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Paleontology - Life Sciences - 10.08.2023
Study undermines evolutionary rule
Study undermines evolutionary rule
According to Cope's rule, today's animal species are on average larger than older species of the same genus. A large-scale study led by a researcher at the University of Fribourg has just demonstrated that this is not the case in turtles . Paleontologists have noticed that, in the course of their evolution, certain species tend to get bigger and bigger.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 20.07.2023
Coelacanths thrived in Switzerland after a mass extinction
Coelacanths thrived in Switzerland after a mass extinction
Fossils of coelacanth discovered in Ticino reveal the existence of an unexpected diversification after the greatest mass extinction in the history of life. The study of a new species of coelacanth from the Middle Triassic period, with a strange morphology for these fish known as "living fossil", show the formation of several species in a short time, after a mass extinction that occurred 252 million years ago, with more than 80% of marine species disappearing.

Paleontology - 03.07.2023
First evidence of monitor lizards in Switzerland
First evidence of monitor lizards in Switzerland
After a chance discovery in the collection's repository, a Basel researcher provides the first evidence of the existence of monitor lizards in Switzerland. While working in the vertebrate fossil collection at Basel's Natural History Museum, paleontologist Bastien Mennecart's eye was caught by two teeth of a large lizard.

Paleontology - Environment - 14.03.2023
Dwarf and giant species are most at risk of extinction
Dwarf and giant species are most at risk of extinction
Islands are biodiversity hotspots and are home to animal species with unique characteristics, including dwarf specimens, which have evolved to very small sizes compared to their mainland relatives, and giants. An international study now reports that these species are at higher risk of extinction. The findings are supported by software developed by Daniele Silvestro of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB) at the University of Fribourg.