It took decades of struggling with the weather on a small, desolate island off the Antarctic Peninsula. But now, scientists have finally unearthed the heaviest known elasmosaur, an ancient aquatic reptile that swam the seas of the Cretaceous period alongside the dinosaurs. The animal would have weighed as much as 15 tons, and it is…

Decomposing plants and other organisms, buried beneath layers of sediment and rock, have taken millennia to become the carbon-rich deposits we now call fossil fuels. These non-renewable fuels, which include coal, oil, and natural gas, supply about 80 percent of the world’s energy. They provide electricity, heat, and transportation, while also feeding the processes that…

A wealth of ancient remains found by chance on the banks of a river in China are some of the most astoundingly preserved fossils now known on Earth, researchers report today in the journal Science. The 518-million-year-old site, called Qingjiang, joins just a few places around the world where fossil preservation is so extraordinary, it…

About 115 million years ago in what’s now northwest China, a female bird was on the verge of motherhood. But somehow, her life on an ancient lakeshore took a traumatic turn, triggering a pregnancy complication that killed the egg forming inside her and may have even led to her *****. Entombed ever since, this mother…