New ostracod species discovered with soft body preserved

Ian Randall | 30 March 2010

Researchers have unearthed a 425 million year old ostracod – with the soft body preserved within its outer shell. The study of the water flea like creature, which belongs to the animal group Crustacea, is published in the latest issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B, as well as in the online journal of the Natural Environment Research Council, Planet Earth.

Pleistocene corals more resilient than thought

Ian Randall | 4 March 2010

A study of fossil corals has provided fresh optimism that reef ecosystems may be better equipped to deal with present day environmental stresses than previously thought. The research, published in the latest issue of Ecology, looked at a time when sea levels had fallen to their lowest known height.

Fossil DNA unlocks history of Polar Bear evolution

Ian Randall | 2 March 2010

Analysis of fossilised DNA from Norway has shown that polar bears evolved rapidly during the late Pleistocene epoch. The study, which represents the oldest mitochondrial genome to be sequenced so far, was compared with modern brown and polar bear specimens.