Discovery allows scientists to connect the last major vertebrate group to the tree of life High-definition CT scans of the fossilized skull of a 280 million-year-old fish reveal the origin of chimaeras, a group of cartilaginous fish related to sharks. Analysis of the brain case of Dwykaselachus oosthuizeni , a shark-like fossil from South Africa, shows telltale structures of the brain, major cranial nerves, nostrils and inner ear belonging to modern-day chimaeras. This discovery, published early online in Nature on Jan. 4, allows scientists to firmly anchor chimaeroids—the last major...
An international team of palaeontologists led by UCT's Professor Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan has discovered a way to determine the sex of 125 million-year-old birds.
The most comprehensive assessment of the world’s vertebrates confirms an extinction crisis with one-fifth of species threatened. However, the situation would be worse were it not for current global conservation efforts, according to a study launched at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, CBD, in Nagoya, Japan.
Hollywood has long been dominated by horror movies about the earth being taken over by aliens from outer space, but the real-life colonisation of the planet's oceans by a seemingly unstoppable force might already be taking place.
African bird species could struggle to relocate to survive global warming because natural features of the landscape will limit where they can move to, according to new research published in June in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. As the global climate changes, some land bird species will be forced to move to new habitats, expanding and shifting their natural geographical 'range', in order to maintain suitable living conditions.