Paleontology & ArcheologyAncient arabic writings help scientists piece together past climate
Ancient manuscripts written by Arabic scholars can provide valuable meteorological information to help modern scientists reconstruct the climate of the past, a new study has revealed. The research, published in Weather, analyses the writings of scholars, historians and diarists in Iraq during the Islamic Golden Age between 816-1009 AD for evidence of abnormal weather patterns.
New CU-led study may answer long-standing questions about enigmatic Little Ice Age
A new University of Colorado Boulder-led study appears to answer contentious questions about the onset and cause of Earth's Little Ice Age, a period of cooling temperatures that began after the Middle Ages and lasted into the late 19th century.
Jerusalem tomb exploration reveals first archaeological evidence of christianity from the time of Jesus
The archaeological examination by robotic camera of an intact first century tomb in Jerusalem has revealed a set of limestone Jewish ossuaries or "bone boxes" that are engraved with a rare Greek inscription and a unique iconographic image that the scholars involved identify as distinctly Christian.
Coyotes shrank, wolves did not, after last ice age and megafaunal extinctions
When the last ice age ended more than 10,000 years ago, many large species of mammals went extinct and others underwent changes in appearance.
T. Rex has most powerful bite of any terrestrial animal
Research at the University of Liverpool, using computer models to reconstruct the jaw muscle of Tyrannosaurus rex, has suggested that the dinosaur had the most powerful bite of any living or extinct terrestrial animal.
First full look at prehistoric New Zealand penguin
After 35 years, a giant fossil penguin has finally been completely reconstructed, giving researchers new insights into prehistoric penguin diversity.
Dinosaur fossil: Even specialized predators didn't turn down free meals
Scientists have discovered a bone from a pterosaur (giant flying reptile or 'pterodactyl') in the guts of the skeletal remains of a Velociraptor (small predatory theropod dinosaur) that lived in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia some 75 million years ago.
Human's oldest ancestor found in Burgess Shale
Researchers from the University of Toronto, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and the University of Cambridge have confirmed that a 505 million-year-old creature, found only in the Burgess Shale fossil beds in Canada's Yoho National Park, is the most primitive known vertebrate and therefore the ancestor of all descendant vertebrates, including humans.
UF scientists name new ancient camels from Panama Canal excavation
The discovery of two new extinct camel species by University of Florida scientists sheds new light on the history of the tropics, a region containing more than half the world's biodiversity and some of its most important ecosystems.
Scientists name two new species of horned dinosaur
Two new horned dinosaurs have been named based on fossils collected from Alberta, Canada. The new species, Unescoceratops koppelhusae and Gryphoceratops morrisoni, are from the Leptoceratopsidae family of horned dinosaurs. The herbivores lived during the Late Cretaceous period between 75 to 83 million years ago. The specimens are described in research published in the Jan. 24, 2012, online issue of the journal Cretaceous Research.
Statue, chapels and animal mummies found in Egypt by U of T team
A wooden statue of a king, a private offering chapel, a monumental building and remains of over 80 animal mummies found by a University of Toronto-led team in Abydos, Egypt reveal intriguing information about ritual activity associated with the great gods.
Spotting ancient sites, from space
A Harvard archaeologist has dramatically simplified the process of finding early human settlements by using computers to scour satellite images for the tell-tale clues of human habitation, and in the process uncovered thousands of new sites that might reveal clues to the earliest complex human societies.
Iridescent, feathered dinosaur: new evidence that feathers evolved to attract mates
The detailed feather pattern and color of Microraptor--a pigeon-sized, four-winged dinosaur that lived about 120 million years ago--had a glossy iridescent sheen.
Some mammals used highly complex teeth to compete with dinosaurs
Conventional wisdom holds that during the Mesozoic Era, mammals were small creatures that held on at life's edges. But at least one mammal group, rodent-like creatures called multituberculates, actually flourished during the last 20 million years of the dinosaurs' reign and survived their extinction 66 million years ago.
Mystery human fossils put spotlight on China
Fossils from two caves in south-west China have revealed a previously unknown Stone Age people and give a rare glimpse of a recent stage of human evolution with startling implications for the early peopling of Asia.
Rare animal-shaped mounds discovered in Peru by MU anthropologist
For more than a century and a half, scientists and tourists have visited massive animal-shaped mounds, such as Serpent Mound in Ohio, created by the indigenous people of North America. But few animal effigy mounds had been found in South America until University of Missouri anthropology professor emeritus Robert Benfer identified numerous earthen animals rising above the coastal plains of Peru, a region already renowned for the Nazca lines, the ruined city of Chan Chan, and other cultural treasures.
CO2 was hidden in the ocean during the Ice Age
Why did the atmosphere contain so little carbon dioxide (CO2) during the last Ice Age 20,000 years ago? Why did it rise when the Earth's climate became warmer? Processes in the ocean are responsible for this, says a new study based on newly developed isotope measurements. This study has now been published in the scientific journal "Science" by scientists from the Universities of Bern and Grenoble and the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association.
When dinosaurs roamed a fiery landscape
The dinosaurs of the Cretaceous may have faced an unexpected hazard: fire! In a paper published online, researchers from Royal Holloway University of London and The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago have shown that during the Cretaceous (145-65 million years ago) fire was much more widespread than previously thought.
Eggs of enigmatic dinosaur discovered
An Argentine-Swedish research team has reported a 70 million years old pocket of fossilized bones and unique eggs of an enigmatic birdlike dinosaur in Patagonia.
What triggers a mass extinction?
The second-largest mass extinction in Earth's history coincided with a short but intense ice age during which enormous glaciers grew and sea levels dropped. Although it has long been agreed that the so-called Late Ordovician mass extinction-which occurred about 450 million years ago-was related to climate change, exactly how the climate change produced the extinction has not been known.