Popular Science articles about Paleontology & Archaeology

An international team of scientists have discovered two new plankton-eating fossil fish species, of the genus called <i>Rhinconichthys</i>, which lived 92 million years ago in the oceans of the Cretaceous Period.

Ancient wildebeest-like animal shared 'bizarre' feature with dinosaur

An artist's interpretation of <i>Rusingoryx atopocranion</i> on the Late Pleistocene plains of what is now Rusinga Island, Lake Victoria. Scientists have found many links between <i>Rusingoryx</i> and hadrosaur dinosaurs -- particularly the large, hollow dome that makes a crest on top of the animal's skull.By poring over the fossilized skulls of ancient wildebeest-like animals (Rusingoryx atopocranion) unearthed on Kenya's Rusinga Island, researchers have discovered that the little-known hoofed mammals had a very unusual, trumpet-like...

Indiana University paleobotanist plays role in discovery of 'Jurassic butterflies'

This is an artist's rendering of <i>Oregramma illecebrosa</i> consuming pollen drops from bennettitales, an extinct order of plant from the Triassic period.IU paleobotanist David Dilcher is a co-author on a study out today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society: B that identifies a Jurassic age insect whose behavior and appearance...

Turtle soup, perchance? Prehistoric man had a penchant for tortoises

Grilled, boiled or salted? Turtles, or tortoises, are rarely consumed today, but a select few cultures, primarily those in East Asia, still consider turtle soup, made from the flesh of...

An ancestor of the rabbit connects Europe and Asia

This is a picture of an <i>Ampliagus tomidai</i>.The species Amphilagus tomidai was recently discovered -- an ancestor of the rabbit which lived in present-day Siberia during the Miocene, about 14 million years ago. The discovery of this...

Research team identifies rare dinosaur from Appalachia

The remains of the dinosaur are on display in McWane Science Center.An international team of researchers has identified and named a new species of dinosaur that is the most complete, primitive duck-billed dinosaur to ever be discovered in the eastern United...

Evidence of a prehistoric massacre extends the history of warfare

This skeleton was that of a man, found lying prone in the lagoon's sediments. The skull has multiple lesions on the front and on the left side, consistent with wounds from a blunt implement, such as a club.The fossilised bones of a group of prehistoric hunter-gatherers who were massacred around 10,000 years ago have been unearthed 30km west of Lake Turkana, Kenya, at a place called Nataruk.

Charting the growth of 1 of the world's oldest babies

This is a life reconstruction of baby <em>Chasmosaurus</em>, by paleo artist Michael Skrepnick.The discovery of a juvenile Chasmosaurus--one of the rarest dinosaur discoveries--made headlines around the world in late 2013: Professor Philip Currie from the University of Alberta and his colleagues have...

Discovery shows dinosaurs may have been the original lovebirds

University of Colorado Denver researcher Martin Lockley (right) and Ken Cart pose beside large a dinosaur scrape they discovered in Western Colorado.DENVER (January 7, 2016) Dinosaurs engaged in mating behavior similar to modern birds, leaving the fossil evidence behind in 100 million year old rocks, according to new research by Martin...

Biological 'clock' discovered in sea turtle shells

In addition to their natural beauty, the shells of two deceased specimens of Hawksbill sea turtles hold clues to the growth rates and sexual maturity of the endangered species.Radiocarbon dating of atomic bomb fallout found in sea turtle shells can be used to reliably estimate the ages, growth rates and reproductive maturity of sea turtle populations in the...

Enough oxygen long before animals rose

Oxygen is crucial for the existence of animals on Earth. But, an increase in oxygen did not apparently lead to the rise of the first animals. New research shows that...

Early human ancestor didn't have the jaws of a nutcracker, study finds

The fossilized skull of <i>Australopithecus sediba</i> specimen MH1 and a finite element model of its cranium depicting strains experienced during a simulated bite on its premolars. "Warm" colors indicate regions of high strain, "cool" colors indicate regions of low strain.Research published in 2012 garnered international attention by suggesting that a possible early human ancestor had lived on a diverse woodland diet including hard foods mixed in with tree bark,...

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Two Penn professors call attention to the use of race in human genetic research

Two University of Pennsylvania professors are coauthors, along with two other scholars, on a perspective piece published this week in the journal Science that calls for an end to the...

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Smooth hunters: How environmental awareness helped the Bushmen to poison their game

This image shows a <em>Lebistina sanguinea</em> (Boheman) adult arrow-poison beetle on a <em>Commiphora</em> plant in South Africa.Being responsible for providing their food straight from nature, the San tribes, also called Bushmen, have quickly found ways to evolve their hunting methods. It is assumed that it did...

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CU-Boulder study: Ancient extinction of giant Australian bird points to humans

An illustration of a giant flightless bird known as <i>Genyornis newtoni</i>, surprised on her nest by a 1 ton, predatory lizard named <i>Megalania prisca</i> in Australia roughly 50,000 thousand years ago.Ancient extinction of giant Australian bird points to humans

Descendants of Black Death confirmed as source of repeated European plague outbreaks

Hendrik Poinar, Director of the McMaster Ancient DNA CentreAn international team of researchers has uncovered new information about the Black Death in Europe and its descendants, suggesting it persisted on the continent over four centuries, re-emerging to kill...

Tiny Australian leech named for best-selling author Amy Tan

This image shows the internal structure of the newly described leech <i>Chtonobdella tanaez</i>, shown from dorsal (A), ventral (B), and lateral (C) angles via micro-computed tomography.Researchers have named a new leech after best-selling author Amy Tan based on an innovative method for peering inside soft-bodied animals. Chtonobdella tanae, a terrestrial leech from Australia, is the...

200 million-year-old Jurassic dinosaur uncovered in Wales

This is an artist's impression of <em>Dracoraptor hanigani.</em>A new carnivorous dinosaur species named Dracoraptor hanigani uncovered in the south of Wales is possibly the oldest known Jurassic dinosaur from the UK, according to a study published January...

Roman toilets gave no clear health benefit, and Romanization actually spread parasites

This is a photograph of Roman latrines from Lepcis Magna in Libya.The Romans are well known for introducing sanitation technology to Europe around 2,000 years ago, including public multi-seat latrines with washing facilities, sewerage systems, piped drinking water from aqueducts, and...

Were Panamanian islanders dolphin hunters?

Did early settlers of Panama's Las Perlas Islands hunt bottlenose and common dolphins? Archaeologists think they may have driven dolphins onshore to harvest them more easily.Precolombian seafarers left what is now mainland Panama to settle on Pedro González Island in the Perlas archipelago about 6,000 years ago, crossing 50-70 kilometers (31-44 miles) of choppy seas...

Archaeological discovery yields surprising revelations about Europe's oldest city

Recent fieldwork at the ancient city of Knossos on the Greek island of Crete finds that during the early Iron Age (1100 to 600 BC), the city was rich in...

The first European farmers are traced back to Anatolia

A large part of results come from grave 6 in Kumtepe, excavated in 1994. Here the upper part of a skeleton. Photo provided by Project Troia, thanks to Peter Jablonka.Human material from the Anatolian site Kumtepe was used in the study. The material was heavily degraded, but yielded enough DNA for the doctorate student Ayca Omrak to address questions...

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