Jawless Vertebrate Conodont Had Sharpest Yet Minuscule Teeth


The conodont, an extinct primitive marine vertebrate, had the sharpest teeth ever known, with tips just one-twentieth of the width of a human hair, and was able to apply pressures that were comparable with the ones made with human jaws.

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Pterosaur Rhamphorhynchus Being Eaten by Ganoid Fish Aspidorhynchus Fossilized


This incredible fossil, depicting a pterosaur in the process of being devoured by a ganoid fish, was recently showcased in a new study published in PLoS ONE. Pterosaurs aren’t dinosaurs, but flying reptiles of the Mesozoic era. Most of the fossilized specimens come from the Middle Jurassic to the Early Cretaceous periods.

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Cretaceous Period Pterosaur Discovered in Northeast China


Paleontologists have discovered a new wildly snaggle-toothed skull in northeast China that belonged to previously unknown flying reptile.

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Pikaia Gracilens Revealed as Possible Genetic Ancestors to All Vertebrates


The Middle Cambrian Pikaia gracilens, from 505 million years ago, was a fish-like worm, which has the possible dubious distinction of being one of humanity’s earliest genetic ancestors. These fish-like worms had the beginning of spines, including a notochord and a nerve chord, which wasn’t obvious to distinguish initially. The researchers published their findings in the journal Biological Letters.

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Giant Oligocene Kairuku Penguins Stood Nearly Five Feet Tall


Paleontologists have reconstructed a model of the Kairuku penguin that stood almost 4 feet 6 inches in height in what’s now New Zealand. The Kairuku penguin lived approximately 25 million years ago, in the Oligocene epoch, in the Chattian age.

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Jurassic Period Super-Sized Fleas Had Armored Mouthparts to Attack the Thick Hide of Dinosaurs


The primitive ancestors of modern day fleas were built to drain the blood of dinosaurs, more than 150 million years ago, during the Jurassic period. This potential host-parasite relationship was recently uncovered thanks to a set of preserved fossils found in China.

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Drexel University Researchers to 3D-Print Dinosaur Bones


Researchers at Drexel University are planning to print robotic dinosaurs that have been cast from real fossils, in an effort to better understand them. Kenneth Lacovara, a paleontologist, has combined forces with James Tangorra, a mechanical engineer, to learn more about dinosaur locomotion.

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Scientists Reconstruct Ancient Permian Ecosystem from Ash-Covered Plants


Paleoecologists have reconstructed a Permian-era swampy forest, filled with long-extinct plant species, thanks to analyses of well-preserved fossils entombed in a layer of volcanic ash in northern China, under a coal mine. While many of the species are already known to science, the eruption that covered the tropical forest in ash created a sort of time capsule, preserving an unprecedented level of detail of the region’s flora.

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How the Holmzaden Ichthyosaur Sank Before the Cretaceous-Paleogene Extinction Event


Paleontologist Alim Reisdorf and the co-authors of a new study published in the journal Paleobiodiversity & Paleoenvironments have been trying to figure out exactly how the Holmzaden ichthyosaurs sank and was preserved, right before the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction pulse.

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