Fossil thought to be missing link between lizards, snakes debunked

The ‘snake with four legs’ is instead a long-bodied marine lizard

Fossil thought to be missing link between lizards, snakes debunkedFilling in the links of the evolutionary chain with a fossil record of a “snake with four legs” connecting lizards and early snakes would be a dream come true for paleontologists. But a specimen formerly thought to fit the bill is not the missing piece of the puzzle, according to a new study led by…

Student helps unearth the story of a 3,000-year-old tragedy

Master’s research reveals clues into the lives of four people who perished in a fire in the late Bronze Age

Student helps unearth the story of a 3,000-year-old tragedyMore than 3,000 years ago, four people were incinerated and crushed in a blazing fire in the south central city of Azekah, Israel. Their remains were trapped in rubble until discovered by Tel Aviv University archeologists in 2012. That’s when Karl Berendt began volunteering at the excavation site as an undergraduate student at the University…

Study sheds new light on how huge carnivorous dinosaurs moved

International study sheds new light on how the huge carnivorous dinosaurs moved, based on fossil evidence of their footprints

Study sheds new light on how huge carnivorous dinosaurs movedNew research by an international team including paleontologists at the University of Alberta and the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum has revealed evidence that juvenile tyrannosaurs were more trim and slender-bodied than their multi-tonne elders, a difference that may have helped them pursue fast-moving prey. “The results suggest that as some tyrannosaurs grew older and…

Newly discovered fossil named after U of A paleontologist

Former grad student discovers new trace fossil and names it in honour of former supervisor Murray Gingras

Newly discovered fossil named after U of A paleontologistA newly discovered trace fossil of an ancient burrow has been named after University of Alberta paleontologist Murray Gingras. The fossil, discovered by a former graduate student, has an important role to play in gauging how salty ancient bodies of water were, putting together a clearer picture of our planet’s past. “One could not find a…

Scientists unearth first baby tyrannosaur fossils ever found

University of Alberta PhD student part of research that sheds new light on how the dinosaurs grew from tiny to titanic size

Scientists unearth first baby tyrannosaur fossils ever foundA University of Alberta student is part of a team of researchers who have just published an in-depth study of a stunning find: the first tyrannosaur embryo fossils ever discovered. The results shed new light on how the iconic dinosaurs grew and developed. “Tyrannosaurs are represented by dozens of skeletons and thousands of isolated bones or partial…

Dinosaur fossil fingers reveal new species

U of A alumnus leads study uncovering a new species of oviraptorid

Dinosaur fossil fingers reveal new speciesA collection of three fossilized bird-like dinosaurs with surprising fingers has resulted in the discovery of an entirely new species by a team led by a University of Alberta alumnus. “This study focuses on a spectacular fossil – a block of three bird-like dinosaurs preserved together,” said Greg Funston, lead author of the study. Funston completed…

Paleontologists identify new species of mosasaur

Paleontologists identify new species of mosasaurA new species of an ancient marine reptile evolved to strike terror into the hearts of the normally safe, fast-swimming fish has been identified by a team of University of Alberta researchers. The discovery sheds light on what it took to survive in highly competitive ecosystems. Gavialimimus almaghribensis, a new type of mosasaur, was catalogued and…