Newly Discovered: Animal Fossils

Nemo

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New species of ichthyosaur found on Dorset's Jurassic Coast

A fossil of a sea reptile dating back 150 million years has been unearthed on Dorset's Jurassic Coast.
The ichthyosaurus was discovered by amateur collector, Dr Steve Etches, buried head-first in limestone on the shore near Kimmeridge Bay.
After noticing its abundance of teeth he gave it to palaeontologists at the University of Portsmouth who identified it as a new genus and species.
The specimen has been named Thalassodraco etchesi after Dr Etches.
(c) BBC.'20
 

ramonmercado

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Mistake corrected.

Fossilised remains of a fish that grew as big as a great white shark have been discovered after a fossil collector mistook them for a giant flying reptile.

The find by scientists from the University of Portsmouth is a species of the so-called “living fossil” coelacanths which still swim in the seas, surviving the extinction that killed off the dinosaurs. Coelacanth fishes first evolved 400 million years ago – 200 million years before the first dinosaurs. It had long been believed to be extinct, but in 1938 a living coelacanth was found off South Africa. ...

He added that the abnormal size of the lung suggests it would have been around 16ft (5m) in length, much larger than the threatened modern-day coelacanths which grow to a maximum of 6ft 6in (2m). ...


https://www.irishexaminer.com/world/arid-40227092.html
 
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ramonmercado

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Cute rats.

Scientists have discovered three new species of giant cloud rats that were twice the size of a grey squirrel and roamed the planet tens of thousands of years ago.

Fossilised remains of the extinct creatures were unearthed from a series of caves in the Philippines. Based on an analysis of bones and teeth, the researchers said these giant cloud rats were fluffy and had big, bushy tails. The rodents disappeared a few thousand years ago, raising the possibility that humans may have played a role in their extinction.

Larry Heaney, a curator of mammals at the Field Museum in Chicago, said: “The bigger ones would have looked almost like a woodchuck (groundhog) with a squirrel tail. Cloud rats eat plants, and they’ve got great big pot bellies that allow them to ferment the plants that they eat, kind of like cows. They have big fluffy or furry tails. They’re really quite cute.”

https://www.irishexaminer.com/world/arid-40272938.html
 

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Earliest evidence of seaside picnic by mammals.

Fossilised footprint tracks which have been dated to 58 million years ago may represent the earliest evidence of mammals gathering by the sea, researchers say.

The findings suggest mammals may have first used marine habitats at least 9.4 million years earlier than previously thought, in the late Paleocene (66-56 million years ago), rather than the Eocene (56-33.9 million years ago).

Researchers examined and photographed more than 1,000 metres of fossilised footprints recently discovered within the Hanna Formation in Wyoming, US, in an area dated back to 58 million years ago by plant and pollen fossils.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/world/arid-40288697.html
 

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An eight-million-year-old crocodile skull discovered in central Australia is now believed to be part of an extinct species new to scientists.

The skull had been found about 200km (125 miles) from Alice Springs, in the Northern Territory (NT), in 2009. It was thought to belong to a known reptile of the Baru genus but that has now been updated with new study. The species is expected to be named in 2022, and there is a Baru exhibition in the NT.

Dr Adam Yates, senior curator of Earth Sciences at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, said the skull was found at the Alcoota fossil site in central Australia. Dr Yates told the BBC the skull was by far the best specimen of a Baru crocodile yet found.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-57139281
 

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Not a dung beetle but found in dino dung.

Beetles are everywhere—and new members of Earth’s most diverse group of organisms are being discovered nearly every day.

Now, for the first time, scientists have found a new species in an unusual place: the fossilized poop of a dinosaur ancestor. Found whole and remarkably intact, the 230-million-year-old beetle, named Triamyxa coprolithica, is the first insect to be scientifically described from fossilized feces, also known as coprolites.

“This is very exciting research,” says Spencer Lucas, a paleontologist at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, who was not involved in the work. “This study is cutting edge and explores a whole new area of paleontology that has only been understood in the last decade.”

Coprolites are abundant in museum and research collections around the world. But until recently, Lucas says, few scientists examined these “little capsules of incredible fossil record” for their content, largely because researchers did not think small insects could successfully pass through a digestive system and end up in a recognizable form. Instead, paleontologists got most of their information about insect evolution from unlucky ones trapped in amber, or fossilized tree resin. But these fossils aren’t very old, geologically speaking: The most ancient ones date back to about 140 million years ago.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/06/ancient-beetle-first-new-species-discovered-fossilized-poop
 

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Tolkien title for Paleocene mammal.

A prehistoric creature, named after The Hobbit character Beorn, is one of three new discoveries that suggest the rapid evolution of mammals after dinosaur extinction.

These prehistoric mammals roamed North America during the earliest Paleocene Epoch, the period immediately after the extinction of dinosaurs. Researchers say the findings suggest mammals diversified more rapidly after the mass extinction than previously thought.

The creatures discovered are Miniconus jeanninae, Conacodon hettingeri, and Beornus honeyi. They differ in size – ranging up to a modern house cat, which is much larger than the mostly mouse to rat-sized mammals that lived before it alongside the dinosaurs in North America. Each animal has unique dental features that differ from each other.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/world/arid-40361552.html
 

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One of the largest Cambrian marine predators has now been identified among Burgess Shale fossils.
Helmet-headed Cambrian sea monster sucked up prey like a Roomba

A creature with a massive head shield, sand-raking claws and a circular tooth-filled mouth swept across the ocean bottom half-a-billion years ago, hoovering up prey like a living Roomba.

Measuring nearly 2 feet (50 centimeters) long, Titanokorys gainesi — a newfound genus and species — had a flattened body and a broad head that made up approximately two-thirds of its total length, researchers reported in a new study.

Titanokorys was one of the biggest ocean predators of the Cambrian period (543 million to 490 million years ago) and is the largest-known Cambrian seafloor predator, according to a new study. Compared with most other sea life at the time, its size was "absolutely mind-boggling," lead study author Jean-Bernard Caron, a curator of invertebrate palaeontology at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto, said in a statement. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/cambrian-giant-swimming-head.html

FULL RESEARCH REPORT: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.210664
 

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Another spaceship of a fossil.

The mothership has landed.

Two years after scientists dubbed one of Earth’s first sea-dwelling predators the “Millennium Falcon” for its sci-fi carapace, the same researchers have identified an even larger spaceshiplike creature at the same site, in Canada’s Burgess Shale. The half-meter-long arthropod, described in a study out today, was essentially a giant “swimming head” that prowled the Cambrian seas half a billion years ago, says Joseph Moysiuk, a paleontologist at the University of Toronto (U of T) who helped uncover the fossil in 2018. “The first word that comes to mind when I think of this new species is big.”

Titanokorys gainesi, whose head takes up nearly half the length of its body, was covered in a domed, spike-tipped carapace that inspired its Latin name: “Titan’s helmet.” The creature likely swam along the ocean floor, Moysiuk says, flushing prey from the mud with appendages built like “baskets of spines” (see video, above). And whereas its spiky helmet might have helped with that digging, its eyes, which sat at the back of its carapace, facing straight up, would have been useless for finding prey. Those were probably for spotting other predators—threats to Titanokorys itself.

https://www.science.org/content/article/early-ocean-predator-was-giant-swimming-head
 

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Picking up a penguin fossil.

A giant fossilised penguin discovered by schoolchildren has been revealed as a new species of the animal.

Penguins have a fossil record reaching almost as far back as the age of the dinosaurs, and the most ancient of these penguins have been discovered in New Zealand. Fossil penguins from Zealandia (ancient New Zealand) are mostly known from Otago and Canterbury although discoveries have recently been made in Taranaki and Waikato.

In 2006 a group of schoolchildren on a Hamilton Junior Naturalist Club fossil hunting field trip in Kawhia Harbour, New Zealand, led by the club’s fossil expert Chris Templer, discovered the bones of a giant fossil penguin.

Researchers from Massey University and Bruce Museum, in the US, visited Waikato Museum in Hamilton to analyse the fossil.
They used 3D scanning and compared the fossil with digital versions of bones from around the world. They also produced a 3D-printed replica of the fossil for the Hamilton Junior naturalists.

Dr Daniel Thomas, a senior lecturer in zoology from Massey’s School of Natural and Computational Sciences, said the fossil is between 27.3 and 34.6 million years old and from a time when much of the Waikato was under water.

He added: “The penguin is similar to the Kairuku giant penguins first described from Otago, but has much longer legs, which the researchers used to name the penguin waewaeroa – te reo Maori for ‘long legs’.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/world/arid-40699574.html
 

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Could be evidence for a new (extinct) ellephant species and the males really were jumbos.

Fossilized footprints found on a beach in southern Spain betray what may have been a nursery for an extinct species of elephant.

The track-rich coastal site, which scientists have dubbed the Matalascañas Trampled Surface, is typically covered by 1½ meters of sand, says Clive Finlayson, an evolutionary biologist at the Gibraltar National Museum. But storm surges in the spring of 2020 washed away much of that sand and exposed the preserved footprints of ancient elephants, cattle, deer, pigs, wolves, water birds and even Neandertals, Finlayson and colleagues report September 16 in Scientific Reports. The sandy-clay sediments hosting this trove of tracks were probably laid down about 106,000 years ago, previous studies suggest.

Among the newly uncovered tracks are the first-of-their-kind footprints of newborn straight-tusked elephants (Palaeoloxodon antiquus), an extinct species that probably died out during the last ice age (SN: 6/13/17). The teeny tracks — which measure 9.6 centimeters across, about the size of a drink coaster — suggest that the petite, possibly 2-month-old pachyderms stood about 66 centimeters tall at their shoulders and weighed around 70 kilograms, slightly heftier than a Newfoundland dog.

Based on previous finds elsewhere of actual bones, adult straight-tusked elephants may have weighed 5.5 metric tons for females and a whopping 13 tons for males.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/fossil-tracks-footprints-ancient-elephant-nursery
 

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Could be evidence for a new (extinct) ellephant species and the males really were jumbos.

Fossilized footprints found on a beach in southern Spain betray what may have been a nursery for an extinct species of elephant.

The track-rich coastal site, which scientists have dubbed the Matalascañas Trampled Surface, is typically covered by 1½ meters of sand, says Clive Finlayson, an evolutionary biologist at the Gibraltar National Museum. But storm surges in the spring of 2020 washed away much of that sand and exposed the preserved footprints of ancient elephants, cattle, deer, pigs, wolves, water birds and even Neandertals, Finlayson and colleagues report September 16 in Scientific Reports. The sandy-clay sediments hosting this trove of tracks were probably laid down about 106,000 years ago, previous studies suggest.

Among the newly uncovered tracks are the first-of-their-kind footprints of newborn straight-tusked elephants (Palaeoloxodon antiquus), an extinct species that probably died out during the last ice age (SN: 6/13/17). The teeny tracks — which measure 9.6 centimeters across, about the size of a drink coaster — suggest that the petite, possibly 2-month-old pachyderms stood about 66 centimeters tall at their shoulders and weighed around 70 kilograms, slightly heftier than a Newfoundland dog.

Based on previous finds elsewhere of actual bones, adult straight-tusked elephants may have weighed 5.5 metric tons for females and a whopping 13 tons for males.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/fossil-tracks-footprints-ancient-elephant-nursery
thks for the link Ramon, interesting looking elephant. Looks to be quite sizable.
 

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Fossilized Insect Discovered Not in Amber, But in Opal​


aopalfossil.jpg



https://entomologytoday.org/2019/01...2EivWg00ibXNvzg-0bgvwZk4ZuTf2cbw-oyg4Zoww41TQ
 

EnolaGaia

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A previously unknown prehistoric species of tardigrade has been discovered in amber.
Tardigrade trapped in amber is a never-before-seen species

Scientists discovered an incredibly rare fossil suspended in 16 million-year-old amber: a never-before-seen species of tardigrade, a pudgy, aquatic critter that rarely crops up in the fossil record.

Modern-day tardigrades, also known as water bears or moss piglets, can be found in just about any environment with liquid water, from the depths of the ocean to the thin water films that coat terrestrial mosses. The tiny creatures are famous for their survival skills; by expelling most water from their bodies and drastically slowing their metabolism, tardigrades enter a state akin to suspended animation in which they can withstand extreme temperatures, pressure and radiation.

But although tardigrades are nearly impossible to destroy when alive, their small size and lack of hard tissue mean that very few tardigrade fossils have ever been discovered — only three, to be exact. The species of two of these fossils, found in Canada and New Jersey, have been formally named; the other, found in West Siberia, remains unnamed. ...

But now, in a new study published Tuesday (Oct. 5) in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, scientists have introduced a newfound species of tardigrade that they discovered in amber from the Dominican Republic. The fossil dates to the Miocene epoch (23 million to 5.3 million years ago) and is so well preserved that the team was able to place the newfound water bear, named Paradoryphoribius chronocaribbeus, within the tardigrade "tree of life." ...

The tardigrade measures less than 0.02 inches (0.6 millimeters) long ...
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/new-tardigrade-species-found-in-amber
PUBLISHED REPORT: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2021.1760
 

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Largest-ever millipede fossil found on Northumberland beach


The millipede, known as Arthropleura, is thought to have been more than 2.5m (8ft) long. It would have weighed about 50kg (eight stone).

"It was a complete fluke of a discovery," said Dr Neil Davies, from Cambridge's Department of Earth Sciences, who has been analysing the 75cm-long fossil.

"The way the boulder had fallen, it had cracked open and perfectly exposed the fossil, which one of our former PhD students happened to spot when walking by," Dr Davies said.
When the giant millipede lived, 326 million years ago, the north-east of England had a much more tropical climate than today.

This specimen was found in what researchers believe was an old river channel. It may well not actually be the fossil of a dead creature, but an exoskeleton that was shed as the massive millipede grew.

"Finding these giant millipede fossils is rare, because once they died, their bodies tend to disarticulate, so it's likely that the fossil is a moulted carapace that the animal shed as it grew," said Mr Davies. "We have not yet found a fossilised head, so it's difficult to know everything about them."

One thing that can be said with certainty is, that in common with almost all millipedes, it did not have 1,000 legs - the researchers believe it had at least 32, but it may have been up to 64.

The researchers believe that to get to such a large size, Arthropleura must have had a high-nutrient diet. That could have meant it supplementing a diet of nuts and seeds with small creatures and amphibians.

The fossil is due to go on public display in Cambridge in the new year.
 

WeeScottishLassie

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Largest-ever millipede fossil found on Northumberland beach


The millipede, known as Arthropleura, is thought to have been more than 2.5m (8ft) long. It would have weighed about 50kg (eight stone).

"It was a complete fluke of a discovery," said Dr Neil Davies, from Cambridge's Department of Earth Sciences, who has been analysing the 75cm-long fossil.

"The way the boulder had fallen, it had cracked open and perfectly exposed the fossil, which one of our former PhD students happened to spot when walking by," Dr Davies said.
Such an incredible find!
 

Jim

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Largest-ever millipede fossil found on Northumberland beach


The millipede, known as Arthropleura, is thought to have been more than 2.5m (8ft) long. It would have weighed about 50kg (eight stone).

"It was a complete fluke of a discovery," said Dr Neil Davies, from Cambridge's Department of Earth Sciences, who has been analysing the 75cm-long fossil.

"The way the boulder had fallen, it had cracked open and perfectly exposed the fossil, which one of our former PhD students happened to spot when walking by," Dr Davies said.
75 cm -~ 30", hows this relate to 8' or 96" long, small specimen of exact same species?
 

Jim

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According to the report, it was a segment of the creature. Presumably they’ve extrapolated the likely length/size from that.
I read another article on arthropthe giant arthropod. Said they found ~ 1/3 of the millipede and that it’s only the 3 fossil of arthropleura and the largest to date at that. Very ancient from Carboniferous period 345 to 295 ya. Sounds to be a harmless vegetarian.
 

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I read another article on arthropthe giant arthropod. Said they found ~ 1/3 of the millipede and that it’s only the 3 fossil of arthropleura and the largest to date at that. Very ancient from Carboniferous period 345 to 295 ya. Sounds to be a harmless vegetarian.
Harmless? With poisoned fangs, if it's anything like the modern-day version.
 

Jim

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The 1 meter long amphibious Brondu scorpions are very similar to today's scorpions, but they are much large in size (largest ever terrestrial scorpion to date), had larger compound eyes, larger tail spines, stronger toxins, and a length of more than 1 meter. They lived in the Silurian period some ~ 420 million years ago in the Silurian period and into the early some 400 into the early Carboniferous periods.
https://min.news/en/animal/e7df6f721aea6ae401101d3c6544ba0a.html
 
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EnolaGaia

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This fossil isn't newly discovered, but it's proper identification has been newly established.

One of the weirdest Cambrian creatures was Opabinia:

Opabinia Model_A Paleozoo.jpg

... which was long considered to be a unique Cambrian species with no known relatives.

Further research on a fossil originally attributed to a different branch of the evolutionary tree has reasonably established it is the second example of the same lineage as Opabinia.

NewSpecies1_1024.jpg
Weird, Extinct Animal Species Identified in First Such Finding in Over 100 Years

Peering back hundreds of millions of years into the past can turn up some astonishing findings – as it has with the discovery of a second species of opabiniid, a soft-bodied arthropod with a segmented exoskeleton that lived on the seafloor during the Miaolingian (509-497 million years ago).

The original opadiniid, Opabinia regalis, was first described over a century ago in 1912, and has several notable physical characteristics – not least the five eyes protruding on stalks from its head, a backwards-facing mouth, and its hollow, tubular proboscis.

Now there's another: Opabinia regalis is not as unique a species as first thought, because it's been joined by Utaurora comosa. This creature was previously thought to belong to a different group of animals known as radiodonts, but has now been reclassified as an opabiniid after some extensive research. ...

"Dissection of the phylogenetic support demonstrates that while evidence for radiodont paraphyly is weak, Utaurora can be confidently reassigned to Opabiniidae," the researchers write in their paper.

"The weirdest wonder of the Cambrian no longer stands alone." ...

The research has been published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B Biological Sciences.

FULL STORY: https://www.sciencealert.com/we-ve-...pecies-of-weird-extinct-animal-with-five-eyes

PUBLISHED RESEARCH REPORT:
Pates Stephen, Wolfe Joanna M., Lerosey-Aubril Rudy, Daley Allison C. and Ortega-Hernández Javier 2022
New opabiniid diversifies the weirdest wonders of the euarthropod stem group
Proc. R. Soc. B. 289: 20212093. 20212093
http://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2021.2093

FULL REPORT: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2021.2093
 

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Fossil of largest Jurassic pterosaur found on Skye

PhD student Amelia Penny spotted its sharp-toothed jaw in a layer of ancient limestone on Skye's coast.

That initial discovery, in 2017, has now been followed up with detailed examination of the fossil skeleton.

Those studies, published in the journal Current Biology, show the flying lizard had a 2.5m (8ft) wingspan.

The research, led by PhD student Natalia Jagielska, also revealed the creature was a species new to science.
Researchers from the Hunterian Museum, in Glasgow, and the Staffin Museum, on Skye, had to extract the rock slab entombing the fossil - a painstaking process and noisy process racing the incoming tide - and bring it to the University of Edinburgh.

"As flying animals, their bones are really light, just like today's birds.
"That makes them incredibly fragile and so they don't usually preserve as fossils.”

The remarkable condition and completeness of this specimen - particularly the detail preserved in its skull - has already allowed scientists from the universities of Edinburgh and St Andrews and National Museums Scotland, where the fossil will be displayed and studied further, to conclude Dearc had good eyesight.

"We look forward to studying Dearc in greater detail to discover more about how it lived and its behaviour," Ms Jagielska added.

"The preservation is amazing, far beyond any pterosaur ever found in Scotland and probably the best British skeleton found since the days of [fossil hunter] Mary Anning in the early 1800s," he said.

And its size "tells us that pterosaurs got larger much earlier than we thought, long before the Cretaceous period when they were competing with birds, and that's hugely significant".
1645538005228.png
 

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I'm not sure where to post this but someone found this on West Runton beach near me this morning:

"This is a lower molar of a leaf-eating rhinoceros. This so-called low-crowned molar with a relatively smooth surface of the tooth enamel, according to my knowledge, have to be attributed to the Etruscan rhinoceros, Stephanorhinus etruscus, well known from, among other things, the southern bight of the North Sea between the British Isles and the Netherlands. This rhino species was a common appearance in the Early and Middle Pleistocene."

Someone else has ventured:

"The condition looks as though the tooth came from the Cromer Forest-bed, and so likely to be Dicerorhinus etruscus." ... fantastic find! .. I'm very envious.

art001.jpg


art002.jpg
 

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I'm not sure where to post this but someone found this on West Runton beach near me this morning:

"This is a lower molar of a leaf-eating rhinoceros. This so-called low-crowned molar with a relatively smooth surface of the tooth enamel, according to my knowledge, have to be attributed to the Etruscan rhinoceros, Stephanorhinus etruscus, well known from, among other things, the southern bight of the North Sea between the British Isles and the Netherlands. This rhino species was a common appearance in the Early and Middle Pleistocene."

Someone else has ventured:

"The condition looks as though the tooth came from the Cromer Forest-bed, and so likely to be Dicerorhinus etruscus." ... fantastic find! .. I'm very envious.

View attachment 54810

View attachment 54811
BRILLIANT!!
 
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