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.

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When stars divide – Oldest fossil brittle star with asexual reproduction

Fossil eines Schlangensterns mit sechs Armen. Die drei Arme der rechten Körperhälfte sind dünner und kürzer als an der linken Körperhälfte.
Fossil of the brittle star Ophiactis hex (Copyright: Günter Schweigert, SMNS)

An international team led by paleontologists Dr Ben Thuy from the National Museum of Natural History Luxembourg and Dr Günter Schweigert from the Natural History Museum Stuttgart has recently described the fossil of a brittle star from the Nusplinger Plattenkalk, which is not only a previously unknown species, but also provides interesting insights into the evolution of asexual reproduction in brittle stars.

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Big eyes, big find – New ichthyosaur species discovered

Digitale Rekonstruktion des Fischsauriers Argovisaurus martafernandezi
Digital reconstruction of Argovisaurus martafernandezi (Copyright: Beat Scheffold)

Named after their most striking feature, their unusually large eyes, the ophthalmosaurs (ancient Greek for "eye lizards") were a group of ichthyosaurs that emerged from the few survivors of the mass extinction at the end of the Triassic period around 201 million years ago. The first representatives of these marine reptiles are known from the Middle Jurassic, around 170 million years ago, from where they developed into the predominant group of ichthyosaurs. A team led by paleontologists Dr. Feiko Miedema and Dr. Erin Maxwell from the Natural History Museum Stuttgart has now discovered a new species that belongs to the earliest species of the ophthalmosaurs.

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