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Fossils News

<em>Changyuraptor yangi</em> is considered the biggest of the four-winged dinosaurs. Illustration by S. Abramowicz/courtesy of the Dinosaur Institute, Natural History Museum.

The Case for Flying Dinosaurs

July 24, 2014

A newly discovered raptorial dinosaur fossil with exceptionally long feathers adds to growing evidence that dinosaurs flew before birds did. An international team of scientists from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles…

USC Dornsife assistant professor Sarah Feakins served as lead author of a study that recently appeared online in <em>Geology</em>. The study provides insights about the development of hominins and the landscape that herbivores (horses, hippos and antelopes) grazed many million years ago. Photo by Dietmar Quistorf.

Bipedaling Toward Truth

January 31, 2013

What came first: the bipedal human ancestor or the grassland encroaching on the forest? A new analysis of vegetation change in the cradle of humanity over the past 12 million years is challenging long-held beliefs about the…

USC Dornsife alumna Sarah Greene, who earned a Ph.D. in geological studies in 2011, and Rowan Martindale, a doctoral candidate in earth sciences, contributed to a recent study that looks at geological records for evidence that mass extinction events may have been caused by ocean acidification.

Earth's Past Is Warning for the Future

March 6, 2012

When the Earth’s carbon dioxide level increased at a rapid rate during the Triassic-Jurassic period 200 million years ago, nearly half the ocean’s marine life became extinct. USC Dornsife geologists contributed to…

USC Dornsife's David Bottjer is searching for clues to the future by examining the past. Photo by Philip Channing.

And the Microbes Shall Inherit the Earth

October 12, 2011

Global warming is not a novel phenomenon, and by studying what happened to the planet during a period of global warming about 250 million years ago, one USC Dornsife scientist hopes to discover what could happen to us this…

The sea cliffs near Lyme Regis, one of the locations in England where a team from the USC College Department of Earth Sciences searched for stromatolites. Photo credit Frank Corsetti.

Stories Set in Stone

January 19, 2011

When four members of the USC College Department of Earth Sciences took a fieldwork expedition to the United Kingdom, they didn’t have to venture out in the middle of nowhere, drive on dirt roads for hours or hike miles…

Center for Chinese Fossil Discoveries

Our Fascination with Dinosaurs and Other Fossils

September 15, 2009

Similar to the fossils they study, it took some time for David Bottjer, professor of earth and biological sciences in USC College, and Luis Chiappe, director and curator of the National History Museum, to establish the…

USC College Paleontologist in Scientific American

USC College Paleontologist in Scientific American

August 1, 2005

David Bottjer writes about the discovery of rare fossils in China By Pamela J. Johnson August 2005 They were the width of a few hairs pressed together, but the microscopic fossils discovered in China were enormous in their…