Fossil Fischsaurier mit Jungtier

Science News

Our current research

Science News

Here you can find our current research: brand-new information from botany, entomology, paleontology and zoology. The latest research results are briefly presented here and provide an insight into our work as a research museum. Information about our main research topics can be found on the pages of the respective research departments.


Jurassic horror story: Cannibalism in Pachycormus!

Kannibalistischer Pachycormus mit kleinerem Individuum im Inneren des Darms

Jurassic horror story: Cannibalism in Pachycormus!

Despite its gruesome portrayal in Hollywood movies cannibalism (conspecific predation) is surprisingly common as well as widespread in nature. However, direct evidence of cannibalism in fossils is extremely rare. However, they are very important as they help palaeontologists to better understand ancient food webs in extinct ecosystems. Samuel Cooper, palaeontologist at the Natural History Museum in Stuttgart, has now found the first evidence of cannibalism in the Early Jurassic by examining three fossils of the bony fish Pachycormus macropterus.

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Oldest rhynchocephalian in the world comes from Baden-Württemberg

Paläontologe Rainer Schoch, der ein Fossil in der Hand hält in der Sammlung des Naturkundemuseums Stuttgart

Today only one species, the tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) remains of the rhynchocephalians. In the geological past, rhynchocephalians played a more important role and have developed many different forms over time. Paleontologists Dr. Hans-Dieter Sues and Dr. Rainer Schoch have now succeeded in identifying the oldest representative of this group in terms of phylogeny. A comparison with other species now shows that the fossil, which is around 240 million years old, is not only the oldest evidence of this group, but that this new species is also the most primitive member of rhynchocephalia discovered to date.

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