Popular Science articles about Paleontology & Archaeology

This is a fossilized leaf of <i>Vitis stantonii</i>, a grapelike plant from the Hell Creek Formation in North Dakota. Blonder is especially interested in the venation network of each leaf, because veins may be a very good proxy for temperature via their role in constraining leaf water usage. "Fortunately many fossils have exquisite preservation of veins," he said.

Ancient swamp creature had lips like Mick Jagger

Sir Mick Jagger has a new animal named after him. Scientists have named an extinct swamp-dwelling creature that lived 19 million years ago in Africa after the Rolling Stones frontman,...

Study traces ecological collapse over 6,000 years of Egyptian history

Depictions of animals in ancient Egyptian artifacts have helped scientists assemble a detailed record of the large mammals that lived in the Nile Valley over the past 6,000 years. A...

Scientists prove ground and tree salamanders have same diets

Carrel, Semlitsch and their team found that red-legged salamanders may climb trees for reasons beside food foraging.Salamanders spend the vast majority of their lives below ground and surface only for short periods of time and usually only on wet nights. When they do emerge, salamanders can...

Researchers find Asian camel crickets now common in US homes

Greenhouse camel crickets (<i>Diestrammena asynamora</i>), like the one seen here, are native to Asia but are now more common than domestic camel cricket species in homes in the eastern United States.With their long, spiky legs and their propensity for eating anything, including each other, camel crickets are the stuff of nightmares. And now research from North Carolina State University finds...

New DNA study unravels the settlement history of the New World Arctic

We know people have lived in the New World Arctic for about 5,000 years. Archaeological evidence clearly shows that a variety of cultures survived the harsh climate in Alaska, Canada...

Paleolithic 'escargot'

This image depicts Upper Palaeolithic combustion structure containing human collected and cooked land snails and carbonaceous sediments (A) and complete land snails recovered into the combustion structure BM (B).Paleolithic inhabitants of modern-day Spain may have eaten snails 10,000 years earlier than their Mediterranean neighbors, according to a study published August 20, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE...

Evolution of marine crocodilians constrained by ocean temperatures

This is a marine crocodilian, here a dyrosaurid, swimming in the warm surface waters during the end of the Cretaceous period.The ancestors of today's crocodiles colonised the seas during warm phases and became extinct during cold phases, according to a new Anglo-French study which establishes a link between marine crocodilian...

New discovery: Microbes create dripstones

This image shows researchers entering Tjuv-Ante Cave in northern Sweden.According to new research humble, microscopic organisms can create dripstones in caves. This illustrates how biological life can influence the formation of Earth's geology -- and the same may be...

Violent solar system history uncovered by WA meteorite

Curtin University planetary scientists have shed some light on the bombardment history of our solar system by studying a unique volcanic meteorite recovered in Western Australia.

Society bloomed with gentler personalities and more feminine faces

A composite image shows the facial differences between an ancient modern human with heavy brows and a large upper face and the more recent modern human who has rounder features and a much less prominent brow. The prominence of these features can be directly traced to the influence of the hormone testosterone.Modern humans appear in the fossil record about 200,000 years ago, but it was only about 50,000 years ago that making art and advanced tools became widespread.

The creation of the Vuoksi River preceded a significant cultural shift

Imatra rapids emerged after the ice age. The traces of flowing water are still to be seen in the canyon.The creation of the Vuoksi River and the subsequent rapid decrease in the water level of Lake Saimaa approximately 6,000 years ago revealed thousands of square kilometres of new, fertile...

New species of extinct dolphin sheds light on river dolphin history

Here are photos of the skull of the new squalodelphinid species <i>Huaridelphis raimondii</i> in dorsal and lateral view.The unusual river dolphins, some of them known for their poor eyesight and side-swimming behavior are all descendants of ocean-dwelling species. Until now, however, there has been no consensus about...

Ohio University paleontologists discover new species of titanosaurian dinosaur in Tanzania

Ohio University paleontologists have identified a new species of titanosaurian, a member of the large-bodied sauropods that thrived during the final period of the dinosaur age, in Tanzania. Although many...

Ancient mammal relatives were active at night 100 million years before origin of mammals

The arrow on this gorgonsopian skull indicates where the fossil scleral ring is found.Most living mammals are active at night (or nocturnal), and many other mammal species are active during twilight conditions. It has long been thought that the transition to nocturnality occurred...

Exceptionally well preserved insect fossils from the Rhône Valley

This is a fossilized aquatic bug from the Orbagnoux outcrop of the Rhone valey: <i>Gallomesovelia grioti </i> (scale bar 1 mm).In Bavaria, the Tithonian Konservat-Lagerstätte of lithographic limestone is well known as a result of numerous discoveries of emblematic fossils from that area (for example, Archaeopteryx). Now, for the first...

Paleontology: Oldest representative of a weird arthropod group

LMU biologists have assigned a number of 435-million-year-old fossils to a new genus of predatory arthropods. These animals lived in shallow marine habitats and were far less eye-catching than related...

New research shows seals and sea lions likely spread tuberculosis to humans

New research shows that tuberculosis likely spread from humans in Africa to seals and sea lions that brought the disease to South America.Tuberculosis is one of the most persistent and deadliest infectious diseases in the world, killing one to two million people each year.

Toothless 'dragon' pterosaurs dominated the Late Cretaceous skies

A new study provides an exciting insight into the Late Cretaceous and the diversity and distribution of the toothless 'dragon' pterosaurs from the Azhdarchidae family. The research was published in...

Bones from nearly 50 ancient flying reptiles discovered

This is a reconstruction of three ontogenetic (growth) stages of the new pterosaur <i>Caiuajara dobruskii</i>.Scientists discovered the bones of nearly 50 winged reptiles from a new species, Caiuajara dobruskii, that lived during the Cretaceous in southern Brazil, according to a study published August 13,...

WSU researchers see violent era in ancient Southwest

Washington State University archaeologist Tim Kohler has documented a 40-year period of violence among the ancient pueblo people of southwest Colorado.It's a given that, in numbers terms, the 20th century was the most violent in world history, with civil wars, purges and two world wars killing as many as 200...

Shrinking dinosaurs evolved into flying birds

Meet the ancestors: The feathered dinosaur <i>Microraptor</i> pounces on a nest of primitive birds (Sinornis).  Both species lived during the Cretaceous Period (~120 million years ago) in what is now northern China.A new study involving scientists from the University of Southampton has revealed how massive, meat-eating, ground-dwelling dinosaurs evolved into agile flying birds: they just kept shrinking and shrinking, for over...

More news about Paleontology & Archaeology

Breaking science news from the newsfeed about Paleontology & Archaeology