Popular Science articles about Paleontology & Archaeology

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 and Greenland for thousands of years. Despite this, there are...

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.

Oldest rove beetle in the Omaliini tribe found in French amber

The propagation phase-contrast X-ray synchrotron imaging technique was used to create this image of <i>Duocalcar geminum</i>, which was found in opaque amber.An international team of scientists from Spain, France, and the U.S. has discovered and described a rove beetle that is the oldest definitive member of the tribe Omaliini that has...

Decades-old amber collection offers new views of a lost world

Sir David Attenborough narrates and appears in a video about the digital curation of a 20-million-year-old amber collection at the Illinois Natural History Survey at Illinois. (See link to video in paragraph 9.)Scientists are searching through a massive collection of 20-million-year-old amber found in the Dominican Republic more than 50 years ago, and the effort is yielding fresh insights into ancient tropical...

Dinosaurs fell victim to perfect storm of events, study shows

Dinosaurs might have survived the asteroid strike that wiped them out if it had taken place slightly earlier or later in history, scientists say.

Mammoth and mastodon behavior was less roam, more stay at home

Research led by the University of Cincinnati's Brooke Crowley, posing with this mammoth mandible, has uncovered some interesting ideas about mammoth and mastodon behavior.Their scruffy beards weren't ironic, but there are reasons mammoths and mastodons could have been the hipsters of the Ice Age.

Dodos and spotted green pigeons are descendants of an island hopping bird

The mysterious spotted green pigeon (Caloenas maculata) was a relative of the dodo, according to scientists who have examined its genetic make-up. The authors say their results, published in the...

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 forms found in Jurassic strata.

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...

Lead in teeth can tell a body's tale, UF study finds

UF geology professor George Kamenov has published research that shows trace amounts of lead in modern and historical human teeth can give clues about where they came from.Your teeth can tell stories about you, and not just that you always forget to floss.

Chinese mosquitos on the Baltic Sea

Golden coffin: An insect is trapped in Fushun amber.The analysis of the roughly 3,000 pieces is still in its infant stage. But it is already evident that the results will be of major significance. "Amazingly often, we are...

Earlier Stone Age artifacts found in Northern Cape of South Africa

Excavations at an archaeological site at Kathu in the Northern Cape province of South Africa have produced tens of thousands of Earlier Stone Age artifacts, including hand axes and other...

New feathered predatory fossil sheds light on dinosaur flight

This is an illustration of newly discovered feathered dinosaur, <i>Changyuraptor yangi</i>.A new raptorial dinosaur fossil with exceptionally long feathers has provided exciting insights into dinosaur flight. A paper published in Nature Communications on July 15, 2014 asserts that the fossil...

Meet the gomphothere: UA archaeologist involved in discovery of bones of elephant ancestor

Archaeologists have uncovered the first evidence that gomphotheres, an ancient ancestor of the elephant, were once hunted in North America.An animal once believed to have disappeared from North America before humans ever arrived there might actually have roamed the continent longer than previously thought -- and it was likely...

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