Tag: Africa

Episode 29 – First of the Four-Footed Giant Dinosaurs!

Ledumahadi and the first dinosaur giants The sauropod dinosaurs—the classic long-necks—included the largest land animal species that have ever lived. Throughout the Jurassic and Cretaceous, multiple families of sauropods achieved body masses over 50 tons: greater than any modern elephant and even exceeding the colossal indricothere rhinoceroses. Despite their incredible sizes, the sauropod dinosau …

Filed under: Africa, Giant, Jurassic, South Africa, dinosaur, prosauropod, sauropod

Episode 24 – Dinosaurs and crocodiles in the Land Before Egypt!

Egyptian paleontology has a long and storied history, although much of it is focused on discoveries from the Cenozoic Era. Incredible fossils of early whales, primates, and other mammals have been discovered in Egypt since the beginning of the twentieth century, work that continues to this day. However, fossils from the Age of Reptiles are much harder to come by. Indeed, most of the fossils record …

Filed under: Africa, Cretaceous, Dinosaurs, Egypt, Paleontologists, crocodile, crocodyliform, dinosaur

News Bite: Cosmic rays date ancient human ancestor

Dating fossils might sound like Saturday night for a paleontologist, but it’s serious science! In a new study, a group of physicists and paleontologists teamed up to re-date one of the most complete skeletons of a human relative ever discovered. The skeleton was discovered in a cave in South Africa twenty years ago, but the geology of the cave made it tough to figure out how long ago the animal, n …

Filed under: Africa, Australopithecus, Cenozoic, Fossils, Geology, Hominids, Hominins, Human ancestors, Human evolution, New methods, Paleoanthropology, Paleontology, Paranthropus, Pliocene, Purdue University, South Africa

Quick Bite Field Guide: The Alien Turtle and Ancient Color

Meet Alienochelys selloumi, a giant, snorkel-nosed turtle with powerful, shell-crushing plates in its massive beak! The distant relative of the largest turtle alive today, the leatherback sea turtle, Alienochelys swam the ancient ocean of North Africa at the very end of the Age of Dinosaurs (the Late Cretaceous). It was found in the same rocks as Ocepechelon, the “whale turtle” discussed in our fi …

Filed under: Africa, Cretaceous, Field Guide, Fossils, Functional Morphology, Marine Reptiles, Paleontology, Reptiles, Turtles, ocean, sea turtle

Episode 10 Field Guide: The Hobbit – An Unexpected Discovery

Hobbits! Dragons! Weird elephants and ancient mysteries! It’s the stuff of literary and box office gold. And it turns out it’s the stuff of prehistory, too! In 2004 a group of paleontologists working on the island of Flores, a part of the Indonesian archipelago, discovered the bones of small people in a cave called Liang Bua. The bones represented several individuals that were only 3’ 6” tall (A l …

Filed under: Africa, Asia, Biogeography, Cenozoic, Field Guide, Flores, Fossils, Homo erectus, Human evolution, Indonesia, Lord of the Rings, Mammals, Paleoanthropology, Paleontology, Pleistocene, hobbit, human

Quick Bite Field Guide: Ocepechelon the Whale Turtle

Meet Ocepechlon, one of the strangest turtles to ever paddle the open ocean in our first Past Time Quick Bite! This post is the visual companion to our podcast episode “Quick Bite: Ocepechelon the Whale Turtle.” To listen to the episode you can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, download the episode here, or stream the podcast on your computer or phone by going here. However you listen, brace you …

Filed under: Africa, Cretaceous, Marine, New species, Turtle, ocean, sea turtle

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