Early Mammals News
June 29, 2023

Top Headlines

Humans' Ancestors Survived the Asteroid Impact That Killed the Dinosaurs

A Cretaceous origin for placental mammals, the group that includes humans, dogs and bats, has been revealed by in-depth analysis of the fossil record, showing they co-existed with dinosaurs for a short time before the dinosaurs went ...

Megalodon Was No Cold-Blooded Killer

How the megalodon, a shark that went extinct 3.6 million years ago, stayed warm was a matter of speculation among scientists. Using an analysis of tooth fossils from the megalodon and other sharks of the same period, a study suggests the animal was able to maintain a body temperature well above the ...

Lost Giants: New Study Reveals the Abundance Decline of African Megafauna

A groundbreaking new paper focuses on the size and abundance of living and fossil African large mammals, shedding light on the ecological dynamics behind the decline of these iconic creatures. The findings challenge previous assumptions about the causes of megafaunal extinctions in Africa and ...

Dinosaurs Were the First to Take the Perspectives of Others

Understanding that others hold different viewpoints from your own is essential for human sociality. Adopting another person's visual perspective is a complex skill that emerges around the age of two. A new study suggests that this ability first arose in dinosaurs, at least 60 million years before ...

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Woolly Mammoths Evolved Smaller Ears and Woolier Coats Over the 700,000 Years That They Roamed the Siberian Steppes

A team of researchers compared the genomes of woolly mammoths with modern day elephants to find out what made woolly mammoths unique, both as individuals and as a species. The investigators report ...

How the 'Marsupial Sabertooth' Thylacosmilus Saw Its World

A new study investigates how an extinct, carnivorous marsupial relative with canines so large they extended across the top of its skull could hunt effectively despite having wide-set eyes, like a cow ...

Parental Investment May Have Aided Evolution of Larger Brains

A review of evidence from prior research provides new support for the possibility that the evolution of larger brains in some species was enabled through increased energy investment by parents in ...

Fossils Reveal Dinosaurs of Prehistoric Patagonia

A study is providing a glimpse into dinosaur and bird diversity in Patagonia during the Late Cretaceous, just before the non-avian dinosaurs went extinct. The fossils represent the first record of ...

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: How Humans Lost Their Body Hair

Orangutans, mice, and horses are covered with it, but humans aren't. Why we have significantly less body hair than most other mammals has long remained a mystery. But a first-of-its-kind ...

The Other Paleo Diet: Rare Discovery of Dinosaur Remains Preserved With Its Last Meal

Microraptor was an opportunistic predator, feeding on fish, birds, lizards -- and now small mammals. The discovery of a rare fossil reveals the creature was a generalist carnivore in the ancient ...

Increasing Forest Cover in the Eifel Region 11,000 Years Ago Resulted in the Local Loss of Megafauna

Sediment cores obtained from Eifel maar sites provide insight into the presence of large Ice Age mammals in Central Europe over the past 60,000 years: Overkill hypothesis not confirmed. Herds of ...

True Giant Wombat Gives Diprotodon Podium a Wobble

While the Diprotodon -- the extinct megafauna species that is distantly related to wombats but was the size of a small car -- is commonly (but incorrectly) thought of as Australia's 'giant ...

Smilodon's Sabre Teeth

Researchers have tested the biting efficiency of Smilodon, an extinct species of carnivore close to the extant felines. Using high-precision 3D scans and simulation methods, the team has just ...

Dinosaurs Were on the Up Before Asteroid Downfall

Dinosaurs dominated the world right up until a deadly asteroid hit the earth, leading to their mass extinction, some 66 million years ago, a landmark study reveals. Fresh insights into ...

Mammoth Problem With Extinction Timeline

Paleontologists say environmental DNA is not always helpful in identifying when animals like mammoths went extinct because genetic material found in sediment could have come from animals that died ...


The Evolution of Asia's Mammals Was Dictated by Ancient Climate Change and Rising Mountains

A new study compiles data on more than 3,000 species to show how climate and geologic changes across Asia over the last 66 million years have shaped the evolution of the continent's ...

Could South American Volcanoes Have Triggered Whale Extinctions?

Today, increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are warming up the planet. Climate change can disrupt the balance of ecosystems and contribute to endangerment and extinction of some ...

Reign of Papua New Guinea Highland's Megafauna Lasted Long After Humans Arrived

A giant kangaroo that once roamed on four legs through remote forests in the Papua New Guinea Highlands may have survived as recently as 20,000 years ago -- long after large-bodied megafauna on ...

Revealing the Genome of the Common Ancestor of All Mammals

An international team has reconstructed the genome organization of the earliest common ancestor of all mammals. The reconstructed ancestral genome could help in understanding the evolution of mammals ...

Did Primitive Cetaceans Feed Like Marine Reptiles?

Did the first ancestors of whales pick up where the mosasaurs left off 66 million years ago, after the extinction of all the large predatory marine reptiles? A study has looked into the possible ...

Inside the Head of One of Australia's Smallest Fossil Crocs

Approximately 13.5 million years ago, north-west Queensland was home to an unusual and particularly tiny species of crocodile and now scientists are unlocking its ...

Ocean Cooling Over Millennia Led to Larger Fish

To investigate whether paleoclimatic temperature shifts are correlated with body size changes, biologists decided to test this hypothesis using tetraodontiform fishes as a model ...

Nearly a Hundred Genes Have Been Lost During the Woolly Mammoth's Evolution

A new study shows that 87 genes have been affected by deletions or short insertions during the course of the mammoth's evolution. The researchers note that their findings have implications for ...

CT Scanner Captures Entire Woolly Mammoth Tusk

Researchers successfully captured CT images of an entire woolly mammoth tusk. Researchers were able to do a full scan of the tusk in its entirety -- or in toto -- using a newer clinical CT scanner. ...

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