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The first known dinosaur tail preserved in a piece of amber was recently discovered by paleontologist Lida Xing while collection samples in Myanmar last year.

Dating back to the mid-Cretaceous Period some 99 million years ago, the roughly apricot-sized piece of amber contains a 1.4-inch appendage of 8 vertebrae unmistakably covered in primitive feathers.

"The more primitive relatives of octopuses had fleshy fins along their bodies. The discovery of three extinct species and new insights to a fourth indicates a little-known family of marsupials, the Palaeothentidae, was diverse and existed over a wide range of South America as ...

The new fossils are so well preserved that they show, like living octopus, that they didn't have these structures." This pushes back the origins of modern octopus by tens of millions of years, and while this is scientifically significant, perhaps the most remarkable thing about these fossils is that they exist at all. "Cretaceous Octopus With Ink And Suckers -- The World's Least Likely Fossils? Octopuses have generally been viewed as solitary creatures -- and their color-changing abilities primarily as a means to hide from hungry predators.

Evolution A little background may be of assistance in trying to understand these fossils.

Nobody really knows, because fossil octopuses are rarer than, well, pretty much any very rare thing you care to mention.

Palaeontology has traditionally proceeded slowly, with individual scientists labouring for years or ...

Fossils of octopuses are by far the most enigmatic and mysterious of all the ancient groups of cephalopods.

Unlike our vertebrate cousins, however, octopuses don't have a well-developed skeleton.

And while this famously allows them to squeeze into spaces that a more robust animal could not, it does create problems for scientists interested in evolutionary history.

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