Tagged: fossil

Fossil Lucky Dip from a Lost World - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Jul 10, 2018

I’m lying on a beautiful golden sand beach. The bright sun is beating down upon me. I could be on an isolated, tropical island, if not for the lone giant moa sculpture looming above my head. This sentinel to a lost world stands at the aptly named Old Bones Backpackers at Awamoa, (originally named Te Awa Kōkōmuka), south of Oamaru. Read More

Ancient ancestors of modern baleen whales were toothy not-so-gentle giants - Guest Work

Guest Author May 14, 2018

Felix Georg Marx, Monash University and Robert Ewan Fordyce The largest living whales – including the gigantic 30-metre blue whale – are fast predatory hunters that support their massive bodies by filtering large volumes of tiny prey from cool near-polar waters. They do this using baleen: plates of a tough substance hanging from their upper jaw. Evidence … Read More

Back to the Future in Northland: Fossils illuminate a flight path towards ecosystem restoration - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Apr 18, 2018

Ground control to Major Tom: The otherworldly Herangi Hill at Motu i Pao/Cape Maria van Dieman where Fred found the ancient Moho skull. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Carol. In the pouring rain, surrounded by flowing sand lava and cascading lahars, Fred Brook gingerly walks towards Matt Rayner and me. He’s sliding across a steep sand dune, his hands carefully … Read More

Brows on fleek: Expressive eyebrows in early humans - News

Jean Balchin Apr 11, 2018

There are a number of things about my physical appearance I’m not 100% happy with. I’m pale, covered in freckles and I burn like a crisp on the odd sunny day. But perhaps worst of all is the fact that my eyebrows are virtually non-existent. Unless I carefully pencil them in each morning, my friends and coworkers struggle to ascertain … Read More

Through the looking glass: Fossils reveal a Miocene Wonderland at St Bathans - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Mar 19, 2018

It’s the height of the Central Otago summer – barren, dry and dusty. Driving down the gravel road to St Bathans, we’re travelling back in time, down the rabbit hole to a world long gone. Only ghosts remain of this lost world and that’s what we’ve come here to find. The fossilised bones of a myriad of animals dating back … Read More

A tale of two penguins: Bice and Rosie - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Mar 05, 2018

New Zealand has long been considered the cradle of penguin evolution. But two new fossil discoveries, affectionately known as Bice’s, (pronounced Bee-chee’s), and Rosie’s Penguins, are rewriting early penguin evolution and have taken the world by storm. Move aside Penguins of Madagascar; there are some new and cool kids on the block! But how did we get to this … Read More

A 700,000-year-old fossil find shows the Hobbits’ ancestors were even smaller - Guest Work

Guest Author Jun 09, 2016

By Gerrit (Gert) van den Bergh, University of Wollongong and Adam Brumm, Griffith University It was back in October 2004 when archaeologists first unveiled the partial skeleton of a tiny, small-brained hominin previously unknown to science, now known as Homo floresiensis. These “Hobbit”-like creatures first appeared at Liang Bua cave, on the Indonesian island … Read More

The first fossilised heart ever found in a prehistoric animal - Guest Work

Guest Author Apr 20, 2016

By John Long, Flinders University Palaeontologists and the famous Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz were once in search of the same thing: a heart. But in our case, it was the search for a fossilised heart. And now we’ve found one. A new discovery, announced today in the journal eLife, shows the perfectly preserved 3D … Read More

Monday Macro- Trilobite - Chthonic Wildlife Ramblings

Brendan Moyle Nov 15, 2010

Trilobites first appeared in the geological column in the Cambrian era  (543 to 490 mya). They were an enormously successful group of animals, with some 5000 genera and over 30,000 described species. Many of the trilobites became extinct during the great late Devonian extinction (c 360 mya) . The last of the trilobites became extinct in the even greater Permian-Triassic … Read More