A project exploring the role of East Africa in the evolution of modern humans has amassed the largest and most diverse collection of prehistoric bone harpoons ever assembled from the area. The collection offers clues about the behaviour and technology of prehistoric hunter-gatherers.
A tiny sea creature identified from fossils found in China may be the earliest known step on an evolutionary path that eventually led to the emergence of humans
Researchers have identified the first known example of fossilised brain tissue in a dinosaur from Sussex. The tissues resemble those seen in modern crocodiles and birds.
The earliest example of an organism living on land – an early type of fungus – has been identified. The organism, from 440 million years ago, likely kick-started the process of rot and soil formation, which encouraged the later growth and diversification of life on land.
A 520 million-year-old fossilised nervous system – so well-preserved that individually fossilised nerves are visible – is the most complete and best example yet found, and could help unravel how the nervous system evolved in early animals.
Javier Ortega-Hernández (Department of Zoology) discusses what the discovery of the earliest known fossilised nervous system could tell us about evolution.
A new study of 565 million-year-old fossils has identified how some of the first complex organisms on Earth – possibly some of the first animals to exist – reproduced, revealing the origins of our modern marine environment.
A newly-identified species of spike-covered worm with legs, which lived 500 million years ago, was one of the first animals on Earth to develop armour for protection.
Newly-discovered ‘ring of teeth’ helps determine what common ancestor of moulting animals looked like24 Jun 2015
A new analysis of one of the most bizarre-looking fossils ever discovered has definitively sorted its head from its tail, and turned up a previously unknown ring of teeth, which could help answer some of the questions around the early development of moulting animals.
The Cambridge Animal Alphabet series celebrates Cambridge's connections with animals through literature, art, science and society. Here, B is for Bear – found roaming Cambridgeshire 120,000 years ago, on 17th century murals in Madingley Hall, and keeping Lord Byron company at Trinity College.