Tag: Eocene

News Bite: Basilisks in the Old(er) West!

The oldest basilisk lizard from North America, described by Jack Conrad from NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine, shows the 48 million year old animal was part of an ancient lush jungle ecosystem…in the middle of Wyoming. The beautifully preserved skull has important stories to tell about the evolution of the lizards most famous for their ability to scamper across the water, but it also reveals …

Filed under: Biogeography, Climate Change, Eocene, Eocsystem, Fossils, Lizards, Reptiles, Wyoming, herpetology

Arctic Alligators!

After an exciting summer looking for fossils in Wyoming and New Mexico, Matt and Adam are back in action with a Past Time Video! Adam is pretty excited about a study based on fossils from the far northwest of Canada, but Matt thinks Adam is losing his touch and is a little too excited about a handful of scrappy fossils. It turns out the scraps are key to unraveling the complicated history of allig …

Filed under: Alligators, Arctic, Bering Land Bridge, Beringia, Biogeography, Bowfin, Canada, Crocodiles, Eocene, Fish, Fossils, Gar, Mammoth, Northwest Territories, Paleobotany, Paleogene, Pike, Pleistocene, Pollen

Quick Bite Field Guide: Weird Whales and Swimming Sloths

Marine mammals are fascinating beasts and the subject of our latest Quick Bite episode! Whales, manatees, seals, otters…they’ve all gone back to the water and evolved all kinds of spectacular adaptations to making a living in a soggy setting. Toothed whales evolved an ability to “see” the underwater world around them using echolocation – basically sonar – to track prey with high-pitched sounds a …

Filed under: Cenozoic, Eocene, Field Guide, Fossils, Functional Morphology, Marine, Podcast, South America, dolphin, echolocation, marine biology, ocean, porpoise, sloth, whale

Quick Bite Field Guide: Terror Bird or Gentle Giant?

50 million-years ago, the heir to Tyrannosaurus stalked the forests of ancient Europe and North America, snapping up the tiny ancestors of horses, cows, and wolves in its colossal meat-cleaving beak. Gastornis was a six-foot-tall, flightless bird and the king of the food chain…or that’s what we thought. For decades paleontologists looked at the huge, parrot-like head and thought the giant bird m …

Filed under: Birds, Cenozoic, Comparative Anatomy, Ecology, Eocene, Field Guide, Fossils, Herbivory

Episode 7 Field Guide: Walking through Whale Evolution

Whales are spectacularly specialized mammals that seem perfectly adapted to their marine habitat. Plenty of other mammals have gone back to the water, but whales take it to a whole new level. No back legs, weird ear bones, nose on top of the head. What could the land-based ancestor of whales have possibly looked like? Is there a fossil record of walking whales? In this episode we discover whales b …

Filed under: Cenozoic, Eocene, Field Guide, Locomotion, Mammals, anatomy, hippo, whale

Episode 6 Field Guide: Tiny Horses, Galloping Crocs, and Fossilized Jungles

Fossils can be pretty scrappy. The best, most complete stuff is usually put on display at museums and photographed for books and websites, but a vast majority of material collected by paleontologists are fragments: slivers of teeth, fragments of shells, and splinters of bone. Paleontologists are trained to glean as much as they can from the patchy record, but the fragments can still leave a lot of …

Filed under: Archaeopterygx, Cenozoic, China, Ecology, Eocene, Germany, Mammals, Messel, UNESCO, bat, bird, crocodile, ecosystem, feather, horse, jungle, pterosaur, reptile, snake

Subscribe to the Past Time Podcast on iTunes

Follow Us

Dig Us On Twitter