Genetic variants that leave their carrier more susceptible to severe COVID-19 are inherited from Neanderthals, finds a new study published in Nature.
The phenomenon of using DNA from old fossils preserved in amber already inspired Hollywood - in the film Jurassic Park, scientists reproduce the DNA of dinosaurs extracted from a fossil mosquito and thereby resurrect them. In reality, however, all previous studies in which researchers took DNA samples from insects enclosed in tree resin were useless under the scientific method. Researchers now detected DNA from ambrosia beetles that were trapped in recent tree resin.
While dinosaurs ruled the land in the Mesozoic, the oceans were filled by predators such as crocodiles and giant lizards, but also entirely extinct groups such as ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs. Now for the first time, researchers at the University of Bristol have modelled the changing ecologies of these great sea dragons.
Researcher Steven Emslie encountered a puzzle at Cape Irizar, a rocky cape located just south of the Drygalski Ice Tongue on the Scott Coast, Ross Sea. He found both ancient and what appeared to be fresh remains of Adelie penguins, mostly of chicks, which frequently die and accumulate at these colonies. However, the "fresh" remains were puzzling, he says, because there are no records of an active penguin colony at this site.
Pterosaur expert Dr David Unwin from the University of Leicester's Centre for Palaeobiology Research, and Professor Dave Martill, of the University of Portsmouth have examined the evidence that these creatures had feathers and believe they were in fact bald
Two groups of tiny, delicate marine organisms, sea butterflies and sea angels, were found to be surprisingly resilient--having survived dramatic global climate change and Earth's most recent mass extinction event 66 million years ago, according to research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Wolves today live and hunt in packs, which helps them take down large prey. But when did this group behavior evolve? An international research team has reported specimens of an ancestral wolf, Canis chihliensis, from the Ice Age of north China (~1.3 million years ago), with debilitating injuries to the jaws and leg. The wolf survived these injuries long enough to heal, supporting the likelihood of food-sharing and family care in this early canine.
Utah State University Eastern paleontologist Joshua Lively describes a new genus of mosasaur, Gnathomortis stadtmani, a marine lizard that roamed the oceans of North America toward the end of the Age of Dinosaurs.
A discovery of more than a thousand dinosaur teeth, by a team of researchers from the University of Portsmouth, proves beyond reasonable doubt that Spinosaurus, the giant predator made famous by the movie Jurassic Park III as well as the BBC documentary Planet Dinosaur was an enormous river-monster.
Scientists from the University of Bristol and the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) used three-dimensional computer modelling to investigate the hindlimb of Euparkeria capensis-a small reptile that lived in the Triassic Period 245 million years ago-and inferred that it had a "mosaic" of functions in locomotion.