Aktuelles - OD Earth and History of Life

Artistic reconstruction of two individuals of Peregocetus, one standing along the rocky shore of nowadays Peru and the other preying upon sparid fish. The presence of a tail fluke remains hypothetical. (A. Gennari)
04/04/2019

Four-Legged Whale Ancestors Reached South America in an Otter-Like Swimming Style

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Reinout Verbeke

A four-legged whale from Peru indicates that early whales crossed the South Atlantic before 42.6 million years ago and may have propelled like otters: with a robust tail and webbed fingers on their long feet.

Extremely well-preserved fossil of Halszkaraptor escuilliei from Mongolia, still partly embedded in rock. (Photo: Thierry Hubin, RBINS)
06/12/2017

Stolen Dinosaur Skeleton Turns Out To Be Swimming Raptor

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Reinout Verbeke

An international team of scientists, along with Belgian palaeontologists, has described a new dinosaur that could swim. It is the first time this adaptation has been found so clearly in a dinosaur.

The perfectly preserved fossil of Serikornis sungei. (Photo: Thierry Hubin, RBINS)
25/08/2017

Dinosaur 'Silky' Is A Key Fossil in Feather Evolution

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Reinout Verbeke

Belgian palaeontologists have described a new, 165 million year old dinosaur species from Northern China. Serikornis sungei –nickmane ‘Silky’ – is an important fossil in the evolution of feathers in dinosaurs. Silky had feathers on its four limbs, but could not fly.

Bronze statuette intended to contain a mummified cat (Ptolemaic period, 332–30 B.C.) (photo: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1956)
19/06/2017

Domestication of the cat: ancient DNA reveals significant role of the Near East and Egypt

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Reinout Verbeke

DNA found at archaeological sites reveals that the origins of our domestic cat are in the Near East and ancient Egypt. Cats were domesticated by the first farmers some 10,000 years ago. They later spread across Europe and other parts of the world via trade hub Egypt.

Two Mystacodon selenensis individuals diving down to catch eagle rays along the seafloor of a shallow cove off the coast of present-day Peru. CREDIT Alberto Gennari.
11/05/2017

Baleen Whales’ Ancestors Were Toothy Suction Feeders

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Reinout Verbeke

Modern whales’ ancestors probably hunted and chased down prey, but somehow, those fish-eating hunters evolved into filter-feeding leviathans.

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