United Kingdom

Will Dunham

Modest insect-munching Madagascar reptile was forerunner to dinosaurs

06 Jul 2020

WASHINGTON Dinosaurs and the flying reptiles called pterosaurs - both known for achieving great size - had humble beginnings, as shown by a diminutive insect-eating reptile from Madagascar that was a forerunner and close relative of both groups.

Prehistoric ochre mining operation found in submerged Mexican caves

03 Jul 2020

WASHINGTON Researchers diving into dark submerged caves on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula have found evidence of an ambitious mining operation starting 12,000 years ago and lasting two millennia for red ochre, an earth mineral pigment prized by prehistoric peoples.

Surviving core of ill-fated Jupiter-like planet spotted near distant star

01 Jul 2020

WASHINGTON A rocky planet 39 times as massive as Earth has been spotted orbiting a distant star at breakneck speed, with astronomers concluding it may be the surviving core of a planet once perhaps larger than Jupiter that was stripped of its gaseous atmosphere.

Planets around nearby star are intriguing candidates for extraterrestrial life

26 Jun 2020

WASHINGTON Up to three planets - potentially rocky like Earth - have been spotted around a star located relatively near our solar system - a planetary system offering astronomers intriguing possibilities in the search for signs of extraterrestrial life.

Bear-sized wombat cousin roamed Australia 25 million years ago

25 Jun 2020

WASHINGTON A powerfully built relative of modern wombats that was the size of a black bear roamed Australia's woodlands about 25 million years ago, possessing shovel-shaped hands and strong forelimbs indicating it was an adept digger, scientists said on Thursday.

Subsurface ocean on Jupiter's moon Europa deemed potentially 'habitable'

24 Jun 2020

WASHINGTON Scientists have figured out how the subsurface ocean on Jupiter's moon Europa may have formed and determined that this vast expanse of water may have been able to support microbial life in the past.

Frigid dwarf planet Pluto may have started out its life as a hothead

24 Jun 2020

(This June 22 story corrects Fahrenheit conversion of surface temperature in parapagrah 6)

Fossils from Mongolia, Argentina show some dinosaurs laid soft-shelled eggs

17 Jun 2020

WASHINGTON Scientists have unearthed the first fossils of soft-shelled eggs laid by dinosaurs - two disparate species from Argentina and Mongolia - in a discovery suggesting that the earliest dinosaurs produced such eggs before some lineages turned to hard shells.

Antarctica's 'deflated football' fossil is world's second-biggest egg

17 Jun 2020

A mysterious 68-million-year-old fossil found on Seymour Island off Antarctica's coast that looked like a deflated football has turned out to be a unique find - the second-largest egg on record and one that may have belonged to a huge marine reptile that lived alongside the dinosaurs.

Tiny 13,500-year-old bird statuette shows origins of Chinese art

10 Jun 2020

WASHINGTON A tiny statuette of a bird carved from burnt bone about 13,500 years ago reveals the origins of Chinese art, embodying a style different from prehistoric three-dimensional artwork by people in other parts of the world, researchers said on Wednesday.

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