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Paleontology - 04.07.2023
Revelation of the smallest singing cricket in a 100-million-year-old amber fragment from the Charentes region of France
Revelation of the smallest singing cricket in a 100-million-year-old amber fragment from the Charentes region of France
An international scientific team, notably from the Institut de Systématique Évolution et Biodiversité ( ISYEB ), has just identified the smallest species of singing cricket ever described, whether fossil or present-day, in opaque amber from the Cretaceous period (around 100 million years ago - Ma) in the Charentes region of France.

Paleontology - Earth Sciences - 17.10.2022
Neanderthals appear to have been carnivores
Neanderthals appear to have been carnivores
For the first time, zinc isotope ratios in tooth enamel have been analysed with the aim of identifying the diet of a Neanderthal. Other chemical tracers indicate that this individual did not consume the blood of their prey, but ate the bone marrow without consuming the bones. A new study published on october 17th in the journal PNAS , led by a CNRS researcher, has for the first time used zinc isotope analysis to determine the position of Neanderthals in the food chain.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 24.08.2022
Sahelanthropus, the oldest representative of humanity, was indeed bipedal...but that’s not all!
The modalities and date of emergence of bipedalism remain bitterly debated, in particular because of a small number of very old human fossils. Sahelanthropus tchadensis , discovered in 2001 in Chad, is considered to be the oldest representative of the humankind. The shape of its cranium suggests a bipedal station.

Paleontology - 27.06.2022
Australopithecines in South Africa are older than previously thought
Australopithecines in South Africa are older than previously thought
Australopithecus africanus individuals lived at least one million years earlier than previous dating indicated. This is the result from dating a cave deposit from the Sterkfontein site (South Africa), one of the richest in australopithecine remains, where the fossil of Mrs Ples, one of the first complete skulls of this kind of hominin, was discovered in 1947.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 21.02.2022
Balkanatolia: the forgotten continent that sheds light on the evolution of mammals
Balkanatolia: the forgotten continent that sheds light on the evolution of mammals
A team of geologists and palaeontologists has discovered that, some 50 million years ago, there was a low-lying continent separating Europe from Asia that they have named Balkanatolia. Geographical changes 40 to 34 million years ago connected this continent to its two neighbours, paving the way for the replacement of European mammals by Asian mammals.

Paleontology - Environment - 29.06.2021
Decline of dinosaurs under way long before asteroid fell
Decline of dinosaurs under way long before asteroid fell
Ten million years before the well-known asteroid impact that marked the end of the Mesozoic Era, dinosaurs were already in decline. That is the conclusion of the Franco-Anglo-Canadian team led by CNRS researcher Fabien Condamine from the Institute of Evolutionary Science of Montpellier (CNRS / IRD / University of Montpellier), which studied evolutionary trends during the Cretaceous for six major families of dinosaurs, including those of the tyrannosaurs, triceratops, and hadrosaurs.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 18.03.2021
Discovery of a 'winged' shark in the Cretaceous seas
Discovery of a ’winged’ shark in the Cretaceous seas
The fossil of an unusual shark specimen reminiscent of manta rays sheds light on morphological diversity in Cretaceous sharks. This plankton feeder was discovered in Mexico and analysed by an international team of palaeontologists led by a CNRS researcher from Géosciences Rennes 1 (CNRS/University of Rennes 1).

Paleontology - 21.11.2017
World’s longest sauropod dinosaur trackway brought to light
In 2009, the world's largest dinosaur tracks were discovered in the French village of Plagne, in the Jura Mountains. Since then, a series of excavations at the site has uncovered other tracks, sprawling over more than 150 meters. They form the longest sauropod trackway ever to be found. Having compiled and analyzed the collected data, which is published in When sauropod tracks were discovered in the French village of Plagne in 2009 - near Lyon - the news went round the world.