Animal Life news stories

New analysis determines ancient polar sea reptile fossil is oldest ever found in Southern Hemisphere
19th June 2024 | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

An international team of scientists has identified the oldest fossil of a sea-going reptile from the Southern Hemisphere—a nothosaur vertebra found on New Zealand’s South Island. 246 million years ago, at the beginning of the Age of Dinosaurs, New Zealand was located on the southern polar coast of a vast super-ocean called Panthalassa.

Are animals conscious? How new research is changing minds
18th June 2024 | | Animal Life, Humans

Charles Darwin enjoys a near god-like status among scientists for his theory of evolution. But his ideas that animals are conscious in the same way humans are have long been shunned. Until now.

Direct evidence found for dairy consumption in the Pyrenees in the earliest stages of the Neolithic
18th June 2024 | Ancient, Animal Life, Humans

A joint study…yields the first direct proof of the consumption and processing of dairy products in the Pyrenees already at the start of the Neolithic period, approximately 7,500 years ago, as well as the consumption of pig. The results lead to doubts about the belief that these products were first used much later in the Pyrenean mountain range.

Universal equation predicts flapping of birds, insects and ancient flying reptiles
11th June 2024 | Animal Life, Humans

The universal equation has been shown to accurately predict the flapping frequency of birds, insects and even long-extinct prehistoric creatures like the flying reptiles, pterosaurs. It even translates to the flapping flippers of swimming creatures like whales and penguins. The study is published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.

Siberia’s ‘mammoth graveyard’ reveals 800-year human interactions with woolly beasts
11th June 2024 | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth, Humans

In the East Siberian Arctic (>70 °N), there is not only evidence of significant woolly mammoth populations, but also how humans interacted with them, the focus of new research in Quaternary Science Reviews.

Wild Elephants Invent Names For One Another in Surprise Sign of Abstract Thinking
11th June 2024 | | Animal Life, Earth

Elephants call out to each other using individual names that they invent for their fellow pachyderms, a study said on Monday.

There’s a Hidden Water Cycle in The Amazon We Barely Know Anything About
10th June 2024 | | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

Earth’s largest remaining tract of tropical rainforest is kept alive by a complex water cycle that we’re only just beginning to understand. Yet our activities are changing it before we can see the full picture, a new report finds.

Origin of freshwater on Earth
5th June 2024 | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

New research led by geologists at Western Australia’s Curtin University provides evidence that fresh water emerged on Earth about 4 billion years ago – half a billion years earlier than previously thought. The study is published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

2,000-year-old rock art, including nearly 140-foot-long snake, may mark ancient territories in Colombia, Venezuela
5th June 2024 | | Ancient, Animal Life, Humans

Archaeologists have fully mapped a series of ancient rock art in Venezuela and Colombia, including the world’s largest monumental engraving, using photography and drone footage. The study was published on Tuesday (June 4) in the journal Antiquity.

Tectonic shifts caused mass extinction after “Cambrian explosion”
4th June 2024 | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

New research published in the journal Science Advances might explain the Earth-shaking processes that led to the end-Cambrian mass extinction.

Novel technique uncovers clues to disappearance of North America’s large mammals 50,000 years ago
4th June 2024 | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth, Humans, Tech

Despite decades of study, this Ice Age mystery remains unsolved. Researchers simply don’t have sufficient evidence at this point to rule out one scenario or the other—or indeed other explanations that have been proposed (e.g. disease, an impact event from a comet, or a combination of factors)… A new work published in Frontiers in Mammal Science set out to address this information deficit.

Astonishing Study Shows Evolution Really Does Repeat Itself
3rd June 2024 | | Animal Life, Earth, Humans

A new study of stick insects suggests that evolution may sometimes repeat itself in a predictable manner, which could help our understanding of how organisms may change in response to selection pressures. The study has been published in Science Advances.

New discovery shows how scales became feathers in dinosaurs
28th May 2024 | Ancient, Animal Life

At some point hundreds of millions of years ago, dinosaur scales evolved into feathers. New research published in Nature Communications might help explain how and when that transition occurred.

First warm-blooded dinosaurs adapted to cool climates
16th May 2024 | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

The first dinosaurs to have a warm-blooded metabolism might have emerged 180 million years ago during the early Jurassic period, according to a new study. New research published in the journal Current Biology might have answered that question.

Sperm Whale Clicks Could Hide a Surprisingly Complex ‘Alphabet’
8th May 2024 | | Animal Life, Humans, Weird

A recent analysis of a sperm whale’s vocalizations suggests variations in ‘clicks’ represent a kind of alphabet that forms the basis of a complex communication system. This research was published in Nature Communications.

This orangutan used a medicinal plant on his face wound
7th May 2024 | | Animal Life, Humans

Researchers have observed a male orangutan treat a wound on his face with a plant that’s also used in human medicine. It’s the first time any wild animal has been seen caring for a wound using a natural substance with known medicinal properties, researchers report May 2 in Scientific Reports.

News stories covering Animal Science, bacterial life, DNA.