Mass Extinction Conference - 30.05.2024


Today more than 42,100 species are threatened with extinction (IUCN) and more than 150,300 species are on the IUCN Red List including 41% of amphibians, 37% of sharks and rays, 36% of reef building corals, 34% of conifers, 27% of mammals, 16% of selected insects, and 13% of birds.


Aerial observations over the North Sea in 2023


In 2023, the aerial surveillance aircraft detected 17 cases of operational marine pollution from ships, and suspicious sulphur and nitrogen levels in the smoke plumes of 24 and 42 ships. Other activities included monitoring of oil and gas installations, marine mammal counts and broader maritime surveillance.


Summers warm up faster than winters, fossil shells from Antwerp show


In a warmer climate, summers warm much faster than winters. That is the conclusion of research into fossil shells by earth scientist Niels de Winter.


Starved young minke whale in Ostend


A young male minke whale that washed ashore in Ostend on May 13 most likely died of starvation. Although sightings of dead and living minke whales have become more frequent in recent years in the south of the North Sea, their washing up on a Belgian beach remains an exceptional event.


New and richly illustrated book about the Bernissart Iguanodons


Paleontologist Pascal Godefroit tells the complete story of the Iguanodons of Bernissart in a hefty and beautifully illustrated book: from the discovery in the mining village to the latest insights into their cause of death. 


Scheldt Delta officially recognized as UNESCO Geopark


The region of the Belgian-Dutch Scheldt Delta has been officially recognized as a UNESCO Global Geopark. The world heritage organization thereby acknowledges that the area is exceptional in terms of its geological, cultural-historical, and landscape features.


Amateur paleontologists donate rich collection of fossil shark and ray teeth to our Institute


Citizen scientists have donated tens of thousands of fossil shark and ray teeth to the Institute. They were excavated at the clay quarry of Egem in West Flanders, and bear witness to the rich diversity in the shallow tropical sea around 50 million years ago in our regions.


Third victim Bois du Cazier identified thanks to DNA analysis


On August 8, 1956, 262 miners died in the fire at the Bois du Cazier mine in Marcinelle (Charleroi). In 2023, a multidisciplinary team of researchers formally identified two of the 14 victims who couldn't be identified at the time. In March 2024 the team announced the identity of a third victim.


Fossilized tooth reveals prehistoric shark attack on seal


Palaeontologists have uncovered a fossilized tooth from a white shark embedded in the heel bone of a seal, shedding light on a dramatic event that unfolded 4.5 million years ago.


A large-scale paleontological excavation in Lebanon documents terrestrial ecosystem of the Cretaceous


An international team of paleontologists has uncovered a remarkably rich and diverse array of fossils from the Early Cretaceous, in Jezzine, South Lebanon. “It is rare getting a glimpse on the diversity of such an early terrestrial ecosystem for this continental area”, says paleontologist Ninon Robin,  Institute of Natural Sciences.