Ancient frog had a belly full of eggs in oldest fossil discovery of its kind

Frogs have a unique distinction among all living land vertebrates. There are over 6,000 living species of frogs known to scientists, as well as countless extinct species — and yet they all contain roughly the same skeletal body plan. While this is convenient in terms of helping experts classify frogs, it also makes it difficult to understand the biology of skin, inner organs and other soft tissues of extinct frog species....

Originally posted on salon.com

Ancient filter-feeding reptile had a freaky similarity with modern whales

An ancient creature known as Hupehsuchus nanchangensis was not a tiny whale, but a person watching it feed could be forgiven if they mistook it for one. This three-foot long reptile was shaped like a chubby miniature whale, but with an elongated trunk, webbed feet and a long, narrow snout. There were no teeth on the inside of that snout, however — instead one would find rows of long strip-like keratin plates....

Originally posted on salon.com

Dolphin ancestors had super weird teeth: A new study on the ‘grandparents of modern dolphins’

British military intelligence revealed earlier this week that Russia has weaponized dolphins to assist in their government’s invasion of Ukraine. They appear to be trained to “counter enemy divers” who may target the country’s main military base in the Black Sea, diligently guarding the port of Sevastopol. These militarized sea mammals are hardly the only cetaceans to make international news in 2023: Millions have watched in awe as orcas have attacked and even sunk ships near Europe....

Originally posted on salon.com