Animal Life news stories

Scientists find skull of enormous ancient dolphin in Amazon
21st March 2024 | | Ancient, Animal Life

Scientists have discovered the fossilised skull of a giant river dolphin, from a species thought to have fled the ocean and sought refuge in Peru’s Amazonian rivers 16m years ago. The extinct species would have measured up to 3.5 metres long, making it the largest river dolphin ever found. See the study here.

How stem cells might see woolly mammoth de-extinction
18th March 2024 | Ancient, Animal Life

Sometimes, it takes the smallest thing to undertake a mammoth task. That’s what researchers behind the attempts to de-extinct the woolly mammoth are hoping as they announced what they believe to be a step forward in their efforts.

‘They are very well aware of their agency’: Elephant calf burial ritual discovered in India
6th March 2024 | | Animal Life, Weird

Asian elephants bury their calves with their legs poking out of the ground, researchers have observed. The calves were 1 year old or less and were transported to premade burials of sorts — irrigation drains on tea estates in India — by herd members, before being placed in holes and covered in soil. See the study here.

Psilocybin Mushrooms Have Been Growing on Earth Since Dinosaurs Went Extinct
5th March 2024 | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth, Misc.

Psilocybe mushrooms appear to have started producing psilocybin roughly 67 million years ago, right around the dinosaurs’ demise, new research shows.

The Snake Is The Spearhead of Reptile Evolution, But Why?
4th March 2024 | | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

Roughly 128 million years ago, snakes suddenly burst into an abundant existence on Earth, eventually diversifying into the 4,000 or so species we see today. See the research in Science.

UK government can never accept idea nature has rights, delegate tells UN
23rd February 2024 | | Animal Life, Earth, Humans

The dismissal of a concept that has already been recognised in UN declarations and is a fundamental belief of many Indigenous communities was described by critics as shameful, contradictory and undemocratic.

Why is a mushroom growing on a frog? Scientists don’t know, but it sure looks weird
21st February 2024 | | Animal Life, Weird

First ever documented evidence of a fungus, suspected to be a Mycena species, growing on the body of a seemingly healthy frog

Ancient Fossil That Baffled Scientists For Decades Finally Reveals Its True Identity
18th February 2024 | | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth, Weird

It’s called Tridentinosaurus antiquus, excavated in 1931, and considered a truly remarkable find. Dating to 280 million years ago, before the dinosaurs, it was thought to represent one of the oldest lizard fossils ever found…Well, now we know why we’ve never found another fossil like it: that soft tissue, according to a new, painstaking analysis, is not soft tissue at all. It’s paint. The research has been published in Palaeontology.

Pterosaur: Unique flying reptile soared above Isle of Skye Published
6th February 2024 | | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

A unique species of flying reptile, or pterosaur, that lived 168-166 million years ago has been discovered on the Isle of Skye…Scientists were surprised to find a pterosaur from this period off Scotland’s west coast – they were thought to mostly live in China.

Humans walk thanks to change in ape ears 6 million years ago
4th February 2024 | Ancient, Animal Life, Humans

New evidence from the fossilised skulls of a 6-million-year-old ape called Lufengpithecus has revealed important clues about how our quadrupedal ancestors made the transition to walking on two legs. The analysis is published in the journal Innovation.

Antarctica mysteries to be mapped by robot plane
4th February 2024 | | Animal Life, Earth, Humans, Tech

The autonomous plane will map areas of the continent that have been out of bounds to researchers.


Sound makes soil fungi bloom & could restore damaged ecosystems
31st January 2024 | Animal Life, Earth, Weird

A study has found that playing a soundscape to a common, plant-promoting fungus found in soil caused it to grow more rapidly than fungi that weren’t exposed to sound. The novel ‘eco-acoustic’ approach has the potential to restore damaged ecosystems.

Image from: Plogeo (Wiki Commons)



What parrots can teach us about human intelligence
29th January 2024 | | Animal Life, Humans

The birds’ brains and behavior could give clues to the evolution of intelligence.

Hell Chicken Discovery Could Tell Us Just How Doomed The Dinosaurs Were
29th January 2024 | | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

Were dinosaurs already on their way out when an asteroid hit Earth 66 million years ago, ending the Cretaceous, the geologic period that started about 145 million years ago? It’s a question that has vexed paleontologists like us for more than 40 years.

The Forces That Drive Evolution May Not Be as Random as We Thought
20th January 2024 | | Animal Life, Earth, Humans

The random nature of genetic mutation implies evolution is largely unpredictable. But recent research suggests this may not be entirely so, with interactions between genes playing a bigger role than expected in determining how a genome changes.

Where Woolly Mammoths Roamed, Humans Trailed Close Behind
18th January 2024 | | Ancient, Animal Life, Humans

The tale of one female woolly mammoth, written in the layers of her tusk, has shown researchers how the extinct megafauna species moved across Alaska with humans right on their heels…Her life and its connection to human activity have been described in a recent paper published in Science Advances

News stories covering Animal Science, bacterial life, DNA.