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Fossils

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 29, 1988 | Compiled from Times staff and wire reports
A well-preserved fossil skull found on an island off Santa Cruz, Calif., belongs to one of the smallest baleen whales ever known, and it could help explain why whales have such well-developed hearing, scientists said. The skull and other parts of the small whale, believed to be 12 million to 14 million years old and possibly related to modern toothless whales, were found embedded in a sandstone bluff on Ano Nuevo Island, about 19 miles northwest of Santa Cruz.
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SCIENCE
April 28, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Scientists have identified the Godzilla of fungi, a giant prehistoric fossil that evaded classification for more than a century, U.S. researchers reported Monday in the journal Geology. A chemical analysis has shown that the 20-foot-tall organism with a tree-like trunk was a Prototaxites that became extinct more than 350 million years ago. The giant originally was thought to be a conifer, or a lichen, or algae. "A 20-foot fungus doesn't make any sense," said geophysicist C.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 26, 2001
Researchers from the American Museum of Natural History have unearthed a 130-million-year-old dinosaur covered from head to tail with downy fluff and primitive feathers, above. They report in today's Nature that it is the first dinosaur discovered with its entire body covering intact, providing the best evidence yet that animals developed feathers for warmth before they could fly.
SCIENCE
May 21, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Builders in Cuzco, Peru have found the fossil of a giant armadillo nearly the size of a Volkswagen Beetle, researchers said Thursday. Archeologist Pedro Luna of the National Institute of Culture said the fossil was almost complete and was 6 feet 6 inches long, including the tail, with an average height of 3 feet. "It was an animal that appeared 2 million years before Christ and would have died out 10,000 to 15,000 years BC because of a freeze," Luna said.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 29, 2007 | From the Associated Press
HOUSTON -- After six years of planning and negotiations, and a controversy reverberating through the scientific community, the world's most famous fossil made her debut Tuesday. Lucy, a 3.2 million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis, was unveiled during a media preview at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, where she will be the centerpiece of an exhibit opening Friday.
SCIENCE
April 9, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
The middle-aged woman and the young boy, perhaps her son or simply another member of her tribe, were out hunting on the African plains or maybe looking for water in the midst of a drought when they fell into a sinkhole, dying almost instantly. Shortly thereafter, a monsoon or a flood washed them into a deeper basin, where they were covered with mud and rapidly fossilized. In 2008, nearly 2 million years later, another boy, 9-year-old Matthew Berger, discovered part of their skeletons outside the Malapa cave north of Johannesburg, South Africa, a find that experts have dubbed one of the most important of recent times.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 26, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
Fossil remains of a previously unknown species of whale that lived 2 million to 4 million years ago have been found in the tony seaside neighborhood of La Jolla, officials said Wednesday. The fossils were identified last week by paleontologists as the remains of an extinct type of baleen whale that swam in a huge bay covering what is now Mount Soledad. The remains were unearthed six months ago while construction crews were replacing a drinking water reservoir.
WORLD
October 6, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
Remains of two previously unknown species of 120-million-year-old flying reptiles have been found in northeastern China, an international team of scientists said. The creatures belong to a group of reptiles called pterosaurs, or winged lizards, that previously had been found only in Europe. The fossils were unearthed at Jehol in the west of Liaoning province.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 29, 2010 | By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times
For the crew from a small Bakersfield museum, the trip home from an auction house in Los Angeles was bittersweet. They had managed to retrieve some of the fossils that had been on display at the museum for years, but many others were left behind, out of reach forever. Their two SUVs were packed with what museum supporters could acquire for the $24,000 they'd raised: ancient whale vertebrae, a dolphin skull, teeth from an array of sharks and the four-tusked hippopotamus-like desmostylus ?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 10, 1996 | HOPE HAMASHIGE
The fossils unearthed during construction of Mesa Consolidated Water District's new reservoir will go on permanent display at Orange Coast College and in the lobby of the water district, officials said this week. Though they set no date for the displays, directors of the water district voted Thursday to split the collection between its own headquarters and OCC.
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