Paleontogly

Giant Flying Turkeys Lived in Australia 1-3 Million Years Ago

Progura gallinacea, a species of extinct giant brush turkey that lived in Australia during the Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene (1-3 million years ago), is among five megapode birds described (or redescribed) by Flinders University paleontologists. A reconstruction of Progura gallinacea (right), alongside a kangaroo and modern bush turkey (Alectura …

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Paleontologists Find Oldest Fossil Mushroom: Gondwanagaricites magnificus

Gondwanagaricites magnificus represents the oldest fossil mushroom to date and the first fossil mushroom from the ancient supercontinent Gondwana. The gilled mushroom Gondwanagaricites magnificus lived during the Early Cretaceous, a time of dinosaurs when Gondwana was breaking apart. Image credit: Heads et al, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178327. Gondwanagaricites magnificus was about 2 …

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Elephant Family Tree Needs a Rewrite

According to new research published in the journal eLife, the straight-tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus), a species of giant elephant that lived 1.5 million to 100,000 years ago, is more closely related to the extant African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) than the forest elephant is to its nearest living relative, the …

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Pioneering Technology Sheds New Light on Megalosaurus, World’s First Scientifically-Described Dinosaur

A state-of-the-art CT scanning technology has shed fresh light on Megalosaurus bucklandii, the first dinosaur ever named and described scientifically — thanks to new research from the Universities of Warwick and Oxford, UK. Artist’s impression of how Victorian paleontologists thought Megalosaurus bucklandii looked (right), compared with how we now understand …

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Paleontologists Identify New Pliosaur Species: Luskhan itilensis

A new species of marine reptile from the Cretaceous period has been identified from fossils found on the eroded banks of the Volga River. Artist’s reconstruction of Luskhan itilensis. Image credit: Andrey Atuchin. Pliosaurs, also known as pliosauroids, were a type of short-necked plesiosaur: marine reptiles built for speed compared …

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Extinct Giant Sloths Had Vegetarian Diet, Study Shows

Giant sloths, massive animals that lived in the Americas during the Ice Age, subsisted on an exclusively plant-based diet, according to an isotopic analysis of bones reported in the journal Gondwana Research. Megatherium sloths. Image credit: Robert Bruce Horsfall. Sloths may well rank among the world’s most peculiar animals: with …

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