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  • Study reconstructs Neandertal ribcage, offers new clues to ancient human anatomy

    11/02/2018 10:57:55 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 24 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | October 30, 2018 | Kim Eckart, University of Washington
    An international team of scientists has completed the first 3D virtual reconstruction of the ribcage of the most complete Neandertal skeleton unearthed to date, potentially shedding new light on how this ancient human moved and breathed. The team, which included researchers from universities in Spain, Israel, and the United States, including the University of Washington, focused on the thorax -- the area of the body containing the rib cage and upper spine, which forms a cavity to house the heart and lungs. Using CT scans of fossils from an approximately 60,000-year-old male skeleton known as Kebara 2, researchers were able...
  • We Always Thought This Dinosaur Was a Vegetarian, Then We Found Its Front Teeth

    10/30/2018 2:21:36 AM PDT · by vannrox · 23 replies
    atlasobscura ^ | 26OCT18 | Matthew Taub
    We now know what the missing teeth would have looked like at the front of this jaw. Eden, Janine and Jim/CC BY 2.0Until this week, Pachycephalosaurus seemed like a friendly neighborhood herbivore. The scariest thing about these dinosaurs, which have been frequently depicted placidly munching on greenery, was the unique architecture of their skulls: domed, sloping, pointy around the edges, and 10 inches thick. They might have butted heads, but that didn’t make them seem dangerous, exactly.But now, new research presented at a Society of Vertebrate Paleontology conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, raises the specter that Pachycephalosaurus was a...
  • The Grand Canyon’s Oldest Footprints Are 310 Million Years Old

    10/29/2018 12:57:38 PM PDT · by ETL · 43 replies ^ | October 26, 2018 | Meilan Solly
    The 28 footprints capture an early reptile-like creature’s unusual diagonal gait (Courtesy of Stephen Rowland) Some 310 million years ago, a reptile-like creature with an unusual gait roamed the sandy expanses of the Grand Canyon, leaving a trail of 28 footprints that can still be seen today. As Michael Greshko reports for National Geographic, these unusually well-preserved markers represent the national park’s oldest footfalls—and, if additional analysis links the early reptile to one that left a similar set of prints in Scotland roughly 299 million years ago, the tracks may even earn the distinction of being the oldest of their...
  • Neanderthal-like features in 450,000-year-old fossil teeth from the Italian Peninsula

    10/13/2018 4:10:00 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 26 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | October 3, 2018 | PLOS
    Zanolli and colleagues examined dental remains from the sites of Fontana Fanuccio, located 50km southeast of Rome, and Visogliano, located 18km northwest of Trieste. At around 450,000 years old, these teeth join a very short list of fossil human remains from Middle Pleistocene Europe. Using micro-CT scanning and detailed morphological analyses, the authors examined the shape and arrangement of tooth tissues and compared them with teeth of other human species. They found that the teeth of both sites share similarities with Neanderthals and are distinct from modern humans. There has been much debate over the identities and relationships of Middle...
  • 85 million-year-old sea monster found in Kansas

    10/13/2018 12:14:35 PM PDT · by ETL · 18 replies ^ | Oct 12, 2018 | Chris Ciaccia
    Popularized in the hit movie "Jurassic World," the mosasaur has come back to life after an 85 million-year-old fossil of a newborn creature was discovered in Kansas. A "neonate-sized Tylosaurus specimen" (a type of mosasaur), has been identified and examined, with researchers looking at broken bones, including its snout, braincase and upper jaw. "Despite its small size, a suite of cranial characters diagnoses FHSM VP-14845 [the fossil's identification] as a species of Tylosaurus, including the elongate basisphenoid morphology," the study's abstract reads. The creature, which could grow up to 42 feet when it reached adulthood, had an "estimated skull length...
  • Scary 'Dynamoterror' dinosaur discovered

    10/10/2018 9:53:37 AM PDT · by ETL · 36 replies ^ | Oct 10, 2018 | Chris Ciaccia | Fox News
    The Tyrannosaurus rex may be among the most well-known and terrifying dinosaurs to walk the Earth, but a newly discovered relative may have been even scarier. Dynamoterror dynastes, a variant of T. rex, was discovered in New Mexico in 2012 by a team of researchers, led by  Western Science Center paleontologist Andrew McDonald. It has a slightly different bone structure compared to its successor cousin. "Despite fragmentation of much of the axial and appendicular skeleton prior to discovery, the frontals, a metacarpal, and two pedal phalanges are well-preserved," the study's abstract reads. "The frontals exhibit an unambiguous autapomorphy and a second potential...
  • Grisly discovery: Bones reveal Neanderthal child was eaten by large bird

    10/09/2018 4:16:15 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 47 replies ^ | 10/09/2018 | James Rogers
    Tiny holes in the bones indicate that they passed through a large bird’s digestive system, according to Professor Pawel Valde-Nowak of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. It’s not clear, however, whether the bird attacked and ate the young Neanderthal or scavenged the remains of a dead child. Believed to be about 115,000 years old, the bones are the oldest human remains ever discovered in Poland. Experts from the Jagiellonian University and Washington University in St. Louis confirmed that the remains are digital bones from a child’s hand. The Archaeological Museum of Krakow and the Polish Academy of Sciences also participated...
  • New Jurassic Sauropodomorph Dinosaur Unveiled

    10/01/2018 9:50:37 AM PDT · by ETL · 26 replies ^ | Oct 1, 2018 | News Staff / Source
    Named Ledumahadi mafube, the new dinosaur species weighed 12 tons, stood about 13 feet high at the hips, and is one of the closest relatives of sauropod dinosaurs. Sauropods, weighing up to 60 tons, include well-known species like Brontosaurus. They ate plants and stood on four legs, with a posture like modern elephants.Ledumahadi mafube evolved its giant size independently from sauropods.“It shows us that even as far back as 200 million years ago, these animals had already become the largest vertebrates to ever walk the Earth,” said Professor Jonah Choiniere, a researcher in the Evolutionary Studies Institute at the University...
  • Half-a-billion-year-old fossil offers new clues to how life exploded on sea floor

    09/15/2018 11:10:54 AM PDT · by Simon Green · 20 replies
    University of Oxford ^ | 09/14/18 | Ruth Abrahams
    Stephen Pates, a researcher from Oxford University’s Department of Zoology, has uncovered secrets from the ancient oceans. With Dr Rudy Lerosey-Aubril from New England University (Australia), he meticulously re-examined fossil material collected over 25 years ago from the mountains of Utah, USA. The research, published in a new study in Nature Communications, reveals further evidence of the great complexity of the oldest animal ecosystems. Twenty hours of work with a needle on the specimen while submerged underwater exposed numerous, delicate microscopic hair-like structures known as setae. This revelation of a frontal appendage with fine filtering setae has allowed researchers to...
  • Stone tools reveal modern human-like gripping capabilities 500,000 years ago

    08/21/2018 3:03:11 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 37 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | August 20, 2018 | University of Kent
    Research carried out at the University of Kent demonstrates that a technique used to produce stone tools that were first found half a million years ago is likely to have needed a modern human-like hand... This research is the first to link a stone tool production technique known as 'platform preparation' to the biology of human hands. Demonstrating that without the ability to perform highly forceful precision grips, our ancestors would not have been able to produce advanced types of stone tool like spear points. The technique involves preparing a striking area on a tool to remove specific stone flakes...
  • Laziness May Have Contributed to the Decline of Homo Erectus

    08/16/2018 6:43:20 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 60 replies
    Smithsonian ^ | August 13, 2018 | Meilan Solly
    The next time you feel like taking the path of least resistance, consider the fate of humankind's ancestral predecessor, Homo erectus: According to the authors of a new study published in PloS One, laziness may have precipitated the early humans' extinction, leaving them unable -- and unwilling -- to adapt to changing environments... The team found that H. erectus tended to pursue "least-effort strategies" when crafting tools and collecting resources, even sticking to one generic tool for most activities. In a statement, lead author Ceri Shipton, an archaeologist at ANU, notes that the primitive peoples "really don't seem to have...
  • Florida construction workers unearth prehistoric bone fragment, likely from mammoth

    08/12/2018 10:53:25 AM PDT · by ETL · 39 replies ^ | Aug 11, 2018 | Madeline Farber
    A construction crew in Cape Coral, Fla., in June discovered what is believed to be a bone fragment from a mastodon or mammoth, a report released Friday said.  The fragment was discovered underground by  crews working on the city’s utilities expansion project, The Fort Myers News-Press reported. It is believed to be a part of the animal’s humerus bone, according to The Cape Coral Daily Breeze.  It is not entirely clear how old the find is; The News-Press reported it could be more than two million years old, while NBC2 put it at somewhere between 12,000 and 250,000 years. What’s more, archaeologists think there could...
  • Inexplicable Species and the Theory of Evolution

    08/09/2018 11:40:34 AM PDT · by Heartlander · 76 replies
    Evolution News ^ | August 8, 2018 | Geoffrey Simmons
    Inexplicable Species and the Theory of Evolution Editor’s note: We were delighted recently to introduce a new series, “Modernizing Darwin,” cross-posted at, by Geoffrey Simmons, MD. The first post is here. Dr. Simmons is the author of What Darwin Didn’t Know and Billions of Missing Links. He is a Fellow with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture.Man has been searching for fossils, or stumbling upon them, for millennia. The ancient Greeks and Romans saw the fossilized bones of giant creatures as proof that horrible monsters once walked the land or swam in the seas. Darwin utilized fossils to...
  • Worms frozen in permafrost for 42,000 years have come back to life and are eating

    07/27/2018 7:22:03 AM PDT · by Heartlander · 55 replies
    Slash Gear ^ | Jul 27, 2018 | Shane McGlaun
    Worms frozen in permafrost for 42,000 years have come back to life and are eating Shane McGlaun - Jul 27, 2018 Scientists have made a discovery that is quite mind-blowing. Roundworms found in the permafrost in two areas of Siberia have come back to life in Petri dishes. These worms had been frozen in the permafrost for tens of thousands of years, since the Pleistocene age. Scientists working on the research say that 300 prehistoric worms were analyzed and that these two were shown to contain viable nematodes.The nematodes showed signs of life after being defrosted. Scientists say the worms...
  • Eye evolution came easy for simple sea creatures

    07/23/2018 7:13:55 PM PDT · by Simon Green · 15 replies
    Nature ^ | 07/20/18
    Jellyfish and their kin have no brains and make do with rudimentary nervous systems. But an analysis now shows that these simple sea creatures evolved eyes multiple times, transforming basic precursor cells into a wide range of useful visual systems. Using DNA sequences, Natasha Picciani and Todd Oakley at the University of California, Santa Barbara, created an evolutionary tree of Cnidaria, the large grouping — or phylum — that includes jellyfish, sea anemones and corals. They then incorporated information about the species’ light-sensing abilities. The team found that the common ancestor of today’s cnidarians could probably detect light and dark,...
  • Is Darwin Still Relevant?

    07/25/2018 2:07:56 PM PDT · by Heartlander · 59 replies
    Evolution News ^ | July 23, 2018 | Geoffrey Simmons
    Is Darwin Still Relevant? Geoffrey Simmons Editor’s note: We are delighted to introduce a new series, “Modernizing Darwin,” cross-posted at, by Geoffrey Simmons, MD. Dr. Simmons is the author of What Darwin Didn’t Know and Billions of Missing Links. He is a Fellow with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture.During Charles Darwin’s time, many educated people still believed in spontaneous generation, meaning that living beings can emerge from non-living things. Maggots arose from rotting meat, amphibians grew from flooded soils, and rats were created by decomposing garbage. In addition, birds were thought to fly to the moon for...
  • Ken Ham Auctions Authentic Photo Of His Great-Great-Grandfather Riding Triceratops

    07/15/2018 4:18:04 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 23 replies
    The Babylon Bee ^ | July 13, 2017
    PETERSBURG, KY – As part of a fundraiser for his Creation Museum and Ark Encounter theme park, Answers in Genesis CEO Ken Ham is auctioning an original photograph of his great-great-grandfather riding atop a live dinosaur, sources confirmed.
  • Study: Fossil fuels contribute to 'petro-masculinity

    07/10/2018 11:19:01 AM PDT · by rktman · 73 replies ^ | 7/6/2018 | Toni Airaksinen
    (CAMPUS REFORM) — A feminist professor at Virginia Tech University is warning that fossil fuels are contributing to a warped sense of “masculine identity” and “authoritarianism” among men. Cara Daggett, who teaches classes on politics and global security at Virginia Tech, penned her criticism of petro-masculinity in an essay “Petro-masculinity: Fossil Fuels and Authoritarian Desire” for the most recent issue of Millennium: Journal of International Studies. Writing in response to the 2016 election, Daggett coins the term “petro-masculinity” to describe what she sees as a convergence of “climate change, a threatened fossil fuel system, and an increasingly fragile Western hypermasculinity.”
  • 3 million-year-old toddler could climb trees, study says

    07/08/2018 5:20:41 PM PDT · by ETL · 47 replies ^ | July 6, 2018 | Kimberly Hickok
    More than 3 million years ago, our adult human ancestors were walking on two feet and didn't have the option of a fashionable baby sling to carry their kids around in. Instead, Australopithecus afarensis toddlers had a special grasping toe that helped them hold on to their mothers and escape into the trees, reports a study published July 4 in Science Advances. The evidence comes from DIK-1-1 — a relatively complete 3.3 million-year-old skeleton of a 2.5- to 3-year-old female Australopithecus afarensisdiscovered in Dikika, Ethiopia. The skeleton, nicknamed Selam — after the word for peace in Ethiopia's official language of...
  • A Collision in Space 466 Million Years Ago Is Still Hurling Asteroids at Earth

    07/05/2018 9:49:34 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 35 replies
    ScienceAlert ^ | January 26, 2017 | Josh Hrala
    Astronomers have found that the majority of meteorites that regularly fall into Earth's atmosphere today are the result of an asteroid collision that took place 466 million years ago. Using chemical analysis from rock samples around the world, the team discovered that before that colossal collision, Earth experienced impacts from many different types of meteorite, meaning that our planet's history with meteorites is far more complex than we thought. After examining the chemical makeup of these chrome-spinels, the team found that 34 percent of the pre-collision micrometeorites were primitive achondrites, a type of meteorite that only makes up 0.45 percent...