Popular Science articles about Paleontology & Archaeology

This image compares an ancient Taimyr Wolf bone from the lower jaw to a modern pipette.

Lowly 'new girl' chimps form stronger female bonds

Chema and Rumumba, two low-ranking immigrant female chimpanzees, take turns grooming each other in Gombe National Park, Tanzania. A Duke study finds that low-ranking female chimps prefer to socialize with other females of similar status.Low-ranking "new girl" chimpanzees seek out other gal pals with similar status, finds a new study of social relationships in the wild apes.

New species of ancient intruder discovered in England

This image shows two pentastomids (in orange) attached externally to the ostracod; one of the pentastomids; the ostracod with its shell removed, showing the external pentastomids and a pentastomid near the eggs of the ostracod.Rare discovery sheds new light on the history and lifestyle of ancient parasite Team recreate fossil using 3D computer modelling Today, some 140 species of the parasite infect animals -...

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Ancient snakes -- a new hiss-tory

This is an artist's rendering of an ancient snake, with tiny hind limbs.The ancestral snakes in the grass actually lived in the forest, according to the most detailed look yet at the iconic reptiles.

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New dinosaur's keen nose made it a formidable predator, Penn study finds

Two <i>Saurornitholestes sullivani</i> raptors attacks a subadult hadrosaur <i>Parasaurolophus tubicen</i>.A researcher from the University of Pennsylvania has identified a species of dinosaur closely related to Velociraptor, the group of creatures made infamous by the movie "Jurassic Park." The newly...

Solomon Islands dolphin hunts cast spotlight on small cetacean survival

A new study on the impact of 'drive-hunting' dolphins in the Solomon Islands is casting a spotlight on the increasing vulnerability of small cetaceans around the world.

International team discovers elusive new bird in China

A Michigan State University professor was part of an international team of scientists that has discovered a new bird in China -- the Sichuan bush warbler.A Michigan State University professor was part of an international team of scientists that has discovered a new bird in China.

New fossil rattles Moby Dick's family tree

Dr. Jorge Velez-Juarbe, NHM Curator of Marine Mammals, is shown with one of the fossil skulls in the field in Panama.Almost since the time of Melville's epic hunt, scientists have been fascinated by the remarkable attributes of the sperm whale and its kin, the smaller pigmy and dwarf whales. Capable...

Ancient connection between the Americas enhanced extreme biodiversity

Scientists think that salamanders from North America arrived in South America before the accepted date for the closure of the Isthmian land bridge 3 million years ago, supporting Bacon et al's assertion that the Isthmus closed at an earlier date.Species exchange between North and South America created one of the most biologically diverse regions on Earth. A new study by Smithsonian scientists and colleagues published this week in the...

Not much size difference between male and female Australopithecines

Two femora, on the left is a large, presumably male specimen and on the right is Lucy. The difference between these two gives the impression of a large size differences between the sexes. However, inclusion of the many intermediately sizes specimens from this species indicates that the size variation is similar to moderately dimorphic humans.Lucy and other members of the early hominid species Australopithecus afarensis probably were similar to humans in the size difference between males and females, according to researchers from Penn State...

Calculating how the Pacific was settled

A canoeist paddles between the islands of Vava'u, Tonga. A new University of Utah study uses mathematical modeling to get a better idea of the strategies employed by early seafarers when they used outrigger canoes to settle the islands of the vast Pacific Ocean between 3,500 and 900 years ago.Using statistics that describe how an infectious disease spreads, a University of Utah anthropologist analyzed different theories of how people first settled islands of the vast Pacific between 3,500 and...

The Bronze Age Egtved Girl was not from Denmark

This is the Egtved Girl's grave, from 1370 BC.The Bronze Age Egtved Girl came from far away, as revealed by strontium isotope analyses of the girl's teeth. The analyses show that she was born and raised outside Denmark's...

Scientists discover world's oldest stone tools

Sammy Lokorodi, a resident of Kenya's northwestern desert who works as a fossil and artifact hunter, led the way to a trove of 3.3 million-year-old tools.Scientists working in the desert badlands of northwestern Kenya have found stone tools dating back 3.3 million years, long before the advent of modern humans, and by far the oldest...

Paleontologists discover the first dinosaur fossil in Washington State

Stereopairs of UWBM 95770 in posterior (A), anterior (B) view. Proximal view (C) of UWBM 95770, with arrow indicating anterior direction. Silhouette of complete theropod femur (D) based on the tyrannosaurid Daspletosaurus torosus (TMP 2001.36.01), with corresponding portion of UWBM 95770 highlighted. Abbreviations: 4tr, fourth trochanter; in, matrix infilling of hollow marrow cavity.The fossils of the first dinosaur fossil from Washington State were collected along the shores of Sucia Island State Park in the San Juan Islands, and described in a study...

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French researchers develop new device to collect bed bugs

This is an adult bed bug, <i>Cimex lectularius</i>.In recent years, bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) have been appearing more and more often in beds around the world, and entomologists need specimens for research purposes.

Scandinavian trade 'triggered' the Viking Age

Archaeologists from the University of York have played a key role in Anglo-Danish research which has suggested the dawn of the Viking Age may have been much earlier -- and...

As the river rises: Cahokia's emergence and decline linked to Mississippi River flooding

This is a modeled map of Cahokia and present-day St. Louis after the historic 1844 flood of the Mississippi River.As with rivers, civilizations across the world rise and fall. Sometimes, the rise and fall of rivers has something to do with it.

Palaeontology: Unique fish fossils identified

A team of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich has identified the first fossil specimens of a major group of killifishes that is widely distributed in freshwater habitats today. The 6-million-year-old material...

DNA suggests all early Eskimos migrated from Alaska's North Slope

Genetic testing of Iñupiat people currently living in Alaska's North Slope is helping Northwestern University scientists fill in the blanks on questions about the migration patterns and ancestral pool of...

Human hunting weapons may not have caused the demise of the Neanderthals

The demise of Neanderthals may have nothing to do with innovative hunting weapons carried by humans from west Asia, according to a new study published in the Journal of Human...

Bizarre 'platypus' dinosaur discovered

Although closely related to the notorious carnivore Tyrannosaurus rex, a new lineage of dinosaur discovered in Chile is proving to be an evolutionary jigsaw puzzle, as it preferred to graze...

Sexing Stegosaurus

Some <i>Stegosaurus</i> had wide plates, some had tall, with the wide plates being up to 45 percent larger overall than the tall plates.  According to a new study by University of Bristol, UK student, Evan Saitta, the tall-plated <i>Stegosaurus</i> and the wide-plated <i>Stegosaurus</i> were not two distinct species, nor were they individuals of different age: they were actually males and females.  This is the first convincing evidence for sexual differences in a species of dinosaur.Stegosaurus, a large, herbivorous dinosaur with two staggered rows of bony plates along its back and two pairs of spikes at the end of its tail, lived roughly 150 million...

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