Paleontology & Archeology articlesAncient ape ruled out of man's ancestral line
Ancient remains, once thought to be a key link in the evolution of mankind, have now been shown to be 400,000 years too young to be a part of man's family tree.
Gendered division of labor gave modern humans advantage over neanderthals
Diversified social roles for men, women, and children may have given Homo sapiens an advantage over Neanderthals, says a new study in the December 2006 issue of Current Anthropology. The study argues that division of economic labor by sex and age emerged relatively recently in human evolutionary history and facilitated the spread of modern humans throughout Eurasia.
Tiny bones rewrite textbooks
Small but remarkable fossils found in New Zealand will prompt a major rewrite of prehistory textbooks, showing for the first time that the so-called "land of birds" was once home to mammals as well.
Volcanic blast likely killed and preserved juvenile fossil plesiosaur found in Antarctica
Amid 70-mile-an-hour winds and freezing Antarctic conditions, an American-Argentine research team has recovered the well-preserved fossil skeleton of a juvenile plesiosaur--a marine reptile that swam the waters of the Southern Ocean roughly 70 million years ago.
Dinosaurs – stones did not help with digestion
The giant dinosaurs had a problem. Many of them had narrow, pointed teeth, which were more suited to tearing off plants rather than chewing them. But how did they then grind their food? Until recently many researchers have assumed that they were helped by stones which they swallowed. In their muscular stomach these then acted as a kind of 'gastric mill'. But this assumption does not seem to be correct, as scientists at the universities of Bonn and Tübingen have now proved.
Giant Sauropod dinosaur found in Spain
Fossils of a giant Sauropod, found in Teruel Spain, reveal that Europe was home to giant dinosaurs in the Late Jurassic period -- about 150 million years ago. Giant dinosaurs have previously been found mainly in the New World and Africa.
History-hunting geneticists can still follow familiar trail
As the world's first explorers branched away from humanity's birthplace in east Africa some 65,000 years ago, distinct mutations accumulated in the DNA of each population, essentially providing a genetic trail for modern researchers to follow.
Scientists solve riddle of mysterious faces on South Pacific artifacts
The strange faces drawn on the first pottery made in the South Pacific more than 3,000 years ago have always been a mystery to scientists. Now their riddle may have been solved by new research done by two Field Museum scientists to be published in the February 2007 issue of the Cambridge Archaeological Journal.
Movements, spirituality of ancient central americans tracked using satellites, video game technology
Satellite imagery meshed with video-game technology is allowing University of Colorado at Boulder and NASA researchers to virtually "fly" along footpaths used by Central Americans 2,000 years ago on spiritual pilgrimages to ancestral cemeteries.
Homer's Ithaca possible found thanks to new geologic research
Results of geologic tests released on January 9, 2007, by British businessman Robert Bittlestone, Cambridge classicist James Diggle, and University of Edinburgh geologist John Underhill suggest further evidence to support the hypothesis that Homer's Ithaca can be found on western Kefalonia as reported in the January 2007 issue of Geotimes magazine, published by the American Geological Institute (AGI).
Earliest evidence of modern humans in Europe
Modern humans who first arose in Africa had moved into Europe as far back as about 45,000 years ago, according to a new study by an international research team led by the Russian Academy of Sciences and the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Toward more effective paleogenetic analysis
DNA preserved in bones undergoing fossilization deteriorates up to 50 times faster when stored in a museum than when the bones are buried in the ground. This has just been shown by a paleogenetics team led by Eva-Maria Geigl (Institut Jacques Mono / CNRS - Paris).
Pre-columbian ruin discovered in Peru
Explorer Keith Muscutt has announced the existence of a previously unknown pre-Columbian ruin in Peru: the Huaca La Penitenciaría de la Meseta, which will be featured in Discovery Channel's new series, CHASING MUMMIES, premiering January 2008.
Hofmeyr-skull supports the out of africa-theory
Reliably dated fossils are critical to understanding the course of human evolution. A human skull discovered over fifty years ago near the town of Hofmeyr, in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, is one such fossil. A study by an international team of scientists led by Frederick Grine of the Departments of Anthropology and Anatomical Sciences at Stony Brook University in New York published today in Science magazine has dated the skull to 36,000 years ago. This skull provides critical corroboration of genetic evidence indicating that modern humans originated in sub-Saharan Africa and migrated about this time to colonize the Old World.
40,000-year-old skull shows both modern human and neanderthal traits
Humans continued to evolve significantly long after they were established in Europe, and interbred with Neanderthals as they settled across the continent, according to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) USA.
Uf-led study revises understanding of primate origins
A new study led by a University of Florida paleontologist reconstructs the base of our family tree and extends its roots 10 million years, a finding that sheds new light on the origin and earliest stages of primate evolution.
New details of first major urban battle emerge along with clues about civilizations origins
New details in the tragic end of one of the world's earliest cities as well as clues about how urban life may have begun there were revealed in a recent excavation in northeastern Syria that was conducted by the University of Chicago and the Syrian Department of Antiquities.
Shipwreck from the early islamic period discovered off israeli coast
An 8th century shipwreck was discovered off Dor Beach and excavated by researchers from the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies of the University of Haifa. It is believed to be the only boat from this period discovered in the entire Mediterranean region. "We do not have any other historical or archaeological evidence of the economic activity and commerce of this period at Dor.
Trophy skull sheds light on ancient wari empire
A team of archaeologists and Earthwatch volunteers led by Dr. Mary Glowacki and Louis Tesar uncovered an elite Wari cemetery at Cotocotuyoc this past summer in Peru's Huaro Valley, near Cuzco. Among their finds was a "trophy skull," which offers insight into warfare in the Wari Empire based here from 1,500 to 1,000 years ago.
Who laid the first egg? An update
A decade ago, Shuhai Xiao, associate professor of geosciences at Virginia Tech, and his colleagues discovered thousands of 600-million-year-old embryo microfossils in the Doushantuo Formation, a fossil site near Weng'an, South China. In 2000, Xiao's team reported the discovery of a tubular coral-like animal that might be a candidate for parenthood.