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Paleontology

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 22, 1992 | BRIAN ALEXANDER
If their early predictions and hopes prove correct, paleontologists from the San Diego Natural History Museum may have found the fossil remains of a 5-million-year-old whale at a local construction site. According to museum spokesman Tom Demere, early indications are that the whale remains--now largely encased in a matrix of hard mudstone--are those of a beaked whale. The species is a variety of toothed whale distinguished by beak-like snouts.
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NEWS
July 30, 1991 | DAVAN MAHARAJ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Scientists say they have made some spectacular discoveries among at least 3,000 fossils dug up in northeastern Mission Viejo, including previously unidentified species of whales, crabs and fish. The fossils, experts say, are 10 million to 15 million years old and confirm theories that the shoreline once extended from inland Camp Pendleton northeast to Chino and that Southern California was once a region of tropical temperatures.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 2, 1990 | LEE DYE, TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
Few creatures that roamed what is now Southern California thousands of years ago were a match for the fierce saber-toothed tiger, a predator that dined regularly on animals many times its size. With long, saber-shaped teeth protruding from its upper jaw, the magnificent beast carved its living out of what was then a pine-covered rain forest, long before the Los Angeles Basin became the arid land that it is today.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 2, 1988 | TAMARA JONES, Times Denver Bureau Chief
R obert T. Bakker, a University of Colorado paleontologist, recently discovered that an unusual looking dinosaur skull unearthed in Montana in 1942 had been misidentified as a Gorgosaurus. In fact, Bakker's research showed, the skull was from a previously unknown genus--a Pygmy relative of Tyrannosaurus rex. His discovery also suggests that the skull, at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, may be a link between the gigantic T. rex and modern birds.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 1994 | LYNN FRANEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
They came by the thousands to see him, many just to get his autograph. No, he's not a blockbuster film director or a baseball superstar. Robert Bakker is a paleontologist. He's gained national recognition among dinosaur fanatics by just doing what he's loved since he was 9--learning about those huge creatures who haven't been around for a few million years but who still kindle the human imagination.
NEWS
April 12, 1990 | THOMAS H. MAUGH II, TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
UC Riverside researchers have decoded a gene from a 20-million-year-old magnolia tree, obtaining the first direct evidence about the nature of life in that ancient era, a finding that may shed new light on evolution on Earth, they report today in the journal Nature. The oldest material decoded previously was only 7,000 years old. The new data provides the first precise measurement of the rate at which changes in DNA occur during evolution.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 1998 | DAVID HALDANE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A scientifically significant collection of 10,000 prehistoric animal bones uncovered during construction of an Orange County toll road is about to find a home. Under a plan the Transportation Corridor Agencies unveiled Thursday, 40 of the bones will be exhibited at the Old Courthouse Museum in Santa Ana for the first time next month, and the rest will be turned over to the county for storage and study.
NEWS
January 15, 1990 | CHARLES HILLINGER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Footprints of huge bear dogs--long-limbed grizzly-like beasts with 11-foot strides--as well as three-toed horses and other ancient animals are found on the outskirts of this desert town 130 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The area is covered with other footprints and fossils of camels, pygmy running rhinos, saber-toothed cats and elephant-like animals bigger than cows but smaller than bison.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 7, 1995 | TOM GORMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
THE FOSSILS MINED FROM THE RICH La Brea Tar Pits have played the starring role in defining life in Southern California in the waning Ice Age. But now a contributing role is being cast at a most unlikely site: below onetime onion and wheat fields near Hemet in western Riverside County. Preliminary excavations have uncovered some of the best Ice Age fossils to be discovered west of California's deserts, scientists say.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 16, 1991 | BOB POOL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
There's an unusual catch to one of the most unusual catches in Santa Monica fishing history. Whoever buys the four small fish that are for sale these days at a Main Street shop won't be able to eat them. But the buyer can name them. The fish belong to a previously unknown species believed to have lived 85 million years ago in waters that covered much of what is now the United States. Their fossilized remains were unearthed in a Kansas cow pasture. The fossil is for sale for $20,000.
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