Paleontology & Archeology articlesSpider blood found in 20 million year old fossil
A scientist from the University of Manchester has discovered the first identified droplets of spider blood in a piece of amber up to 20 million years old.
The muskox suffered a loss of genetic diversity at the Pleistocene/Holocene transition
The tundra muskox, one of the few large northern mammals to have survived to the present day, saw its genetic diversity decrease greatly at the end of the Pleistocene period, around 10,000 years ago. A study published in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology reveals that the muskox (Ovibus moschatus) was genetically much more diverse before the Pleistocene/Holocene transition, the period that witnessed the extinction of other great mammals such as the mammoth.
Scientists say no evidence exists that therapod dinosaurs evolved into birds
No good evidence exists that fossilized structures found in China and which some paleontologists claim are the earliest known rudimentary feathers were really feathers at all, a renowned ornithologist says. Instead, the fossilized patterns appear to be bits of decomposed skin and supporting tissues that just happen to resemble feathers to a modest degree.
Radiocarbon dates reveal that New Guinea art is older than thought
When the de Young Museum reopens in a new, earthquake-resistant building in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park next Saturday, Oct. 15, it will debut what curators consider the largest and most important private collection of New Guinea art in the world.
Prehistoric global warming may have contributed to fossil preservation
Prehistoric global warming episodes from massive atmospheric pollution involving carbon dioxide and methane could have created and preserved "mass kills" of wildlife, according to a University of Oregon study presented at the Geological Society of America's annual meeting.
Ancient anthropoid origins discovered in Africa
The fossil teeth and jawbones of two new species of tiny monkey-like creatures that lived 37 million years ago have been sifted from ancient sediments in the Egyptian desert, researchers have reported.
Dinos invented biplanes
The evolution of airplanes from the Wright Brothers' first biplanes to monoplanes was an inadvertent replay of the much earlier evolution of dinosaur flight, say two dino flight experts.
Researcher identifies tracks of swimming dinosaur
The tracks of a previously unknown, two-legged swimming dinosaur have been identified along the shoreline of an ancient inland sea that covered Wyoming 165 million years ago, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder graduate student.
The 'spread of our species'
In a major new development in human evolutionary studies, researchers from the University of Cambridge argue that the dispersal of modern humans from Africa to South Asia may have occurred as recently as 70,000 years ago.
Earliest european farmers left little genetic mark on modern Europe
The farmers who brought agriculture to central Europe about 7,500 years ago did not contribute heavily to the genetic makeup of modern Europeans, according to the first detailed analysis of ancient DNA extracted from skeletons of early European farmers.
"Godzilla" crocodile had head of a dinsosaur, fins like a fish
Researchers have discovered evidence of an ancient sea creature that would have made Tyrannosaurus rex, think twice before stepping into the ocean.
Giant ape lived alongside humans
A gigantic ape, measuring about 10 feet tall and weighing up to 1,200 pounds, co-existed alongside humans, a geochronologist at McMaster University has discovered.
Scientists announce missing fossil link Dallasaurus
When amateur fossil finder Van Turner discovered a small vertebra at a construction site near Dallas 16 years ago, he knew the creature was unlike anything in the fossil record. Scientists now know the significance of Turner's fossil as the origin of an extinct line of lizards with an evolutionary twist: a land-dwelling species that became fully aquatic.
Ancient brewery tended by elite, female brewmasters
If the ancient mountaintop city in southern Peru was the vanished Wari empire's unique imperial showplace, the brewery was its piece de resistance.
Researchers devise dinosaur classification method
What do you get when you cross Carcharodontosaurus with Majungatholus? Good luck telling the two apart. Owing to paltry numbers of whole specimens that fail to illuminate a range of intraspecies morphological variation, dinosaur classification can be a task as gargantuan as some of its famed species. But Josh Smith, Ph.D., assistant professor of earth and planetary sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has concocted a mathematical scheme for identifying dinosaurs based upon measurements of their copious Mesozoic dental droppings. His method could help paleobiologists identify and reconstruct the lives of the creatures that roamed our terra firma many millions of years ago.
Ancient canals reveal underpinnings of early andean civilization
Canals discovered in the Peruvian Andes dating back over 5,400 years offer long-sought proof that irrigation was at the heart of the development of one of the earth's first civilizations.
Alleged 40,000-year-old human footprints in mexico much, much older than though
Alleged footprints of early Americans found in volcanic rock in Mexico are either extremely old - more than 1 million years older than other evidence of human presence in the Western Hemisphere - or not footprints at all, according to a new analysis published this week in Nature.
Jungle discovery opens new chapter in Maya history
A University of Calgary archaeologist and her international team of researchers have discovered the earliest known portrait of a woman that the Maya carved into stone, demonstrating that women held positions of authority very early in Maya history – either as queens or patron deities.
Ancient humans brought bottle gourds to the Americas from Asia
Thick-skinned bottle gourds widely used as containers by prehistoric peoples were likely brought to the Americas some 10,000 years ago by individuals who arrived from Asia, according to a new genetic comparison of modern bottle gourds with gourds found at archaeological sites in the Western Hemisphere.
Some dinosaurs grew slower in hard times
Palaeontologists from the University of Bonn report on an intriguing diagnosis in the 16 December issue of the journal Science. A dinosaur which they have examined was apparently able to vary the speed of its growth according the conditions obtaining in its environment. Although tortoises and crocodiles also do this, plateosaurus engelhardti seems to be unique among dinosaurs, leading experts to puzzle over whether the family history of the dinosaurs will need to be rewritten.