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View Resource Geological Time Scale

Ride the Web Geological Time Machine at the University of California Museum of Paleontology. Click on an item in the list of 25 geological periods [15 of the 25 periods are available now, the remainder to be completed] and view a page describing each period, its subdivisions, and the life and fossils of that period.
View Resource Tiny Fossil Sheds Light on Mammalian Evolution

In the most recent issue of Science, a team of American and Chinese scientists announced the discovery of the fossil of a tiny shrew-like creature that lived 195 million years ago, 45 million years before previously discovered mammals. Found in 1985 in Yunnan province, China, the fossil was originally believed to be merely a bone fragment because of its small size. It has now been named...
View Resource Unearthing Important Fossils

Over the past several weeks, a flurry of dinosaur and other fossil discoveries have reached the mainstream news. From the two 530-million-year-old fish-like creatures that could be the earliest known vertebrates found in China, to the bones of two dinosaurs in Madagascar that may be the oldest dinosaurs ever found, to the "60-ton giraffe-like creature" (3) found in Oklahoma (called Sauroposeidon...
View Resource Nature: Debates

_Nature_, the prestigious international journal of science, has launched this 'Debates' site "to map out and define the landscape of international scientific controversy." More specifically, this site provides a forum for thinking about, and "discussing" (ex situ), several current scientific topics. The set-up of the site includes a list of monthly topics, moderated by selected experts (a short...
View Resource Bird Fossils

A fossil of a small, feathered animal, Longisquama insignis, that lived approximately 220 million years ago (Ma) in what is now Central Asia, was re-discovered recently in the dusty drawers of a Moscow museum collection. This discovery has rocked the paleontological world because the fossil exhibits feather impressions, making it possibly the world's oldest known bird. Archaeopteryx, thought until...
View Resource Oceans of Kansas

This Website is the labor of love of Mike Everhart, who in 1978 found his first mosasaur, an extinct giant marine reptile that resembles an overgrown crocodile. From that point forward, Everhart devoted his energy to hunting for fossils of marine reptiles, and he now is Adjunct Curator of Paleontology at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History. Oceans of Kansas provides information about life in...
View Resource Newly found bipedal reptile fossil predates dinosaurs by more than 60 million years

The November 3rd edition of the journal Science contains news of the recent discovery of what might be the earliest bipedal reptile. This page from the University of Toronto is an illustrated news release about the discovery. The 290-million-year-old fossil, found in Germany in 1993, looks like an upright lizard approximately 25-30 cm long with forearms and a long tail. The reptile lived before...
View Resource Gobi Desert Fossil Leads to New Interpretation of Ostrich-like Dinosaur

A team of paleontologists working in Cretaceous-aged rocks of the Gobi Desert have unearthed a dinosaur fossil containing a comb-like plate very similar to the filter-feeding structure in a duck's bill. An article by Norell, Makovicky and Currie, published in this week's Nature, describes the finding. The dinosaur, Gallimimus, was a fast-running, largish, beaked creature closely related to...
View Resource Fossils

This Topic in Depth begins with a Web site from the Royal Ontario Museum called Fossils!-Behind the Scenes at the Museum (1). It gives a light-hearted but informative introduction to what fossils are and how they're formed, collected, and identified. Next, the University of California Museum of Paleontology offers the Web site Learning From the Fossil Record (2), which contains several learning...
View Resource Paleontology at the US Geological Survey

"Paleontology, the science which uses fossils to study life in past geologic time, has served an important role in geologic studies at the USGS since its establishment in 1879." The Paleontology at the US Geological Survey Web site contains a broad introduction to the subject and provides links to various products produced by the agency. The Fossil Groups link lets visitors learn about the...
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