There are so many fascinating paleontological discoveries that have been taking place month after month. Scientists who work in the field are publishing numerous studies, describing new prehistoric species, and proposing exciting theories on the behavior and biology of a lot of extinct animals.

Recently, Medium came out with a list of the most essential paleontological discoveries of May, as well as updates from this month. Below are five of the most recent greatest finds:

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Science Times - Paleontological Discoveries: Top 5 Finds in May and June
(Photo: Samuel elias perazolii on Wikimedia Commons)
Paleoart of an Australotitan

1. Discovery of the Largest Dinosaur in Australia 

To begin with, there is an amazing find from Australia. Paleontologists from the Queensland and Eromoanga Natural History Museum found a new dinosaur that has been officially identified as the largest ever discovered in the continent, among the biggest worldwide.

Called Australotitan, as explained in CBS News, this dinosaur has been estimated by scientists to have grown to roughly 82 to 98 feet in length and could have reached a two-story house's height.

2. Dinosaurs Dealt with Hotter Summers Than Formerly Approximated

According to a report, a new study led by VUB-AMGC & Utrecht University's Niels de Winter found that dinosaurs needed to deal with hotter summers compared to previously approximated.

Customarily, paleontologists believed that when the world's climate is hotter, as it was during the Cretaceous period, the differences will decrease between the seasons.

This is something that can be observed in today's tropics which experience lower temperature differences between winter and summer.

Nonetheless, the reconstructions of de Winter presented that while the average temperature during the said period was on the rise, the temperature between winter and summer stayed rather constant. This, the lead author said, leads to warmer winters and hotter summers.

3. Dinosaurs Not Just Lived, But Nested in the Arctic, Too

Eurasia Review report said fossils from at least seven types of baby dinosaurs discovered in northernmost Alaska provide firm evidence that they lived the whole year in the Arctic.

The Prince Cree Formation, a commonly-known discovery site, is at latitude 70 and roughly 400 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle.

Also during the Cretaceous period, when North America was placed differently, it was even farther north at either latitude 80 or 85.

Such a discovery is critical to the modern understanding of dinosaurs, and it provides more evidence that at least certain genera had a degree of warm-bloodedness, an important adaptation to survive dark Arctic winters.

4. Tetrapods Occupied Land Later than Earlier Thought 

Last month, a significant study proposed that tetrapods might not have occupied land as soon as earlier thought. The evidence for such a transition onto land in the tetrapod ancestors is very contradictory.

More so, trace fossils considered being made by terrestrial tetrapods certainly date long before the first body fossils of real land vertebrates.

Late tetrapods, as explained in the PLOS ONE journal, were still likely "obligatory aquatic," with the first certainly terrestrial forms only occurring during the Early Carboniferous Period approximately 15 to 20 million years after.

5. Sharks Nearly Went Extinct Millions of Years Ago

The New York Times reported in early June, An interesting study found the initial evidence of a formerly unknown extinction occurrence that took place approximately 19 million years back and wiped out the majority of the shark species that lived in the open oceans.

Such a sudden decline in shark biodiversity in the Miocene period was tremendously dramatic and may have wiped out almost 90 percent of their population. Yet, researchers stay uncertain about what may have led it.

Similar information is shown on Bloomberg Quicktake: Now's YouTube video below:


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