Skull of 340 million year old animal digitally recreated revealing secrets of ancient amphibian
3 August 2021
Researchers from the University of Bristol and University College London have used cutting-edge techniques to digitally reconstruct the skull of one of the earliest limbed animals.
Newly-hatched pterosaurs may have been able to fly
22 July 2021
Newly-hatched pterosaurs may have been able to fly but their flying abilities may have been different from adult pterosaurs, according to a new study.
Sharp size reduction in dinosaurs that changed diet to termites
6 July 2021
Dinosaurs were generally huge, but a new study of the unusual alvarezsaurs show that they reduced in size about 100 million years ago when they became specialised ant-eaters.
Global climate dynamics drove the decline of mastodonts and elephants, new study suggests
1 July 2021
Elephants and their forebears were pushed into wipeout by waves of extreme global environmental change, rather than overhunting by early humans, according to new research.
Dinosaurs were in decline before the end, according to new study
29 June 2021
The death of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago was caused by the impact of a huge asteroid on the Earth. However, palaeontologists have continued to debate whether they were already in decline or not before the impact.
New research reveals remarkable resilience of sea life in the aftermath of mass extinctions
23 June 2021
Pioneering research has shown marine ecosystems can start working again, providing important functions for humans, after being wiped out much sooner than their return to peak biodiversity.
Palaeontologist, infectious disease mathematical modeller, anaesthetist and ecologist receive Queen’s Birthday Honours
12 June 2021
University of Bristol academics Professor Mike Benton, Dr Ellen Brooks Pollock, Professor Tim Cook and Professor Jane Memmott have all received awards in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list which recognises the achievements and service of people across the UK.
Herbivores developed powerful jaws to digest tougher plants following the Mass Extinctions
14 May 2021
The evolution of herbivores is linked to the plants that survived and adapted after the ‘great dying’, when over 90% of the world’s species were wiped out 252 million years ago.
New study sheds light on the deep evolutionary origins of the human smile
6 May 2021
The origins of a pretty smile have long been sought in the fearsome jaws of living sharks which have been considered living fossils reflecting the ancestral condition for vertebrate tooth development and inference of its evolution. However, this view ignores real fossils which more accurately reflect the nature of ancient ancestors.
Unusual fossil reveals last meal of prehistoric pollinator
12 April 2021
An amber fossil of a Cretaceous beetle has shed some light on the diet of one of the earliest pollinators of flowering plants.
Snappy evolution was behind the success of ancient crocodiles
24 March 2021
New research led by the University of Bristol has revealed that crocodiles once flourished on land and in the oceans as a result of fast evolution.
New study investigates how life on land recovered after “The Great Dying”
17 March 2021
Over the course of Earth’s history, several mass extinction events have destroyed ecosystems, including one that famously wiped out the dinosaurs. But none were as devastating as “The Great Dying,” which took place 252 million years ago during the end of the Permian period.
Younger Tyrannosaurus Rex bites were less ferocious than their adult counterparts
9 March 2021
By closely examining the jaw mechanics of juvenile and adult tyrannosaurids, some of the fiercest dinosaurs to inhabit earth, scientists led by the University of Bristol have uncovered differences in how they bit into their prey.
Cutting-edge analysis of prehistoric teeth sheds new light on the diets of lizards and snakes
3 March 2021
New research has revealed that the diets of early lizards and snakes, which lived alongside dinosaurs around 100 million years ago, were more varied and advanced than previously thought.
Pioneering prehistoric landscape reconstruction reveals early dinosaurs lived on tropical islands
26 February 2021
A new study using leading edge technology has shed surprising light on the ancient habitat where some of the first dinosaurs roamed in the UK around 200 million years ago.
New study unravels Darwin’s ‘abominable mystery’ surrounding origin of flowering plants
28 January 2021
The origin of flowering plants famously puzzled Charles Darwin, who described their sudden appearance in the fossil record from relatively recent geological times as an “abominable mystery”. This mystery has further deepened with an inexplicable discrepancy between the relatively recent fossil record and a much older time of origin of flowering plants estimated using genome data.
Cell death shines a light on the origins of complex life
27 January 2021
Organelles continue to thrive after the cells within which they exist die, a team of University of Bristol scientists have found, overturning previous assumptions that organelles decay too quickly to be fossilised.
Double win for PhD student at major science meet
21 January 2021
A PhD student has scored twice at a major international science conference, winning prizes for best talk and best poster.
Amber-encased fossil shines light on evolution of bioluminescent insects
20 January 2021
Trapped in amber for 100 million years, an exceptionally well-preserved, light-producing beetle sheds light on the diversification of bioluminescent beetles in the Cretaceous period and provides the missing fossil link between fireflies’ living relatives.
All-purpose dinosaur opening reconstructed for the first time
19 January 2021
For the first time ever, a team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, have described in detail a dinosaur’s cloacal or vent – the all-purpose opening used for defecation, urination and breeding.