology and biology to gain insight into the being whose usually-crushed remains lie before them, and into the evolution of life, based on mineralized bones and tissues, and sometimes just impressions left in sedimentary rocks.
Some interpretations remain disputed, such as that of layering in 4-billion-year-old rocks as bacterial mats as opposed to geological phenomena. Also, interpretations may change with new insights: certain small tyrannosaurs initially classified as new species were apparently just teenage T-rexes. That is the beauty of paleontology:glimpsing life forms we will never personally meet, from the unimaginably weird like Tully's monster to the downright terrifying, like the giant beaver the size of your father, with teeth as long as your forearm.
Chinese scientists report on wasps and beetles trapped in amber and found in Myanmar still displaying bright colors after 99 million years
Some think Homo erectus and its ilk dined chiefly on plants like latter-day hunter-gatherers. Israeli archaeologists argue that if they did, it wasn’t by choice
Yet even now we aren’t clear how many guinea pig species there are. Or why we continue to bring them into our homes and love them as pets
Early modern humans adapted to life in the South Asian rainforests where nary another hominin ventured to tread, which may help explain why Neanderthals went extinct
Once thought to have been made by giant pterosaurs trotting on two legs, prints in Jinju are revisited and spring a surprise
Groups that drum together bond and can better perform tasks together even later on, Bar-Ilan musicologists and psychologists demonstrate
The spread of the house mouse from Near East to Europe coincided with the advent of early farming and grain storage. Guess who came along for the ride?
Remains of a modern human 45,000 years old found in the Balkans show our ancestors coexisted with Neanderthals in Europe for around 8,000 years
It’s incredibly rare for the predatory pounce to be preserved for eternity in stone: paleontologists suspect the attacker choked on its herring dinner 200 million years ago
There were two early monkey lineages in South America, not one. One lineage became the adorable platyrrhini and one went extinct
Sequencing from a second tooth ‘only’ 800,000 years old provided researchers with key information on the position of the enigmatic Homo antecessor in our evolutionary tree
Archaeologists deduce purpose of huge walled fish ponds on an artificial island built by the powerful Calusa kingdom over 1,000 years ago
Worm-like Ikaria wariootia from 550 million years ago could be the missing link between the mysterious proto-animals of the Ediacaran era and animal life as we know it
Paleontological surprise: Almost 400 million years ago, an Elpistostege had both normal fin rays - and bones typical of vertebrate arms and digits in its fins
Experts explain to Haaretz how mere fragments of two skulls discovered in Ethiopia can be distinguished as male and female, and did it really use both crude and clever tools at the same time?
Hairy Collins' monster's name tells a truth: this animal did not look like a worm. It looks like a match between a centipede and Wolverine.
A bone of an 85-million year old elasmosaur, sticking out of the ground on a hillside in the Negev, was noticed by Gideon Ragolsky in the middle of an archaeological survey.
From the Saudi-saur to a nest with babysitter to the BIGGEST dinosaur EVER - here are the hot dinosaur stories of 2014.
Pentaceratops aquilonius, five-horned cousin to Triceratops, was rather small and may have been endemic to the Alberta region in Canada.
Skeleton of 55-foot long lady, found by teenage paleontologists, sold in UK auction.