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paleontology

t rex skull holes

T. Rex skulls had built-in air conditioning

September 5th, 2019

When you look at a fossilized skull from the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex there are a few things you’ll immediately notice. For starters, it’s huge compared to the rest of its body, with almost cartoonish proportions. It’s also packed with massive, dagger-like teeth that could crush just about anything and, wait, what are those big holes …

cave bear extinction

Ancient cave bears were pushed to extinction by humans, not climate

August 16th, 2019

Cave bears no longer exist. They went extinct tens of thousands of years ago, and all we have left of the massive ancient creatures are fossils. Figuring exactly why they disappeared has proven to be a significant challenge for researchers, with some believing that a changing climate ultimately doomed the species. Now, a new study …

giant parrot

Child-sized parrots once roamed New Zealand

August 11th, 2019

Parrots are popular pets today, and you don’t have to look far on YouTube to find charming videos of tropical birds doing adorable things. They’re fun animals, and their small size makes them appealing to potential owners. Fossils from New Zealand reveal the existence of an ancient parrot that would definitely not have been a …

mammal hyoid bones

Ancient fossil offers clues as to when mammals learned how to eat

July 21st, 2019

We humans tend to take our ability to chew and swallow for granted, but as mammals we actually have a pretty complicated system of bones and muscles helping us tackle our pizza slices and steaks. Determining when mammals developed their unique style of eating has been a topic of discussion among scientists for some time, …

giant bird europe

1,000-pound birds once roamed Europe, researchers say

June 27th, 2019

If you’re going to pick a fight with a bird, the common ostrich should probably be near the bottom of your list. They’re tall, powerful, and the largest specimens can weigh in at well over 300 pounds. They’re not to be messed with, but they don’t hold a candle to the absolutely monstrous birds that …

saber-toothed cat

Ancient saber-toothed cats could crush a skull with their teeth

June 3rd, 2019

If you were transported back in time some 100,000 years there’s a good chance you’d run into any number of creatures that could rapidly end your life. One of those species was the saber-toothed cat, and while we may never know how aggressive the big felines would have been towards a human, new research tells …