The rise and fall of ancient walruses, and how modern ones got their tusks, is a story that spans almost 20 million years. And while there are parts of the story that we’re still trying to figure out, it looks like tusks didn’t have anything to do with how or what these animals ate.
All told, the Arctic in the Cretaceous Period was a rough place to live, especially in winter. And yet, the fossils of many kinds of dinosaurs have been discovered there. So how were they able to survive in this harsh environment?
There were a huge number of croc-like animals that flourished during the Triassic Period. Dinosaurs had just arrived on the scene but it was these animals that truly ruled the Earth, becoming both abundant and diverse.
There’s one kind of herpesvirus that’s specific to one species of primate, and each virus split off from the herpesvirus family tree when the primate split off from its own tree. But of course, humans are a special kind of primate.
In the middle of the Cambrian, life on land was about to get a little more crowded. And those newcomers would end up changing the world. The arrival of plants on land would make the world colder, drain much of the oxygen out of the oceans and eventually, it would help cause a massive extinction event.
At a site known as Cerro Ballena or Whale Hill, there are more than 40 skeletons of marine mammals -- a graveyard of ocean life dating back 6.5 million to 9 million years ago, in the Late Miocene Epoch. But the identity of the killer that they finally settled on might surprise you.
We can track our history of eating just about anything back through the fossil record and see the impact it’s had on our evolution. Throughout time, part of the secret to our success as a species has been our early - and sometimes fatal - experimentation with food.
In some places, the rocks below the Great Unconformity are about 1.2 billion years older than those above it. This missing chapter in Earth’s history might be linked to a fracturing supercontinent, out-of-control glaciers, and maybe the diversification of life itself.
We’re still figuring out the details, but most scientists agree that it took thousands of years of interactions to develop our deep bond with dogs. When did they first become domesticated? Where did this happen? And what did the process look like, in terms of genetics and anatomy?
The story of the egg spans millions of years, from the first vertebrates that dared to venture onto land to today’s mammals, including the platypus, and of course birds. Like chickens? We’re here to tell you: The egg came first.