The mystery of what kick-started the motion of our earth's massive tectonic plates across its surface has been explained by researchers. Their new model also makes a number of predictions explaining features that have long puzzled the geoscience community.
New studies of ancient DNA are shifting scientists' ideas of how groups of people migrated...
The meteorite impact that spelled doom for the dinosaurs 66 million years ago decimated the...
Conditions on Earth for the first 500 million years after it formed may have been surprisingly similar to the present day, complete with oceans, continents and active crustal plates. This alternate view of Earth’s first geologic eon, called the Hadean, has gained substantial new support from the first detailed comparison of zircon crystals that formed more than 4 billion years ago with those formed contemporaneously in Iceland.
The Asian monsoon already existed 40 million years ago during a period of high atmospheric carbon dioxide and warmer temperatures, reports an international research team. Scientists had thought the climate pattern known as the Asian monsoon began 22 to 25 million years ago as a result of the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalaya Mountains.
Researchers have identified a mechanism by which wrinkles may have formed in ancient rocks. Based on this mechanism, they posit that such fossilized features may be a vestige of microbial presence— in other words, where there are wrinkles, there must have been life.
New sea lamprey studies have shown remarkably conserved gene expression patterns in jawless versus jawed vertebrates. The finding means that the genetic program used by jawed vertebrates— including us— was up and running ages before a vertebrate ever possessed a recognizable face.
Archaeologists slowly digging through a huge 2,300-year-old tomb in northern Greece have uncovered two life-sized marble female statues flanking the entrance to one of three underground chambers.
There is more to Stonehenge than meets a visitor's eye. Researchers have produced digital maps of what's beneath the World Heritage Site, using ground-penetrating radar, high-resolution magnetometers and other techniques to peer deep into the soil beneath the famous stone circle.
In the largest experiment ever undertaken into the manipulative pressures experienced by the hand during stone tool production, researchers found that the non-dominant hand is likely to have played a vital role in the evolution of modern human hand morphology.
Depictions of animals in ancient Egyptian artifacts have helped scientists assemble a detailed record of the large mammals that lived in the Nile Valley over the past 6,000 years. A new analysis of this record shows that species extinctions, probably caused by a drying climate and growing human population in the region, have made the ecosystem progressively less stable.
A well-known biologist once theorized that many roads led to Rome when it comes to two distantly related organisms evolving a similar trait. But, a new paper suggests that when it comes to evolving some traits– especially simple ones– there may be a shared gene, one road, that’s the source.
Australian researchers are working with archaeologists, anthropologists and the Northern Territory's Jawoyn community to chemically analyze ancient rock art and uncover its secrets.
Do all the millions of fossils in museums around the world give a balanced view of the history of life, or is the record too incomplete to be sure? This question was first recognized by Darwin. Methods have been developed to try to identify and correct for bias in the fossil record. Now, research suggests many of these correction methods may actually be misleading.
Most living mammals are active at night, or nocturnal, and many other mammal species are active during twilight conditions. It has long been thought that the transition to nocturnality occurred at about the same time as mammals evolved, around 200 million years ago. But, it turns out that nocturnal activity might have a much older origin among ancient mammal relatives, called synapsids.
An archaeologist is utilizing drone technology to capture details and data from Bronze Age field sites in Armenia. Drones are a good alternative to kites, balloons or sitting in the bucket of a crane with a camera trying to visually document these ancient sites.
A series of lines scratched into rock in a cave near the southwestern tip of Europe could be proof that Neanderthals were more intelligent and creative than previously thought.
About 400 million years ago a group of fish began exploring land and evolved into tetrapods– today's amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Now, researchers have turned to a living fish, called Polypterus, to help show what might have happened when fish first attempted to walk out of the water.
Attaching a stone tip to a wooden spear shaft was a significant innovation for early modern humans living around 500,000 years ago. However, it was also a costly behavior in terms of time and effort to collect, prepare and assemble the spear. The skill was likely to have been passed from generation to generation through social or group learning.
An unusual new fossil discovery of one of the earliest animals on Earth may also provide the oldest evidence of muscle tissue– the bundles of cells that make movement in animals possible.
The Taung Child, South Africa’s premier hominin discovered 90 years ago, never ceases to transform and evolve the search for our collective origins. Now, researchers are casting doubt on theories that Australopithecus africanus shows the same cranial adaptations found in modern human infants and toddlers– in effect disproving current support for the idea that this early hominin shows infant brain development in the prefrontal region.
Divers near a Maltese island have found an ancient ship's cargo that experts say is yielding what could be some of the oldest Phoenician artifacts.
In a study, researchers have presented the first global analysis of genome variation in honeybees. The findings show a surprisingly high level of genetic diversity in honeybees, and indicate that the species most probably originates from Asia, and not from Africa as previously thought.
Humans and Neanderthals may have coexisted in Europe for more than 5,000 years, providing ample time for the two species to meet and mix, according to new research.
Have you ever wondered why we give birth to live young rather than lay eggs? Scientists have pondered this for a long time and answers have come from an unlikely source: some of Australia’s lizards and snakes.
One of the most bizarre-looking fossils ever found— a worm-like creature with legs, spikes and a head difficult to distinguish from its tail— has found its place in the evolutionary Tree of Life, definitively linking it with a group of modern animals for the first time.
Researchers have carried out the biggest ever comparative study of stone tools dating to between 130,000 and 75,000 years ago found in the region between sub-Saharan Africa and Eurasia. They have discovered there are marked differences in the way stone tools were made, reflecting a diversity of cultural traditions.
Researchers have discovered new evidence to suggest that the origins of mummification started in ancient Egypt 1,500 years earlier than previously thought. The findings of an 11-year study push back the origins of a central and vital facet of ancient Egyptian culture by over a millennium.
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