Paleontology & Archeology articlesMethane release could cause abrupt, far-reaching climate change
An abrupt release of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, from ice sheets that extended to Earth's low latitudes some 635 million years ago caused a dramatic shift in climate, scientists funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) report in the journal Nature.
DNA reveals sister power in ancient greece
University of Manchester researchers have revealed how women, as well as men, held positions of power in ancient Greece by right of birth.
Dates for Stonehenge burials signify long-term use as cemetery
New radiocarbon dates of human cremation burials at Stonehenge indicate that the monument was used as a cemetery from its inception just after 3000 B.C. until well after the large stones went up around 2500 B.C.
Closing the gap between fish and land animals
New exquisitely preserved fossils from Latvia cast light on a key event in our own evolutionary history, when our ancestors left the water and ventured onto land. Swedish researchers Per Ahlberg and Henning Blom from Uppsala University have reconstructed parts of the animal and explain the transformation in the new issue of Nature.
Archaeologists find silos and administration center from early egyptian city
A University of Chicago expedition at Tell Edfu in southern Egypt has unearthed a large administration building and silos that provide fresh clues about the emergence of urban life.
Newcomer in early eurafrican population?
A complete mandible of Homo erectus was discovered at the Thomas I quarry in Casablanca by a French-Moroccan team co-led by Jean-Paul Raynal, CNRS senior researcher at the PACEA laboratory (CNRS/Université Bordeaux 1/ Ministry of Culture and Communication). This mandible is the oldest human fossil uncovered from scientific excavations in Morocco. The discovery will help better define northern Africa's possible role in first populating southern Europe.
Fossil feathers preserve evidence of color
The traces of organic material found in fossil feathers are remnants of pigments that once gave birds their color, according to Yale scientists whose paper in Biology Letters opens up the potential to depict the original coloration of fossilized birds and their ancestors, the dinosaurs.
New research challenges notion that dinosaur soft tissues still survive
Paleontologists in 2005 hailed research that apparently showed that soft, pliable tissues had been recovered from dissolved dinosaur bones, a major finding that would substantially widen the known range of preserved biomolecules. But new research challenges that finding and suggests that the supposed recovered dinosaur tissue is in reality biofilm -- or slime.
Duck-billed dinosaurs outgrew predators to survive
With long limbs and a soft body, the duck-billed hadrosaur had few defenses against predators such as tyrannosaurs. But new research on the bones of this plant-eating dinosaur suggests that it had at least one advantage: It grew to adulthood much faster than its predators, giving it superiority in size.
Antarctic fossils paint a picture of a much warmer continent
National Science Foundation-funded scientists working in an ice-free region of Antarctica have discovered the last traces of tundra--in the form of fossilized plants and insects--on the interior of the southernmost continent before temperatures began a relentless drop millions of years ago.
Ancient mediterranean craft traditions to lead to new computing paradigm
A University of Leicester-led project, in partnership with the Universities of Exeter and Glasgow, combining archaeology and computer science has received £1.75M from the Leverhulme Trust for a major programme of research linking the ancient archaeological past with the development of a new paradigm for future global computing environments.
A potted history of milk
Humans were processing cattle milk in pottery vessels more than two thousand years earlier than previously thought, according to new research from the University of Bristol.
Oetzi the iceman dressed like a herdsman
A famous Neolithic Iceman is dressed in clothes made from sheep and cattle hair, a new study shows. The researchers say their findings support the idea that the Iceman was a herdsman, and that their technique, reported in the journal Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, has use in the modern clothing industry.
Stone age graveyard reveals lifestyles of a 'green Sahara': two successive cultures thrived lakeside
The largest Stone Age graveyard found in the Sahara, which provides an unparalleled record of life when the region was green, has been discovered in Niger by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and University of Chicago Professor Paul Sereno, whose team first happened on the site during a dinosaur-hunting expedition.
Early fossil whales used well developed back legs for swimming
The crashing of the enormous fluked tail on the surface of the ocean is a "calling card" of modern whales. Living whales have no back legs, and their front legs take the form of flippers that allow them to steer. Their special tails provide the powerful thrust necessary to move their huge bulk. Yet this has not always been the case.
Luck gave dinosaurs their edge
T. rex and Triceratops: In the popular imagination, dinosaurs are extraordinary reptiles that ruled the world for over 160 million years. But Steve Brusatte, a doctoral student at Columbia University who is an affiliate of the American Museum of Natural History, and colleagues are challenging this idea with new fossil data and math.
Tiny dino discovered
An unusual breed of dinosaur that was the size of a chicken, ran on two legs and scoured the ancient forest floor for termites is the smallest dinosaur species found in North America, according to a University of Calgary researcher who analyzed bones found during the excavation of an ancient bone bed near Red Deer, Alberta.
The Green Sahara, a desert in bloom
Reconstructing the climate of the past is an important tool for scientists to better understand and predict future climate changes that are the result of the present-day global warming. Although there is still little known about the Earth's tropical and subtropical regions, these regions are thought to play an important role in both the evolution of prehistoric man and global climate changes.
Details of evolutionary transition from fish to land animals revealed
New research has provided the first detailed look at the internal head skeleton of Tiktaalik roseae, the 375-million-year-old fossil animal that represents an important intermediate step in the evolutionary transition from fish to animals that walked on land.
Which way 'out of Africa'?
The widely held belief that the Nile valley was the most likely route out of sub-Saharan Africa for early modern humans 120,000 year ago is challenged in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.