Ferns bounced back much faster than other plants after the meteor impact that wiped out the dinosaurs.
Why Did Ferns Persist When All Other Plants Perished?
A strange layer in the fossil record contains evidence that fern populations exploded following the mass extinction that ended the Cretaceous period. Scientists want to know why.
Why Did Ferns Persist When All Other Plants Perished?
Why Did Ferns Persist When All Other Plants Perished?

A strange layer in the fossil record contains evidence that fern populations exploded following the mass extinction that ended the Cretaceous period. Scientists want to know why.

A strange layer in the fossil record contains evidence that fern populations exploded following the mass extinction that ended the Cretaceous period. Scientists want to know why.

dinosaurs
T. rex-like dinosaur head covered in knobby structures
The Dino That Looked T. Rex-y Long Before T. Rex 
Shawna Williams | Jul 7, 2022
Fossil findings shed light on a little-known group of Cretaceous-era beasts—and indicate that the combination of a large head and diminutive arms was no evolutionary fluke.
Illustration of a Tyrannosaurus rex on a rock on a mountain
Most Dinosaurs Were Warm-Blooded After All
Catherine Offord | May 26, 2022
Endothermy was widespread among both avian and non-avian dinosaurs, a study suggests, so the metabolic strategy is unlikely to account for birds’ survival through the mass extinction event that wiped out their dinosaur cousins.
An artistic rendering of a dinosaur fleeing a wall of water
Cretaceous Meteor That Killed Most Life on Earth Hit in Spring
Amanda Heidt | Feb 24, 2022
Researchers determined the season during which the meteor struck by studying the bones of fish excavated from a contentious field site.
Reconstruction of an indeterminate theropod running on lacustrine sediments during low water timespan
Car-Sized, Meat-Eating Dinosaur Could Run Faster Than Usain Bolt
Christie Wilcox | Dec 10, 2021
A new analysis of fossil footprints suggests that the 2-meter-tall, 4- to 5-meter-long carnivores that left them could run nearly 45 kilometers per hour, bolstering the evidence that at least some dinosaurs were speedy, agile hunters.
Caudipteryx Dinosaur Flock stock photo
Paleontologists Find Possible Dinosaur DNA
Chloe Tenn | Oct 26, 2021
A report of preserved fragments of nuclei and chromatin in a fossilized femur of a 125-million-year-old Caudipteryx dinosaur elicits skepticism.
Image of the Day: Tiny Dinosaur
Amy Schleunes | Mar 16, 2020
A roughly 99-million-year-old piece of amber from northern Myanmar contains the skull of what appears to represent the smallest known dinosaur of the Mesozoic era.
Image of the Day: Dinosaur Tracks
Amy Schleunes | Feb 4, 2020
Footprints in southern Africa’s Karoo Basin show mammals and dinosaurs navigating a “land of fire,” as researchers describe the volcanic landscape.
asteroid
New Evidence Points to Asteroid as Cause of Dinosaur Extinction
Amy Schleunes | Jan 17, 2020
Carbon cycle modeling and paleotemperature records argue that an asteroid impact—not volcanic fumes—was the main driver of the dinosaur die-off.
Image of the Day: Shrinking Dinosaurs
Emily Makowski | Jan 3, 2020
As dinosaurs got smaller, their metabolism increased, paving the way for bird evolution.
Image of the Day: Feather Feeders
Emily Makowski | Dec 11, 2019
These ancient insects ate dinosaur feathers during the Cretaceous period.
Trove of Fossils Shows Mammal Evolution after Dino Extinction
Emily Makowski | Oct 25, 2019
The site, Corral Bluffs in Colorado, also reveals how plants evolved and how ecosystems rebounded after the asteroid impact.
Who Owns the ‘Dueling Dinos’? Montana Supreme Court To Decide
Ashley P. Taylor | Jul 11, 2019
The answer has broad implications for paleontology research—and maybe for museum collections, too.
Fossilized Dino Bones Are Home to Diverse Microbial Communities
Catherine Offord | Jun 28, 2019
A study fails to detect ancient proteins among the microbes, adding to the debate about whether peptides can survive tens of millions of years underground.
theropod Ambopteryx longibrachium new dinosaur species paleontology china wings
Image of the Day: Bat-like Wings
Chia-Yi Hou | May 9, 2019
Paleontologists find a fossil of a dinosaur, Ambopteryx longibrachium, with membranous wings, in China.
Suskityrannus hazelae tyrannosauroid paleotology dinosaurs new species
Image of the Day: New Tyrannosauroid
Chia-Yi Hou | May 7, 2019
Fossils of two dinosaur skeletons found in New Mexico are from a species new to science that lived 92 million years ago.
dinosaur wings flapping movement robot robotics model
Image of the Day: Passive Flapping
Chia-Yi Hou | May 3, 2019
A robot model of a winged but flightless dinosaur suggests the dinosaur may have flapped its wings while moving on the ground.
fossil fish chicxulub north dakota asteroid
Animals in North Dakota Died from Chicxulub Asteroid in Mexico
Chia-Yi Hou | Apr 1, 2019
Fossils reveal the quick death of plants and animals from a massive surge of water after the impact 66 million years ago, which is thought to have spelled the demise of dinosaurs.
Image of the Day: Scotty the T. rex
Carolyn Wilke | Mar 25, 2019
The world’s largest T. rex found to date likely weighed nearly 20,000 pounds during its life.
Newly Discovered Ancient Shark Found Alongside Bones of T. rex
Carolyn Wilke | Jan 22, 2019
Galagadon’s tiny teeth look like the spaceships in its namesake video game from the early 1980s.