Archaeopteryx The Berlin specimen of the first bird (Archaeopteryx lithographica) is considered the most famous fossil of the world. It is about 150 million years old and was discovered in limestone deposits in Eichstaett / Bavaria. Archaeopteryx has both characteristics, such as bird flight feathers and leg and reptile features such as a tail bone and the front claws. He is regarded as a kind of transitional form between dinosaurs and birds.
A Lazarus species (or taxon) is "an animal or plant which disappears from the fossil record, presumably because it is extinct, and then reappears. In some cases, an animal which is thought to be totally extinct may be spotted and described alive, sometimes millions of years after the last fossil evidence of the species has vanished.
Most ammonites have coiled shells. The chambered part contains a series of progressively layered chambers. The last chamber is the body chamber. As the ammonite grew, it added new and larger chambers to the opened end of the shell. A thin living tube called a siphuncle passed through the septa, extending from the body to the empty shell chambers. This allowed the ammonite to empty water out of the shell chambers by hyperosmotic active transport process
Tyrannosaurus Rex: Back in 1996, a team of Stanford University scientists determined that T. Rex chomped on its prey with anywhere from 1,500 to 3,000 pounds of force, comparable to a modern alligator, and more recent studies put that figure in the 5,000-pound range. (For purposes of comparison, the average adult human can bite with a force of about 175 pounds).
Leviathan Melvillei, a newly described sperm whale lived between 12 or 13 million years ago. The aptly named leviathan is known only from remains of a jawbone and skull, which is about 75 percent complete. By comparing those fossils, found in southern Peru in Nov 2008, with more complete remains of other species, researchers estim. Leviathan measured bet. 44 and 57 feet in length, slightly smaller than adult male sperm whales of today. The longest of Leviathan’s teeth measure about 14 in.
Lucy’s Species...Not Alone, Fossil Indicates: A 3.4-m-yr-old fossil foot found in Ethiopia seems to settle the long-disputed question if there was only a single line of hominins (species more closely related 2 humans than 2 chimpanzees b/n 4m & 3m yrs ago. Perhaps more importance, scientists report in Nature...the fossil not only belonged to a diff species but evolved a distinctive mode of locomotion...described as “equivocal.” clung to the trees, never adapted to terrestrial mobility…
Radiolaria Polycystinea. Fossilized, ancient single cell organism, from the Barbados Islands, at 1500x magnification. Imaged in low vacuum mode after having received a thin gold coating. (by FEI Company