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Dinosaur relative

Paul Rincon

Science editor, BBC News website

A new fossil suggests an early relative of dinosaurs had some features we associate today with crocodiles and alligators.

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Nick Fraser on Triassic reptiles

Nick Fraser tells Jim Al-Khalili about some extraordinary fossil finds.

Nick Fraser regularly travels back in time (at least in his mind) to the Triassic, a crazily inventive period in our evolutionary history that started 250 million years ago. Wherever there are ancient Triassic creatures buried underground, Nick is never far behind; and his 'fossil first' approach to life has been richly rewarded. In 2002, he unearthed a new species of gliding reptile in Virginia, USA. Last year in southern China, he identified the remains of a creature so utterly odd that the paleontologists who studied this species before him had got it all wrong. And earlier this year he was part of a tiny but hugely exciting discovery much closer to home, hidden in the Scottish borders in rocks that are over 350 million years old: an ancient amphibian, imaginatively named Tiny, that is the earliest known example of an animal with a backbone to live on land. It may even have had five fingers. Producer: Anna Buckley.

X-ray tomographic picture (false colours) of fossil thread-like red algae

Helen Briggs

BBC Environment correspondent

The origins of plants may go back hundreds of millions of years earlier than previously thought, according to fossil evidence.

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