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Paleontology - Chemistry - 06.02.2024
Surprisingly vibrant colour of 12-million-year-old snail shells
Surprisingly vibrant colour of 12-million-year-old snail shells
Researchers provide world's first evidence of intact polyene pigments in fossils Snail shells are often colourful and strikingly patterned. This is due to pigments that are produced in special cells of the snail and stored in the shell in varying concentrations. Fossil shells, on the other hand, are usually pale and inconspicuous because the pigments are very sensitive and have already decomposed.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 20.09.2023
Proboscideans of the Hammerschmiede - contemporaries of the first upright ape
Proboscideans of the Hammerschmiede - contemporaries of the first upright ape
Today, there exist only three elephant species, in Africa and Asia. Yet the diversity of proboscidean species and their distribution was significantly greater in the Earth's past. Researchers from the University of Tübingen and the Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment, working at the Hammerschmiede site in southern Germany, have now described new fossils of early proboscidean species.

Paleontology - Earth Sciences - 01.09.2023
Fossil spines reveal deep sea's past
Fossil spines reveal deep sea’s past
Research team led by Göttingen University describe early occurrence of irregular sea urchins in the depths of the oceans Right at the bottom of the deep sea, the first very simple forms of life on earth probably emerged a long time ago. Today, the deep sea is known for its bizarre fauna. Intensive research is being conducted into how the number of species living on the sea floor have changed in the meantime.

Paleontology - Environment - 08.08.2023
Shell size: how turtles evolved over the last 200 million years Diversity of turtle body size studied
Shell size: how turtles evolved over the last 200 million years Diversity of turtle body size studied
With a shell length of about 100 millimeters, the land-dwelling areolate flat-shelled turtle (Homopus areolatus) is one of today's smallest turtle species. The record at the other end of the scale is held by the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), which is common in tropical and subtropical seas and can reach up to two meters in length.

Paleontology - History / Archeology - 04.08.2023
Database with 2,400 prehistoric sites
Database with 2,400 prehistoric sites
Human history in one click: For the first time, numerous sites relating to the early history of mankind from 3 million to 20,000 years ago can be accessed in a large-scale database. Scientists from the research center ROCEEH ("The Role of Culture in Early Expansions of Humans") have compiled information on 2,400 prehistoric sites and 24,000 assemblages from more than 100 ancient cultures.

Paleontology - 13.07.2023
Chinese alligator had Asian relatives around 200,000 years ago
Chinese alligator had Asian relatives around 200,000 years ago
University of Tübingen paleontologists Dr. Márton Rabi and Gustavo Darlim, working with Chulalongkorn University and Department of Mineral Resources of Thailand, have demonstrated that an almost completely fossilized alligator skull found in Thailand belongs to a previously unknown species. The fossil was discovered in 2005 and is at most 230,000 years old.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 29.06.2023
Exciting insights into the sexual development of a marine reptile
Exciting insights into the sexual development of a marine reptile
International research team sheds light on puberty of extinct vertebrates some 240 million years ago Fossil skeletons have long fascinated researchers as a window to prehistory. But so far, little is known about details of sexual development in extinct creatures. An international team of researchers from China, Germany and Japan, with significant participation from the University of Bonn, reports on the puberty of Keichousaurus in the journal Current Biology.

Environment - Paleontology - 22.06.2023
Ravens were attracted to humans' food more than 30,000 years ago
Ravens were attracted to humans’ food more than 30,000 years ago
Wild animals entered into diverse relationships with humans long before the first settlements were established in the Neolithic period around 10,000 years ago. An international study by researchers from the Universities of Tübingen, Helsinki and Aarhus presents new evidence that ravens helped themselves to people's scraps and picked over mammoth carcasses left by human hunters during the Pavlovian culture more than 30,000 years ago in what is now Moravia in the Czech Republic.

Paleontology - 16.06.2023
Fossil study sheds light on famous spirals found in nature
Fossil study sheds light on famous spirals found in nature
A 3D model of a 407-million-year-old plant fossil has overturned thinking on the evolution of leaves / "Science" publication A 3D model of a 407-million-year-old plant fossil has overturned thinking on the evolution of leaves. The research has also led to fresh insights about spectacular patterns found in plants.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 11.05.2023
300,000-Year-Old Snapshot: Oldest Human Footprints from Germany Found
300,000-Year-Old Snapshot: Oldest Human Footprints from Germany Found
Schöningen/Tübingen, 05/12/2023. In a study published today in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews, an international research team led by scientists from the University of Tübingen and the Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment presents the earliest human footprints known from Germany.

Environment - Paleontology - 28.03.2023
80 million years old rainforest
80 million years old rainforest
Plant fossils from Egypt shed light on the evolutionary history of rainforests An international team of researchers led by first author Dr. Clément Coiffard of Freie Universität Berlin and Senckenberg scientist Dieter Uhl has taken a close look at the evolutionary history of tropical rainforests.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 13.02.2023
Researchers solve a 150-year-old mystery
Researchers solve a 150-year-old mystery
Study led by the University of Bonn: Aetosaur find involves juveniles Aetosaurs had a small head and a crocodile-like body. The land dwellers were up to six meters long and widely distributed geographically. They died out about 204 million years ago, at the end of the Triassic. In Kaltental near Stuttgart, Germany, an assemblage of 24 Aetosaurus ferratus individuals, only between 20 and 82 centimeters long, was discovered in 1877.

Paleontology - Health - 18.01.2023
Traces of a trauma 245 million years ago
Traces of a trauma 245 million years ago
Researchers gain insight into life in an ancient sea With a broken jaw on the prowl - that seems almost impossible. But researchers have discovered an approximately 245-million-year-old nothosaur fossil on which the injury had healed. The international team, with participation from the University of Bonn, examined other marine reptile bone anomalies from a site near the town of Winterswijk in the Netherlands.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 05.01.2023
The vertebral column develops in the same way in modern animals as it did 300 million years ago
Ancient fossils reveal the evolutionary history of ossification in the spine of land vertebrates A study conducted by researchers from the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin revealed the evolution of ossification patterns in the backbones of four-legged vertebrates. Antoine Verrière and his colleagues were able to reconstruct the patterns of how the bones in the vertebral column formed in the ancestor to all land vertebrates based on a large dataset of modern and fossil vertebrates with the inclusion of rare new data from the 300 Ma old reptile Mesosaurus tenuidens.

Paleontology - Health - 22.12.2022
A tumor more than 215 million years old
A tumor more than 215 million years old
International research team describes bone cancer in a large amphibian species from southwestern Poland More than 215 million years ago, a large amphibian species lived in floodplains in southwestern Poland: Metoposaurus krasiejowensis. On one of these fossils, Polish and American scientists, with the participation of researchers from the University of Bonn, detected bone cancer for the first time.

Paleontology - 09.12.2022
Very fast, but still not supersonic
Very fast, but still not supersonic
An international research team including the Department of Biology at the University of Hamburg has used computer models and engineering methods to analyze the mobility of dinosaur tails. According to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, the researchers found that these tails could move at speeds of more than 100 kilometers per hour.

Paleontology - 27.10.2022
Glowing fossils: fluorescence reveals colour patterns of earliest scallops
Glowing fossils: fluorescence reveals colour patterns of earliest scallops
Göttingen University geobiologist discovers diversity of patterns in 240 million-year-old seashells UV light makes it possible to see intricate structures of fossils that are barely visible in normal daylight. This method has often been used on the fossilised seashells from the Earth's current geological era to reveal patterns of colour that had long since faded away.

Paleontology - 06.10.2022
New field of research: crystal traces in fossil leaves
New field of research: crystal traces in fossil leaves
Study by the University of Bonn proves for the first time that enigmatic microstructures originate from calcium oxalate In fossil leaves, puzzling structures are often visible under the microscope. Researchers at the University of Bonn have now been able to show for the first time that they originate from calcium oxalate crystals.

Paleontology - 06.10.2022
New field of research: crystal traces in fossil leaves
New field of research: crystal traces in fossil leaves
Study by the University of Bonn proves for the first time that enigmatic microstructures originate from calcium oxalate In fossil leaves, puzzling structures are often visible under the microscope. Researchers at the University of Bonn have now been able to show for the first time that they originate from calcium oxalate crystals.

Paleontology - Environment - 29.09.2022
To be heavy or not - that is the question
To be heavy or not - that is the question
Researchers at the University of Bonn study the way of life of extinct amphibians If you need to lurk at the bottom of a water body waiting for prey, it is wise to stay motionless without resisting against the buoyant forces of water. To do so you need a kind of diving belt that helps to sink. One large amphibian species Metoposaurus krasiejowensis, that lived more than 200 million years ago, compensated for buoyancy with a heavy shoulder girdle.



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