Popular Science articles about Paleontology & Archaeology

The great West Mouth of Niah Cave in Sarawak is more than 120 meters high. Harrisson's 1958 excavation area, where the 37,000 year old Deep Skull was found, can be seen in the far distance.

Researchers find Highland East Asian origin for prehistoric Himalayan populations

Prehistoric Himalayan settlements are remote and only accessible today by horse and on foot.In a collaborative study by the University of Oklahoma, University of Chicago, University of California, Merced, and Uppsala University, researchers conduct the first ancient DNA investigation of the Himalayan arc,...

Color vision helps birds find good food and the right partner

Chicken during the experiment inspecting the two colored containers.The researchers have established that chickens - just like people - have colour constancy. For birds, this means that they, in different environments and under different lighting conditions, recognise the...

Popcorn-like fossils provide evidence of environmental impacts on species numbers

Calcite tests of extinct species of planktonic foraminifera from the Eocene epoch (>34 million years) of Tanzania. The largest is less than a millimetre in size.The number of species that can exist on Earth depends on how the environment changes, according to new research led by the University of Southampton.

Ice age bison fossils shed light on early human migrations in North America

The steppe bison had much larger horns than modern bison. Radiocarbon dating and DNA analysis of bison fossils enabled researchers to track the migration of Pleistocene steppe bison into an ice-free corridor that opened along the Rocky Mountains about 13,000 years ago.Scientists using evidence from bison fossils have determined when an ice-free corridor opened up along the Rocky Mountains during the late Pleistocene. The corridor has been considered a potential route...

Inbred Neanderthals left humans a genetic burden

The Neanderthal genome included harmful mutations that made the hominids around 40% less reproductively fit than modern humans, according to estimates published in the latest issue of the journal GENETICS....

Dogs were domesticated not once, but twice ... in different parts of the world

The question, 'Where do domestic dogs come from?', has vexed scholars for a very long time. Some argue that humans first domesticated wolves in Europe, while others claim this happened...

Ancient rice may hold key to solving the puzzle of the settlement of Madagascar

Excavations on Madagascar are shown.Archaeologists studying the distribution of ancient rice believe they may be close to solving one of the enduring mysteries of the ancient world - how people of South East Asian...

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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.

Amber fossils reveal ancient insect camouflage behavior

Insects have evolved diverse types of camouflage that have played an important role in their evolutionary success. Debris-carrying, a behavior of actively harvesting and carrying exogenous materials, is among the most fascinating and complex behaviors because it requires not only...

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Ancient DNA shows perfect storm felled Ice Age giants

Partial jaw of a large, extinct jaguar discovered in a cave in the Ultima Esperanza region of Patagonia.Giant Ice Age species including elephant-sized sloths and powerful sabre-toothed cats that once roamed the windswept plains of Patagonia, southern South America, were finally felled by a perfect storm of...

New type of meteorite linked to ancient asteroid collision

A meteorite discovered in a Swedish quarry is unique and distinct from other meteorites. It appears to be a relic of a massive collision in the asteroid belt 470 million years ago that send debris raining to Earth during the Ordovician Period. In this image, the black 'fossil' meteorite is preserved in slate from the quarry.An ancient space rock discovered in a Swedish quarry is a type of meteorite never before found on Earth, scientists reported June 14 in the journal Nature Communications.

New fossils shed light on the origin of 'hobbits'

Dr. Adam Brumm from Griffith University's Centre For Human Evolution.Griffith University researchers are part of an international team of scientists that has announced the discovery of ancestors of Homo floresiensis - the enigmatic species of pygmy-like humans discovered more...

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Early farmers from across Europe were direct descendants of Aegeans

Human skeleton from an archaeological excavation in northern Greece, from where one neolithic genome originates.For most of the last 45,000 years Europe was inhabited solely by hunter-gatherers. About 8,500 years ago a new form of subsistence - farming - started to spread across the...

Scientists discover oldest plant root stem cells

Scientists at Oxford University have discovered the oldest known population of plant root stem cells in a 320 million-year-old fossil.

How southeastern Mayan people overcame the catastrophic eruption of Ilpango?

Topographic map of the Structure-5 of San Andr&eacute;s site showing the excavation area with pictures of masonry architecture under the earthen architecture.Across the centuries, forming cooperative networks beyond cultural boundaries has been a way to overcome natural disasters.

Remains of bizarre group of extinct snail-eating Australian marsupials discovered

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.Fossil remains of a previously unknown family of carnivorous Australian marsupials that lived 15 million years ago have been discovered at the Riversleigh World Heritage Fossil Site in north-western Queensland...

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...

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