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A 'hunched' male O. gibbosus spider. (Photo: Gilbert Loos, ARABEL-image bank)
23/12/2021

Supergene turns spider into a ‘macho male’

post by
Reinout Verbeke

Biologists from the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences found in a spider species that 'macho males' have an extra set of genes that is lacking in feminized males.

Kryptobaatar sp. from the Upper Cretaceous of Bayan Mandahu. (Photo: RBINS)
02/12/2021

Two primitive mammals that lived at the end of the dinosaur era

post by
Reinout Verbeke

Palaeontologists from the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences have described two primitive mammals from the Upper Cretaceous that lived about 70 million years ago. One was excavated in Inner Mongolia, the other in Romania.

1. Potamotrygon leopoldi (Karelj, Wikimedia Commons)
24/11/2021

170 species named after King Leopold III and Queen Astrid

post by
Reinout Verbeke

Two of our Institute’s taxonomists - biologists specialised in the discovery, description and classification of species - have found 170 species of animals named after King Leopold III and Queen Astrid in our collection and in databases.

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Marine mammals in the Paratethys Sea, which became hypersaline between 13.8 and 13.4 million years ago, developed heavier bones. The core of the bone has far fewer cavities compared to contemporaries from other seas and to current species. (Image: RBINS)
23/11/2021

Marine mammals developed thicker bones as diving weights in super salty sea

post by
Reinout Verbeke

Palaeontologists have discovered that marine mammals developed thicker and heavier bones as an adaptation to a salty inland sea in Central Europe some 13 million years ago.

Scan van fossiele haaienkaak
16/11/2021

360-million-year-old shark jaw discovered in Belgian Ardennes

post by
Reinout Verbeke

A team of researchers, including palaeontologist Sébastien Olive (Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences), has described a 360 million-year-old shark jaw found in the Belgian Ardennes. It is an exceptional find because cartilage almost never fossilizes.

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