Questions tagged [palaeontology]

Palaeontology is the study of organisms that lived in prehistoric times.

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Identifying Some Kind Of Fossil

This was found off the coast of Ireland by a friend of mine. The running gag is it's some kind of fetish or totem and should be immediately discarded, but we're interested in whether it's perhaps a ...
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How old would seashells be if I found them 9 ft deep 30 miles from the ocean while digging a pond in North Carolina

This is a picture of some specimens that I found while digging a pond. I'm 30 miles from the coast in Wilmington, North Carolina and dug down about nine feet past the blue clay and hit a layer of ...
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What is the current thinking on the typicality (or otherwise) of fossils as representatives of their species?

Since fossil records represent a tiny percentage of species populations, how do paleontologists determine how typical those specimens are? Is there any research or analysis to determine how the ...
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Is this an imprint of a fossil?

I found this stone in the arizona desert. Sort of far from humans on the side of a Butte
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98 views

Are there any known plesiomorphies of all living mammals relative to a newer trait state in all living reptiles?

If I understand how a "trait" is defined, a turtle's shell is a synapomorphy relative to mammals and the common ancestor of living amniotes. The same would go for a snake's limblessness, etc. But are ...
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The size of the Triceratops specimen Lane in the Houston Museum of Natural Science

In 2012 the Houston Museum of Natural Science published they discovered an almost complete fossil of Triceratops including fossilized skin, see HMNS post, and nicknamed it "Lane". I am interested to ...
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What does it mean for a type of plant to “vegatatively dominate” as opposed to “taxonomically dominate”?

I'm reading Plants and the K-T Boundary, by Douglas Nichols and Kirk Johnson. On page forty-seven the authors write the following: "By the Campanian many floras were vegetatively co-dominated by ...
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53 views

Resources for the study of the environment of Laramidia in the Late Cretaceous

I'm looking for resources (book, web, article, etc.) to learn in detail about the environment of Laramidia in the late Cretaceous, including flora, fauna, landscape, and climate. My goal is to get a ...
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50 views

How did hydrophilic plants become established on an isolated island with an arid coastal zone?

I find unconvincing the existing explanation of how several hydrophilic endemic plants became established at St Helena. This is one of the most isolated islands in the world, has an arid semi-desert ...
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Lystrosaurus was the largest creature on land in the early Triassic, why did they need burrows?

Lystrosaurus was the largest creature on land in the early Triassic, why did they need burrows? What were they hiding from? (less seriously, why were they so ugly?)
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A fish with 3 paired fins

Many species of fish have 2 or 4 fins combined into pairs. But is there a fish with 3 (or even more) paired fins? Or has it ever existed in the past?
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Identifying Fossil

Few days ago I found this stone with fossil near 6 centimeters. Can anyone identifying it. Location: Europe,Bulgaria, Elena
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Examples of species whose extinct common ancestor is well documented?

If we follow the ascendence line of two closely related species we can build a "Theoretical" common ancestor, whose characteristics were inherited with few differences by the offspring. <...
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45 views

Is there more biomass on earth today than there was in the past?

Is there more, (or less) matter on earth sequestered as a part of biological systems than there was at any(arbitrary) time in the past? Edit: I realise I don't have a specific question, and was ...
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46 views

What's this fossil?

I've no experience on the field. The picture below is a gift given to me and I've completely forgotten what was the name of it. I think it was something like "umanite" but I don't know. It was found ...
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392 views

Bite Force of Triceratops

Estimations (or measurements) of bite force is usually conducted for toothy predators like sharks, theropod dinosaurs and crocodiles. For example: Tyrannosaurus had a bite force of about 57 kN (about ...
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872 views

What was the first animal having fur?

Did all early mammals have fur? Is it possible to trace the origins, how early animals with fur looked like and how it evolved?
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73 views

did pteranodons live in colonies?

In one book I read that pteranodons lived in huge colonies. But pteranodon's family in "Dinosaur Train" ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaur_Train ) does not seem to be a part of any colony. So, ...
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75 views

Can the Quarternary Extinction event be linked to the spread of mankind around the world?

Evidence is presented in a variety of media by Paul S. Martin as his 'Overkill hypothesis', particularly in Twilight of the Mammoths. The internet describes this idea as 'controversial.' Other than ...