Popular Science articles about Paleontology & Archaeology

This is a reconstruction of the 15 million year old Malleodectes from Riversleigh chomping down on what appears to have been its favourite food -- snails. The massive, shell-cracking premolar tooth is clearly visible in the open mouth.

Antarctic fossils reveal creatures weren't safer in the south during dinosaur extinction

A painted reconstruction of typical Cretaceous marine environment in Antarctica, including the paperclip-shaped 'heteromorph' <i>ammonite Diplomoceras</i>.A study of more than 6,000 marine fossils from the Antarctic shows that the mass extinction event that killed the dinosaurs was sudden and just as deadly to life in...

Tiny vampires

Vampires are real, and they've been around for millions of years. At least, the amoebae variety has. So suggests new research from UC Santa Barbara paleobiologist Susannah Porter.

Strange sea-dwelling reptile fossil hints at rapid evolution after mass extinction

This is <i>Sclerocormus parviceps</i>, the newly described marine reptile.Two hundred and fifty million years ago, life on earth was in a tail-spin--climate change, volcanic eruptions, and rising sea levels contributed to a mass extinction that makes the death...

Rapid rise of the Mesozoic sea dragons

Watercolor by geologist Henry De la Beche, painted in 1830. The scene depicts an ancient marine ecosystem dominated by reptiles, inspired by the fossils discovered by Mary Anning.In the Mesozoic, the time of the dinosaurs, from 252 to 66 million years ago, marine reptiles such as ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs were top predators in the oceans. But their...

Burial sites show how Nubians, Egyptians integrated communities thousands of years ago

Michele Buzon, a Purdue University associate professor of anthropology, is excavating pyramid tombs in Tombos, Sudan to study Egyptian and Nubian cultures from thousands of years ago in the Nile River Valley.New bioarchaeological evidence shows that Nubians and Egyptians integrated into a community, and even married, in ancient Sudan, according to new research from a Purdue University anthropologist.

Clues to ancient giant asteroid found in Australia

Andrew Glikson.Scientists have found evidence of a huge asteroid that struck the Earth early in its life with an impact larger than anything humans have experienced.

Florida archaeological site yields clues to early civilization in southeast US

Assistant Professor Jessi Halligan and a research team recovered several bones and stone tools from the Page-Ladson site on the  Aucilla River.The discovery of stone tools alongside mastodon bones in a Florida river shows that humans settled the southeastern United States as much as 1,500 years earlier than scientists previously believed,...

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New research suggests climate change may have contributed to extinction of Neanderthals

A researcher at the University of Colorado Denver has found that Neanderthals in Europe showed signs of nutritional stress during periods of extreme cold, suggesting climate change may have...

Archaeologists find world's oldest axe in Australia

Fragments from the edge of the world's oldest-known axe, found in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.Archaeologists from The Australian National University (ANU) have unearthed fragments from the edge of the world's oldest-known axe, found in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

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Scientists report world's first herbivorous filter-feeding marine reptile

Fossil and reconstruction of <I>Atopodentatus unicus</I>.Some strange creatures cropped up in the wake of one of Earth's biggest mass extinctions 252 million years ago. In 2014, scientists discovered a bizarre fossil--a crocodile-sized sea-dwelling reptile, Atopodentatus...

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Migration back to Africa took place during the Paleolithic

The complete mitogenome of Pestera Muierii woman has been retrieved.The Palaeogenomics study conducted by the Human Evolutionary Biology group of the Faculty of Science and Technology, led by Concepción de la Rua, in collaboration with researchers in Sweden, the...

High altitude archaeology: Prehistoric paintings revealed

Archaeologists at the University of York have undertaken pioneering scans of the highest prehistoric paintings of animals in Europe.

Early armored dino from Texas lacked cousin's club-tail weapon, but had a nose for danger

This is a volume-rendered CT-based reconstruction of the skull of the nodosaur dinosaur <i>PawPawsaurus</i>, from the first-ever CT scans of the <i>PawPawsaurus</i> skull.Well-known armored dinosaur Ankylosaurus is famous for a hard knobby layer of bone across its back and a football-sized club on its tail for wielding against meat-eating enemies.

Man-eating monster crocodile may be Florida's newest invasive species

Spotting native alligators and crocodiles in Florida is common, but anyone who sees a large reptile may want to take a second look-- man-eaters that can grow to 18...

Plants are 'biting' back

Detail of the lower leaf surface of Loasa pallida. The red areas are mineralized (here not differentiated between different minerals).Calcium phosphate is a widespread biomineral in the animal kingdom: Bones and teeth largely consist of this very tough mineral substance. Researchers from Bonn University could now for the first...

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New horned dinosaur had spikes at back of neck shield

Holotype cranial Material and Cranial Reconstruction of <i>Machairoceratops cronusi</i> (UMNH VP 20550) gen. et sp. nov.

<p>Recovered cranial elements of <i>Machairoceratops</i> in right-lateral view, shown overlain on a ghosted cranial reconstruction (A). The jugal, squamosal and braincase are all photo-reversed for reconstruction purposes. <i>Machairoceratops</i> cranial reconstruction in dorsal (B), and right-lateral (C) views. Green circle overlain on the ventral apex of the jugal highlights the size of the epijugal contact scar (ejcs). 

<p>Abbreviations: BC, braincase; boc, basioccipital; bpt, basipterygoid process; ej, epijugal; ejcs, epijugal contact scar; j, jugal; lpr, lateral parietal ramus; lsb, laterosphenoid buttress; m, maxilla; n, nasal; o, orbit, oc, occipital condyle;oh, orbital horn; on, otic notch; p, parietal; pf, parietal fenestra; pm, premaxilla; po, postorbital; poc, paroccipital process; p1, epiparietal locus p1; sq, squamosal. 

<p>Scale bars = 0.5 m.A new horned dinosaur discovered in Utah had two spikes projecting from the back of its neck shield, according to a study published May 18, 2016 in the open-access journal...

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Ancient Irish musical history found in modern India

Billy &Oacute; Foghl&uacute; with a Kompu from Kerala, India.An archaeologist studying musical horns from iron-age Ireland has found musical traditions, thought to be long dead, are alive and well in south India.

Archaeologists uncover 13,000-year-old bones of ancient, extinct species of bison

In what is considered one of the oldest and most important archaeological digs in North America, scientists have uncovered what they believe are the bones of a 13,000- to 14,000-year-old ancient, extinct species of bison at the Old Vero Man Site in Vero Beach, Fla.In what is considered one of the oldest and most important archaeological digs in North America, scientists have uncovered what they believe are the bones of a 13,000- to 14,000-year-old...

Fossil dog represents a new species, Penn paleontology grad student finds

A fossil found in Maryland was identified by a University of Pennsylvania doctoral student as belonging to a new species of ancient dog. The hyena-like canine, with massive jaws capable of crushing bone, would have lived approximately 12 million years ago, at a time when massive sharks like megalodon swam in the oceans.A doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania has identified a new species of fossil dog. The specimen, found in Maryland, would have roamed the coast of eastern North America...

Further evidence found against ancient 'killer walrus' theory

Artist restoration of the head of <i>Pelagiarctos thomasi</i>, a fossil walrus from California. Once thought to be a "killer walrus" that ate marine mammals, new tooth enamel research is bolstering the case that it likely had a diet similar modern New Zealand fur seals and sea lions.An Otago-led team of scientists using techniques from the field of dentistry is shedding new light on the evolution of walruses, fur seals and sea lions. The researchers have cast...

Six new fossil species form 'snapshot' of primates stressed by ancient climate change

This is a left lower jaw of <i>Yunnanadapis folivorus</i>, one of six new fossil species found in southern China.In a study to be published this week in the journal Science, researchers describe unearthing a "mother lode" of a half-dozen fossil primate species in southern China.

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