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Mammoths, Mastodons Were Not Nomadic

July 22, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Cincinnati | News | Comments

Research shows ancient mammoths and mastodons enjoyed the now-Greater Cincinnati area so much they likely were year-round residents and not nomadic migrants as previously thought. Findings indicate each species kept to separate areas based on availability of favored foods at the southern edge of the Last Glacial Maximum's major ice sheet. 

Cancer Left ‘Footprint’ on Evolution

July 18, 2014 12:00 pm | by Univ. of Oxford | News | Comments

Cancer has left its “footprint” on our evolution, according to a study that examined how the...

Scientists Find Brain of Early Predator

July 17, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Arizona | News | Comments

Paleontologists have identified the exquisitely preserved brain in the fossil of one of the...

Researchers ID Disease in 700-Year-Old Skeleton

July 16, 2014 7:00 am | by American Society for Microbiology | News | Comments

European researchers have recovered a genome of the bacterium Brucella melitensis from a 700-...

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Ancient Chinese Skull Has Neanderthal-like Inner Ear

July 14, 2014 12:00 pm | by Chinese Academy of Sciences | News | Comments

A closer look based on micro-CT scans at a 100,000-year-old human skull that was recovered 35 years ago in China revealed that it had an inner ear formation that was thought only to have occurred in Neanderthals. In comparison, none of the three other archaic human skulls analyzed from different parts of China had this type of inner ear.

Prehistoric ‘Bookkeeping’ Continued After Advent of Writing

July 14, 2014 12:00 pm | by Univ. of Cambridge | News | Comments

An ancient token-based recording system from before the dawn of history was rendered obsolete by the birth of writing, according to popular wisdom. But now, latest excavations show that, in fact, these clay tokens were integral to administrative functions right across the Assyrian empire– millennia after this system was believed to have vanished.

Observatory Sheds Light on Death of First Stars

July 11, 2014 1:15 pm | by ESA | News | Comments

The XMM-Newton observatory has helped to uncover how the Universe’s first stars ended their lives in giant explosions.

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Video Brings Arachnid Back from the Dead

July 11, 2014 7:00 am | by The Univ. of Manchester | Videos | Comments

A stunning video based on fossils of a 410-million-year-old arachnid– one of the first predators on land– recreates the animal walking. Scientists used the fossils– thin slices of rock showing the animal’s cross-section– to work out the range of motion in the limbs of this ancient, extinct early relative of spiders.

Dinos Aren’t Birds’ Great-great-grandparents

July 10, 2014 7:00 am | by Springer | News | Comments

The reexamination of a sparrow-sized fossil from China challenges the commonly held belief that birds evolved from ground-dwelling theropod dinosaurs that gained the ability to fly. The birdlike fossil is actually not a dinosaur, as previously thought, but much rather the remains of a tiny tree-climbing animal that could glide.

Shark Teeth Provide Details of Arctic Climate Change

July 10, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Chicago | News | Comments

A new study shows that some shark species may be able to cope with the rising salinity of Arctic waters that may come with rising temperatures. Roughly 53 to 38 million years ago, the Arctic was similar to a huge temperate forest with brackish water, home to a variety of animal life. A new study of shark teeth taken from a coastal Arctic Ocean site has expanded the understanding of Eocene marine life.

Two CT-scanned Mammoth Calves Reveal Insights

July 9, 2014 12:00 pm | by Univ. of Michigan | Videos | Comments

CT scans of two newborn woolly mammoths recovered from the Siberian Arctic are revealing previously inaccessible details about the early development of prehistoric pachyderms. In addition, the X-ray images show that both creatures died from suffocation after inhaling mud.

Craters May Have Cradled Earth's Early Life

July 9, 2014 7:00 am | by Inside Science News Service, Ker Than | News | Comments

Asteroid and comet impacts could have created refuges for early life on Earth, protecting the first microorganisms from the sun’s harsh rays when the planet still lacked an ozone shield.

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Image of the Week: Technology Preserves Ancient Manuscript

July 8, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Kentucky | News | Comments

An American professor is headed to Lichfield Cathedral in England to digitize the nearly 1,300-year-old St. Chad Gospels. He captured multispectral and historical images of the St. Chad Gospels and rendered the manuscript in 3-D in 2010. However, he recently received a grant to digitize the precious relic using a new technology called Reflectance Transformation Imaging.

Faintest Galaxies Illuminated Early Universe

July 8, 2014 7:00 am | by Georgia Institute of Technology | Videos | Comments

Light from tiny galaxies over 13 billion years ago played a larger role than previously thought in creating the conditions in the universe as we know it today, a new study has found. UV light from stars in these faint dwarf galaxies helped strip interstellar hydrogen of electrons in a process called reionization.

Fossils Unearthed at Construction Site

July 7, 2014 12:00 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Giant teeth from a 40-foot-long shark and portions of what could turn out to be an entire whale skeleton are among the hundreds of fossils being carefully unearthed at a dam construction site in Silicon Valley.

Extinct Human Cousin gave Tibetans Advantage

July 3, 2014 7:00 am | by UC Berkeley | News | Comments

Tibetans were able to adapt to high altitudes thanks to a gene picked up when their ancestors mated with a species of human they helped push to extinction, according to a new report. This is the first time a gene from another species of human has been shown unequivocally to have helped modern humans adapt to their environment.

Study Questions Role of Skin Color in High-latitude Survival

July 1, 2014 7:00 am | by UC San Francisco | News | Comments

The popular idea that Northern Europeans developed light skin to absorb more UV light so they could make more vitamin D– vital for healthy bones and immune function– is questioned by researchers in a new study.

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Ancient Baby Boom Offers Warning

July 1, 2014 7:00 am | by Washington State Univ. | News | Comments

Researchers have sketched out one of the greatest baby booms in North American history, a centuries-long “growth blip” among southwestern Native Americans between 500 and 1300 A.D. Birth rates likely exceeded the highest in the world today. A crash followed, offering a warning sign to the modern world about the dangers of overpopulation.

Study Reveals Evolution of Life’s Operating System

July 1, 2014 7:00 am | by Georgia Institute of Technology | News | Comments

The evolution of the ribosome, a large molecular structure found in the cells of all species, has been revealed in unprecedented detail in a new study.

Fluke May Have Made Life on Land Possible

June 27, 2014 12:00 pm | by Inside Science News Service, Ker Than | News | Comments

Terrestrial animals may owe a special debt to the sun and the moon. It may have been their combined pull on ancient Earth's oceans that helped primitive air-breathing fish gain a toehold on land, new research suggests.

Neanderthals Ate Their Veggies

June 26, 2014 12:00 pm | by MIT, Jennifer Chu | News | Comments

The popular conception of the Neanderthal as a club-wielding carnivore is, well, rather primitive, according to a new study. Instead, our prehistoric cousin may have had a more varied diet that, while heavy on meat, also included plant tissues, such as tubers and nuts.

Cancer is as Old as Multi-cellular Life, Ineradicable

June 25, 2014 7:00 am | by Kiel Univ. | News | Comments

The discovery of a primordial cancer in a primitive animal has led researchers to a sobering conclusion: cancer is as old as multi-cellular life on earth and will probably never be completely eradicated.

Parasite Suggests Technology Promoted Spread of Diseases

June 23, 2014 12:25 pm | by Univ. of Chicago | News | Comments

The discovery of a schistosomiasis parasite egg in a 6,200-year-old grave at a prehistoric town by the Euphrates River in Syria may be the first evidence that agricultural irrigation systems in the Middle East contributed to disease burden.

Few, If Any, Big Impact Craters are Undiscovered on Earth

June 18, 2014 7:00 am | by Purdue Univ. | News | Comments

It is likely that most of the large impact craters on Earth have already been discovered and that others have been erased, according to a new calculation by a pair of graduate students.

Tibet Was Cradle of Evolution for Cold-adapted Mammals

June 13, 2014 12:15 pm | by Chinese Academy of Sciences | News | Comments

A study identifies a newly discovered three- to five-million-year-old Tibetan fox from the Himalayan Mountains as the likely ancestor of the living Arctic fox, lending support to the idea that the evolution of present-day animals of the Arctic region is intimately connected to ancestors that first became adapted for life in cold regions in the high altitude environments of the Tibetan Plateau.

Study Charts Rise, Fall of Prehistoric Penguins

June 12, 2014 2:53 pm | by Univ. of Southampton | News | Comments

A study of how penguin populations have changed over the last 30,000 years has shown that between the last ice age and up to around 1,000 years ago penguin populations benefited from climate warming and retreating ice.

Fossil Pinpoints Origin of Jaws in Vertebrates

June 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Cambridge | Videos | Comments

A major fossil discovery in Canada sheds new light on the development of the earliest vertebrates, including the origin of jaws. This is the first time this feature has been seen so early in the fossil record.

Pangaea’s Mountains Helped Earth Avoid Warming Last Time

June 12, 2014 7:00 am | by European Association of Geochemistry | News | Comments

Geochemists have calculated a huge rise in atmospheric CO2 was only avoided by the formation of a vast mountain range in the middle of the ancient supercontinent, Pangaea.

Seafarers Brought Neolithic Culture, Genes to Europe

June 10, 2014 12:05 pm | by Univ. of Washington | News | Comments

Genetic markers in modern populations indicate the Neolithic migrants who brought farming to Europe traveled from the Levant into Anatolia and then island hopped to Greece via Crete and then to Sicily and north into Southern Europe.

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