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Life Sciences - Paleontology - 06.08.2020
Long Neck Helped Reptile Hunt Underwater
Long Neck Helped Reptile Hunt Underwater
Its neck was three times as long as its torso, but had only thirteen extremely elongated vertebrae: "Tanystropheus", a bizarre giraffe-necked reptile which lived 242 million years ago, is a paleontological absurdity. A new study led by the University of Zurich has now shown that the creature lived in water and was surprisingly adaptable.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 20.05.2020
Prehistoric Giant Fish Was a Suspension Feeder
Prehistoric Giant Fish Was a Suspension Feeder
Scientists from the University of Zurich and the University of Bristol have investigated the jaw mechanics of Titanichthys, a giant armored fish that roamed the seas and oceans of the late Devonian period 380 million years ago. New findings suggest that it fed by swimming through water slowly with its mouth open wide to capture high concentrations of plankton - similar to modern-day basking sharks.

Paleontology - Earth Sciences - 04.11.2016
Herbivorous mammals have bigger bellies
Herbivorous mammals have bigger bellies
The researchers have studied the shape of the ribcage in more than 120 tetrapods - from prehistoric times up to the present day. (Image: UZH) What do enormous dinosaurs have in common with tiny shrews' They are both four-legged vertebrates, otherwise known as tetrapods. In the course of evolution, tetrapods developed various body shapes and sizes - from the mouse to the dinosaur - to adapt to different environments.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 09.08.2016
Origin of the turtle shell lies in digging
Origin of the turtle shell lies in digging
In today's turtles the shell has a key protective function. The animals can withdraw into it and protect themselves against predators.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 06.01.2016
Last meal reflects spiral-shaped intestine
Last meal reflects spiral-shaped intestine
A last meal provides new insights: The fossilized food remains of the extinct predatory fish Saurichthys reflect its spiral-shaped intestine. The spiral valve in fossils from Southern Switzerland is similar to that of sharks and rays. Paleontologists from the University of Zurich have thus closed a gap in the knowledge concerning the evolution of the gastrointestinal tract in vertebrates.