Popular Science articles about Paleontology & Archaeology

Inscribed surfaces of the stele already have revealed mention of the goddess Uni as well as a reference to the god Tina, the name of the supreme deity of the Etruscans.

Beetles pollinated orchids millions of year ago, fossil evidence shows

This is a fossil ptilodactyline beetle found in amber from Mexico. The black arrow points to pollinia attached to the beetle's mouthparts.When most people hear the word "pollinator," they think of bees and butterflies. However, certain beetles are known to pollinate plants as well, and new fossil evidence indicates that they...

Tool or weapon? New research throws light on stone artifacts' use as ancient projectiles

This is one of 55 round stone artifacts analyzed to determine their use as throwing weapons for hunting and defense.A team of psychologists, kinesiologists and archaeologists at Indiana University and elsewhere are throwing new light on a longstanding archaeological mystery: the purpose of a large number of spherical stone...

University of Washington paleontologists discover major T. rex fossil

Paleontologists prepare to remove a <em>Tyrannosaurus</em> rex skull from a fossil dig site in northern Montana and transport it to the Burke Museum at the University of Washington.Paleontologists with the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture and the University of Washington have discovered a Tyrannosaurus rex, including a very complete skull. The find, which paleontologists estimate...

Pre-Hispanic Mexican civilization may have bred and managed rabbits and hares

An illustration of the leporid sculpture from the Oztoyahualco compound of Teotihuacan.Hispanic Mexican city of Teotihuacan may have bred rabbits and hares for food, fur and bone tools, according to a study published August 17, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS...

An ancient Mayan Copernicus

For more than 120 years the Venus Table of the Dresden Codex -- an ancient Mayan book containing astronomical data -- has been of great interest to scholars around the...

New species of extinct river dolphin discovered in Smithsonian collection

Artistic reconstruction of a pod of <em>Arktocara yakataga</em>, swimming offshore of Alaska during the Oligocene, about 25 million years ago, with early mountains of Southeast Alaska in the background. The authors speculate that <em>Arktocara</em> may have socialized in pods, like today's oceanic dolphins, while possessing a much longer snout, like its closest living relative in the freshwater rivers of South Asia.A fossil that has been in the collection of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History since it was discovered in 1951 is today helping scientists piece together the evolutionary...

Syracuse University researchers confirm marine animals live longer at high latitudes

Ph.D. student David Moss is the study's lead author.Researchers in the Department of Earth Sciences have shown that high-latitude bivalves live longer and grow slower than those in the tropics. Their findings are the subject of an article...

Unearthed: The cannibal sharks of a forgotten age

The tooth of <i>Orthacanthus</i> in oral view.Scientists have discovered macabre fossil evidence suggesting that 300 million-year-old sharks ate their own young, as fossil poop of adult Orthacanthus sharks contained the tiny teeth of juveniles. These fearsome...

Ancient DNA evidence traces origin of horses' smooth ride

This photograph shows an ambling Iceland pony during World Championship.Horses have held an important place in human history since ancient times. So-called ambling horses are particularly prized for their ability to travel in a way that's comfortable for riders,...

Geological data provide support for legendary Chinese flood

Fourteen skeletons of victims killed by earthquake in Cave dwelling F4 at Lajia site excavated in 2000. This material relates to a paper that appeared in the 5 August 2016 issue of <i>Science</i>, published by AAAS. The paper, by A. Qinglong Wu at institution in location, and colleagues was titled, "Outburst flood at 1920 BCE supports historicity of China's Great Flood and the Xia dynasty."Researchers have provided geological evidence for China's "Great Flood," a disastrous event on the Yellow River from which the Xia dynasty is thought to have been born. The flood occurred...

New tiny species of extinct Australian marsupial lion named after Sir David Attenborough

Reconstruction by palaeoartist Peter Schouten of <i>Microleo attenboroughi</i> prowling along the branches of rainforest trees in search of prey.The fossil remains of a new tiny species of marsupial lion which prowled the lush rainforests of northern Australia about 18 million years ago have been unearthed in the Riversleigh...

Europe's oldest known living inhabitant

Adonis, a Bosinan pine, more than 1,075 years old, living in the alpine forests of the Pindos mountains in northern Greece.A Bosnian pine (Pinus heldreichii) growing in the highlands of northern Greece has been dendrocronologically dated to be more than 1075 years old. This makes it currently the oldest known...

High-tech imaging reveals precolonial Mexican manuscript hidden from view for 500 years

Researchers from the University of Oxford's Bodleian Libraries and from universities in the Netherlands have used high-tech imaging to uncover the details of a rare Mexican codex dating from before...

Recent connection between North and South America reaffirmed

A cargo ship in the Panama Canal traverses volcanic rocks that helped form the Isthmus of Panama.Long ago, one great ocean flowed between North and South America. When the narrow Isthmus of Panama joined the continents about 3 million years ago, it also separated the Atlantic...

Scientists on the prowl for 'the ultimate Pokémon'

The second male specimen of&nbsp;<em>Zenkerella insignis</em>&nbsp;was found near the village of Ureca on Bioko, an island off the west coast of Africa.Researchers are on a real-life search for what one calls "the ultimate Pokémon": Zenkerella, an elusive scaly-tailed squirrel that has never been spotted alive by scientists. However, biologists recently found...

Elbows of extinct marsupial lion suggest unique hunting style

Author Christine Janis holding a cast of the skull of <i>Thylacoleo carnifex</i> in the Natural History Museum, London.Scientists from the Universities of Bristol and Málaga have proposed that the long extinct marsupial lion hunted in a very unique way - by using its teeth to hold prey...

Twenty-five little bones tell a puzzling story about early primate evolution

The extinct Gujarat primates appear to be most similar to the gray mouse lemur, </i>Microcebus murinus</i>, pictured here.A cache of exquisitely preserved bones, found in a coal mine in the state of Gujarat, India, appear to be the most primitive primate bones yet discovered, according to an...

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Britain's last hunter-gatherers discovered using breakthrough analysis of bone fragments

Archaeologists from the Universities of York, Cambridge and UCL have identified rare human bones from the UK dating to the Late Mesolithic era (around 4000 BC, just prior to the...

Evidence of Martian life could be hard to find in some meteorite blast sites

Scientists in their preliminary findings suggest signs of life from under Mars' surface may not survive in rocks excavated by some meteorite impacts.

Fresh look at burials, mass graves, tells a new story of Cahokia

Mound 72 at Cahokia.A new study challenges earlier interpretations of an important burial mound at Cahokia, a pre-Columbian city in Illinois near present-day St. Louis. The study reveals that a central feature of...

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Rich bugs revealed: Homes in wealthier neighborhoods host a greater diversity of insects

A common arthropod scientists encounter in the home: the carpet beetle.Household insects -- our most overlooked roommates -- are grabbing the spotlight after centuries in the shadows. Prior research in the growing study of life indoors has shown that our...

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