All Articles with the Category: Paleontology, Paleobiology, Paleoecology

Australia enables UCR to dig into Earth’s wild past

Australian officials signed an agreement last night allowing UC Riverside to continue its pioneering research on a government-owned goldmine for unusual fossils. Nilpena Station is city-sized plot of land in the Australian Outback. It harbors the richest collection on Earth of animal species around 550 million years old. Some of its fossil beds are the...

Slime travelers

"New UC Riverside-led research settles a longstanding debate about whether the most ancient animal communities were deliberately mobile. It turns out they were, because they were hungry. “This is the first time in the fossil record we see an animal moving to get food,” said study lead Scott Evans, a UCR paleontology doctoral candidate. Evans’...

Special journal issue looks for new clues about old life

"Hundreds of millions of years before there was a chicken or an egg to debate, the first complex animals were evolving in parallel with Earth’s rising oxygen levels. But what came first — animals or oxygen? That question is the central theme of a special issue of Emerging Topics in Life Sciences published Sept. 28...

Two New Creatures Discovered from Dawn of Animal Life

"Earth’s first complex animals were an eclectic bunch that lived in the shallow oceans between 580-540 million years ago. The iconic Dickinsonia — large flat animals with a quilt-like appearance — were joined by tube-shaped organisms, frond-like creatures that looked more like plants, and several dozen other varieties already characterized by scientists." Read More

Low Oxygen Levels May Have Delayed Emergence of Animals

"Records of the earliest animals on Earth extend to roughly 700 to 800 million years ago, despite much older traces of microbial life in rocks deposited 3.7 billion years ago. Multiple factors might have contributed to this delay — but not with equal effect and in ways that are often not well understood." Read More

Tracking Life’s Evolution

"How life’s evolution can be tracked using ancient lipid biomarkers preserved in petroleum and rocks is the topic of a free public lecture at the University of California, Riverside. Gordon Love , a professor of biogeochemistry at UC Riverside, will give the hour-long talk starting at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 12, in Room A265, Bourns...

Discovering Missing Body Parts of Ancient Fossils

"Certain specimens of the fossil Dickinsonia are incomplete because ancient currents lifted them from the sea floor, a team of researchers led by paleontologists at the University of California, Riverside has found. Sand then got deposited beneath the lifted portion, the researchers report, strongly suggesting that Dickinsonia was mobile, easily separated from the sea floor...

Why Didn't Animals Appear Sooner in Earth's History?

"Geologists are letting the air out of a nagging mystery about the development of animal life on Earth. Scientists have long speculated as to why animal species didn’t flourish sooner, once sufficient oxygen covered the Earth’s surface. Animals first appeared and began to prosper at the end of the Proterozoic period, about 600 to 700...

Oxygen's Ups and Downs in the Early Atmosphere and Ocean

"Most researchers imagine the initial oxygenation of the ocean and atmosphere to have been something like a staircase, but with steps only going up. The first step, so the story goes, occurred around 2.4 billion years ago, and this, the so-called Great Oxidation Event, has obvious implications for the origins and evolution of the first...

Oldest Organism With Skeleton Discovered in Australia

"A team of paleontologists has discovered the oldest animal with a skeleton. Called Coronacollina acula, the organism is between 560 million and 550 million years old, which places it in the Ediacaran period, before the explosion of life and diversification of organisms took place on Earth in the Cambrian. The finding provides insight into the...

Mary Droser on Teaching Climate Change

*/ "The University of California, Riverside's Mary Droser discusses why she believes teaching climate change to young students is crucial and why, despite abundant research, some people remain skeptical about global warming. In 2010 Droser, a paleontologist, received a NASA grant to develop innovative approaches for communicating climate change science to undergraduates and high school...

UC Riverside Paleontologist Appears on Discovery Channel's "First Life with David Attenborough"

" Mary Droser , a professor of geology and the chair of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of California, Riverside, is one of the scientists featured in “First Life with David Attenborough,” which will air on the Discovery Channel Sunday, Oct. 24, at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. The program documents how...
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