Department of Geological Sciences

Thumbnail image for Identifying the mythical ‘first flower’

Indiana University paleobotanist David Dilcher and colleagues in Europe have identified a 125 million- to 130 million-year-old freshwater plant as one of earliest flowering plants on Earth. The finding, reported  in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, represents a major change in the presumed form of one of the planet’s earliest flowers, known […]

Launching new fossil database

February 24, 2015

Thumbnail image for Launching new fossil database

A groundbreaking resource for scientists launched today to provide the best available data about when groups of plants or animals first evolved — important information for research on topics such as human origins, genomes and the evolution of HIV strains. The Fossil Calibration Database, a free, open-access resource that stores carefully vetted fossil data, is […]

Thumbnail image for Skeleton study sheds new light on how snakes evolved

Research by paleontologists at Indiana University and the University of Nebraska sheds new light on how snakes evolved their elongated, legless bodies. Hox genes, which establish the boundaries of the neck, trunk, lumbar, sacral and tail regions in birds, lizards, crocodiles and mammals, were previously thought to have been disrupted in snakes, resulting in a […]

Thumbnail image for New seismic zones identified by OIINK

Geologists at Indiana University have characterized widespread seismic activity in an area they call the Ste. Genevieve Seismic Zone, suggesting a greater possibility of earthquake effects than was previously recognized in southwestern Illinois and eastern Missouri. The study, in the November/December 2014 issue of Seismological Research Letters, is the first published research to result from […]