Recently, a spate of studies by paleontologists have used genomics to delve into the lives of ancient humans. These studies have capitalized on futuristic next generation techniques to reveal the genealogy, travel plans and sex lives of our ancestors.
The brain hidden inside the oldest known Old World monkey skull has been visualized for the...
The saber-toothed cat’s trademark canine teeth grew at a tremendous rate– but appeared later...
An international research team has discovered a milk-and ochre-based paint dating to 49,000...
An international research team has discovered a milk-and ochre-based paint dating to 49,000 years ago that inhabitants of South Africa may have used to adorn themselves with or to decorate stone or wooden slabs.
On June 26, 1498, the Chinese Emperor patented the first toothbrush. It was made from hogback bristles attached to bone or bamboo. While that might sound unhygienic to people with electric toothbrushes, floss and mouthwash, the emperor’s toothbrush was— compared to what came before it— highly advanced.
The Kennewick Man, a 9,000-year-old skeleton, has been the subject of a legal back-and-forth ever since he was dug out of a Washington river in 1996. The Native American groups in the area called him the “Ancient One,” and unsuccessfully fought in court to get him reburied. One week after advanced genetic testing apparently proved their claims, they are getting support from Gov. Jay Inslee.
A new analysis of one of the most bizarre-looking fossils ever discovered has definitively sorted its head from its tail, and turned up a previously unknown “ring of teeth,” which could help answer some of the questions around the early development of molting animals.
The tooth plate of just some millimeters in size had been in a box for more than 40 years, without being recognized after the discovery and preparation of the fish it belonged to. Paleontologists studied the fossil using high energy X-rays, revealing the structure and development of teeth and bones. Their results suggest that teeth originated deeper in the tree of life than we thought.
The Anasazi people of the Southwest remain a mystery, the only clues being the sun-beaten buildings and the bones they left behind in the inhospitable desert. New evidence and testing at the largest Anasazi site in New Mexico is now changing the narrative of how the society came together through the formation of vast trading networks– and specifically through importing exotic macaws for ritual purposes.
In 2002, archeologists discovered the jawbone of a human who lived in Europe about 40,000 years ago. Geneticists have now analyzed ancient DNA from that jawbone and learned that it belonged to a modern human whose recent ancestors included Neanderthals.
Since he was discovered in a river in 1996, Kennewick Man has been one of America’s most wanted. The 8,500-year-old skeleton found in Washington state was fought over by Native American groups, who claimed him and wanted to bury him, and scientists, who said he was of an unknown ethnicity and origin and needed to be scientifically analyzed.
Scientists have provided the first direct experimental evidence for how primordial proteins developed the ability to accelerate the central chemical reaction necessary to synthesize proteins and thus allow life to arise not long after Earth was created.
Researchers have uncovered evidence of food and potential respiratory irritants entrapped in the dental calculus of 400,000-year-old teeth. The study provides direct evidence of what early Paleolithic people ate and the quality of the air they breathed.
The biggest dinosaur fossils steered clear of the tropical latitudes for millions of years, and paleontologists never knew why. A new study claims to have solved the mystery: climate fluctuations, including massive amounts of carbon dioxide and raging wildfires, made the hotter parts of the globe inhospitable to the large sauropods.
Thousands of stone tools from the early Upper Paleolithic, unearthed from a cave in Jordan, reveal clues about how humans may have started organizing into more complex social groups by planning tasks and specializing in different technical skills.
Henricus Martellus, a cartographer of the late 15th century, produced a detailed map of the known world. There is evidence that Christopher Columbus studied this map before his fateful voyage. Today, time has rendered much of the map’s details illegible or invisible. Now, a team is recovering the lost information through a multispectral-imaging project. Their work is yielding discoveries about how the world was viewed over 500 years ago.
Modern Eurasian peoples are, genetically speaking, not more than a couple of thousand years old. It was during the Bronze Age that the last major chapters were written in the story of the genetic past of Europe and central Asia. In a new study, scientists have generated the largest ancient genomic study to date and, in doing so, established how the foundation for modern Eurasia was laid.
Brain-eating cannibals from Papua New Guinea who survived a scourge of brain-eating disease decades ago are now providing some genetic clues about beating as-yet-incurable afflictions, according to a new study.
Dinosaur bones roughly 75 million-years-old show trace amounts of soft tissue, including structures resembling proteins, blood cells and collagen, according to a new study. Eight bones from the Cretaceous period, none of which were particularly well preserved, nonetheless showed the trace tissues when analyzed with an electron microscope and a focused ion beam.
New research is the first to show that methane formation does not occur during the relatively quick fluid circulation process of deep sea vents, despite extraordinarily high hydrogen contents in the waters.
Over geologic time, the work of rain and other processes that chemically dissolve rocks into constituent molecules that wash out to sea can diminish mountains and reshape continents. A new study has revealed that, contrary to expectations, weathering rates over the past 2 million years do not appear to have varied significantly between glacial and interglacial periods.
The National Park Service is beginning to excavate the mouth of an unexplored cave in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Researchers believe it could help broaden our understanding of how the region's climate has changed over thousands of years.
Science predicts, in a series of articles, that the final remaining encounters between indigenous tribes of Peru and Brazil and modern nations are imminent– inevitably leading to “large extinctions of cultures.”
Archeologists have found evidence of an ancient gold trade route between the south-west of the UK and Ireland. The study suggests people were trading gold between the two countries as far back as the early Bronze Age.
A study of ancient rabbit populations at a Baja California site may help scientists better understand how mammals that range from the coast to the interior will respond to climate change. The research found that, at times during the past 10,000 years, cottontails and hares reproduced like rabbits and their numbers surged when the El Niño weather pattern drenched the Pacific Coast with rain.
A 333-million-year-old broken bone is causing fossil scientists to reconsider the evolution of land-dwelling vertebrate animal. Analysis of a fractured and partially healed radius (front-leg bone) from Ossinodus pueri, a large, primitive, four-legged, salamander-like animal, pushes back the date for the origin of demonstrably terrestrial vertebrates by two million years.
A scientist has proposed to his girlfriend near the end of his paper about the discovery of a new horned dinosaur.
On June 4, 1984, scientists cloned the DNA of the quagga— an extinct horse-like striped animal— using a 140-year-old skin. Studying the DNA’s base pairs, scientists found it was a subspecies of zebra from South Africa, not a horse.
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