Q & A

Sun, 2016-11-20

How new species are created is at the core of the theory of evolution. Mammals may be a good example of how sex chromosome change drove major groups apart.

Sun, 2016-11-20

Bony skull ornaments appeared in most rapidly growing species, new research suggests.

The biggest dinosaurs, including famous Tyrannosaurus rex, often sported crests and horns on their heads – and...

Sun, 2016-11-20

We’ve all seen those colorful, life-like illustrations of dinosaurs—T. rex lunging with open jaws, for example, or a giant Brachiosaurus nibbling at prehistoric foliage. But one has to wonder, how accurate are these paintings, really? What...

Sun, 2016-11-20

Everyone is once again asking, “Can we clone dinosaurs?” The answer is easy: No.

But there’s more to the story than just cloning.

Sat, 2016-11-19

Paleontology is the study of the history of life. Scientists who study paleontology are called paleontologists. Paleontologists use fossils to try to figure out three main things about fossils: Identity and origin of the fossil, the fossil’s environment, and what the fossil...

Sat, 2016-11-19

People have been very interested in fossil bones for a very long time. The ancient Chinese thought fossil bones were the bones of magical dragons. The fossil bones were ground up and used as medicine. There are many stories that have come from people trying to explain why...

Sat, 2016-11-19

Fossils are the preserved remains of plants or animals. For such remains to be considered fossils, scientists have decided they have to be over 10,000 years old. There are two main types of fossils, body fossils and trace fossils. Body fossils are the preserved remains of a...

Sat, 2016-11-19

There are many other types of fossils. Compression fossils form when leaves become trapped between layers of sediment (mud, fine sand, or volcanic ash) and get smashed flat. Over time the sediment hardens into rock and the leaves become fossils. This usually happens with...

Sat, 2016-11-19

How do paleontologists figure out a fossil’s age?

It can be difficult to determine the age of fossils (date the fossils). Because fossil bones aren’t made from the right kind of rocks, you can’t really run scientific tests on fossils to determine...

Sat, 2016-11-19

Paleontology may be one of the coolest careers to break into, but it’s far from the easiest.

As Smithsonian Magazine and National Geographic writer Brian Switek laments, while some people develop other interests, quite a few “would-be”...

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