Unusual fossil reveals last meal of prehistoric pollinator
12 April 2021
An amber fossil of a Cretaceous beetle has shed some light on the diet of one of the earliest pollinators of flowering plants.
Snappy evolution was behind the success of ancient crocodiles
24 March 2021
New research led by the University of Bristol has revealed that crocodiles once flourished on land and in the oceans as a result of fast evolution.
New study investigates how life on land recovered after “The Great Dying”
17 March 2021
Over the course of Earth’s history, several mass extinction events have destroyed ecosystems, including one that famously wiped out the dinosaurs. But none were as devastating as “The Great Dying,” which took place 252 million years ago during the end of the Permian period.
Younger Tyrannosaurus Rex bites were less ferocious than their adult counterparts
9 March 2021
By closely examining the jaw mechanics of juvenile and adult tyrannosaurids, some of the fiercest dinosaurs to inhabit earth, scientists led by the University of Bristol have uncovered differences in how they bit into their prey.
Cutting-edge analysis of prehistoric teeth sheds new light on the diets of lizards and snakes
3 March 2021
New research has revealed that the diets of early lizards and snakes, which lived alongside dinosaurs around 100 million years ago, were more varied and advanced than previously thought.
Pioneering prehistoric landscape reconstruction reveals early dinosaurs lived on tropical islands
26 February 2021
A new study using leading edge technology has shed surprising light on the ancient habitat where some of the first dinosaurs roamed in the UK around 200 million years ago.
New study unravels Darwin’s ‘abominable mystery’ surrounding origin of flowering plants
28 January 2021
The origin of flowering plants famously puzzled Charles Darwin, who described their sudden appearance in the fossil record from relatively recent geological times as an “abominable mystery”. This mystery has further deepened with an inexplicable discrepancy between the relatively recent fossil record and a much older time of origin of flowering plants estimated using genome data.
Cell death shines a light on the origins of complex life
27 January 2021
Organelles continue to thrive after the cells within which they exist die, a team of University of Bristol scientists have found, overturning previous assumptions that organelles decay too quickly to be fossilised.
Double win for PhD student at major science meet
21 January 2021
A PhD student has scored twice at a major international science conference, winning prizes for best talk and best poster.
Amber-encased fossil shines light on evolution of bioluminescent insects
20 January 2021
Trapped in amber for 100 million years, an exceptionally well-preserved, light-producing beetle sheds light on the diversification of bioluminescent beetles in the Cretaceous period and provides the missing fossil link between fireflies’ living relatives.
All-purpose dinosaur opening reconstructed for the first time
19 January 2021
For the first time ever, a team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, have described in detail a dinosaur’s cloacal or vent – the all-purpose opening used for defecation, urination and breeding.
Wetland methane cycling increased during ancient global warming event
13 January 2021
New research provides a stark warning of the need to address emissions from one of the most potent greenhouse gases - methane.
Research reveals how teeth functioned and evolved in giant mega-sharks
13 January 2021
A pioneering study by University of Bristol researchers finds that the evolution of teeth in the giant prehistoric shark Megalodon and its relatives was a by-product of becoming huge, rather than an adaptation to new feeding habits.
Research explains why crocodiles have changed so little since the age of the dinosaurs
7 January 2021
New research by scientists at the University of Bristol explains how a ‘stop-start’ pattern of evolution, governed by environmental change, could explain why crocodiles have changed so little since the age of the dinosaurs.
Imminent sudden stratospheric warming to occur, bringing increased risk of snow over coming weeks
5 January 2021
A new study, led by researchers at the Universities of Bristol, Exeter and Bath, helps to shed light on the winter weather we may soon have in store following a dramatic meteorological event currently unfolding high above the North Pole.
Study resolves the position of fleas on the tree of life
21 December 2020
A study of more than 1,400 protein-coding genes of fleas has resolved one of the longest standing mysteries in the evolution of insects, reordering their placement in the tree of life and pinpointing who their closest relatives are.
Research reveals unexpected insights into early dinosaur’s brain, eating habits and agility
14 December 2020
A pioneering reconstruction of the brain belonging to one of the earliest dinosaurs to roam the Earth has shed new light on its possible diet and ability to move fast.
Bacteria release climate-damaging carbon from thawing permafrost
10 December 2020
A new study based on scientific sampling of a rusty carbon sink at a permafrost peatland at Sweden has revealed that iron minerals fail to trap organic carbon, a vast source of CO2 and methane not included in global warming forecasts.
Fossil poop shows fishy lunches from 200 million years ago
2 November 2020
A new study of coprolites, fossil poop, shows the detail of food webs in the ancient shallow seas around Bristol in south-west England. One hungry fish ate part of the head of another fish before snipping off the tail of a passing reptile.
Specially-adapted drones gather new data from unexplored volcanoes
30 October 2020
Specially-adapted drones developed by an international team including Bristol scientists have been gathering data from never-before-explored volcanoes that will enable local communities to better forecast future eruptions.