The evolution of herbivores is linked to the plants that survived and adapted after the 'great dying', when over 90% of the world's species were wiped out 252 million years ago.
The wild California condor population dropped to 22 before rescue and captive breeding allowed reintroduction into the wild. A new assembly of the complete genome of the bird reveals some inbreeding as a result, but overall high genomic diversity attesting to large populations of condors in the past, likely in the tens of thousands. Comparison to Andean condor and turkey vulture genomes reveals declines in their populations also, and lower genomic diversity than California condor.
The evolution of ankle and foot bones into different shapes and sizes helped mammals adapt and thrive after the extinction of the dinosaurs, a study suggests.
Researchers report the discovery of several sets of fossilized tracks, likely from the brown bear-sized Coryphodon, that represent the earliest known evidence of mammals gathering near an ocean.
Fossilised footprint tracks, recently discovered within the Hanna Formation in Wyoming, USA, which have been dated to 58 million years ago, may represent the earliest evidence of mammals gathering by the sea, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. Findings suggest that mammals may have first used marine habitats at least 9.4 million years earlier than previously thought, in the late Paleocene (66-56 million years ago), rather than the Eocene (56-33.9 million years ago).
Joslin Diabetes Center scientists have found dramatic differences between gut microbiomes from ancient North American peoples and modern microbiomes, offering new evidence on how these microbes may evolve with different diets.
University of Cincinnati researchers found that a broader diversity of plants in the Arctic 40,000 years ago supported both more -- and more diverse -- big animals like horses, bison and ground sloths. The research could inform conservation of wood bison in Alaska.
A study published in the journal Scientific Reports reveals the genetic structure of the land snail Xerocrassa montserratensis and it provides new scientific tools for the improvement of the conservation of this endemic and threatened species in Catalonia.
Scientists have identified the fossil of a giant mosasaur in Morocco that grew up to 8 metres long.
With a frilled head and beaked face, Menefeeceratops sealeyi lived 82 million years ago, predating its relative, Triceratops.