from the urls-we-dug-up dept
Though replete with accurate models, well-tested theories and millions of specimens, we’re still a long, long way from having a complete picture of the history of life on earth. New discoveries can still upend everything or point to entire unexplored aspects of our prehistory — and yet, slowly but surely, scientists are building a catalog of all that can be known about living things. Here are some of the latest projects helping to fill in branches on the evolutionary tree:
- After over 60 years known only as the “Tully Monster”, Illinois’ 300-million year old state fossil has finally been identified. Turns out it’s a relative of modern lampreys, and what researchers thought was its gut was actually a proto-backbone. [url]
- Scientists in Chile have genetically altered chickens to grow “dinosaur legs” like their prehistoric ancestors. They aren’t trying to build Jurassic Park, just to better understand how avian dinosaurs evolved into modern birds. [url]
- The world’s oldest land fossil is a fungus that was feeding on something even older. Scientists have long puzzled over its exact role in evolutionary history, but it may have given rise to the first complex-plant-bearing soil. [url]
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