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Latest Cenozoic Stories

2009-08-06 12:54:43

A period of global warming from 53 million to 47 million years ago strongly influenced plants and animals, spurring a biodiversity boom in western North America, researchers from three research museums report in a paper published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."Today, the middle of Wyoming is a vast desert, and a few antelope and deer are all you see," said lead author Michael Woodburne, honorary curator of geology at the Museum of Northern Arizona....

2009-06-03 10:05:00

In 1996, an international team of scientists led by the University of Zaragoza (UNIZAR) started to carry out a paleontological survey in the cave of El Mir³n. Since then they have focused on analysing the fossil remains of the bones and teeth of small vertebrates that lived in the Cantabrian region over the past 41,000 years, at the end of the Quaternary. The richness, great diversity and good conservation status of the fossils have enabled the researchers to carry out a paleoclimatic...

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2009-06-01 13:39:42

Ancestors of tapirs and ancient cousins of rhinos living above the Arctic Circle 53 million years ago endured six months of darkness each year in a far milder climate than today that featured lush, swampy forests, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder. CU-Boulder Assistant Professor Jaelyn Eberle said the study shows several varieties of prehistoric mammals as heavy as 1,000 pounds each lived on what is today Ellesmere Island near Greenland on a summer diet of...

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2009-02-26 15:55:00

Ancient footprints discovered near Ileret in northern Kenya show that some of the earliest humans walked like us and did so on anatomically modern feet more than a million years ago, the Associated Press reported. A Rutgers field school group of mostly American undergraduates excavated the site yielding the footprints, dated to between 1.51 million and 1.53 million years ago, researchers reported in the journal Science. The researchers said the prints indicate a modern upright stride with a...

2008-12-02 13:28:58

A U.S. geologist is warning the Earth might soon undergo rapid and unpredictable climate changes that could negatively affect many species. Binghamton University Professor Tim Lowenstein's concerns are rooted in his and Professor Robert Demicco's discovery of nahcolite -- a rare carbonate mineral that formed during the Eocene Epoch, the warmest period on Earth during the last 65 million years. Lowenstein and Demicco said nahcolite suggests Eocene warming was concurrent with atmospheric carbon...

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2008-11-14 08:00:00

According to researchers, a wide-hipped Homo erectus fossil found in Ethiopia suggests that females of the pre-human species gave birth to developed babies with large heads. The finding leads some researchers to believe that helpless babies came along late in human evolution. "We could look at this pelvis and then, using a series of measurements, we can calculate ... how big the baby's head could be at birth," said Scott Simpson, a paleontologist at Case Western Reserve University. Simpson...

2008-09-20 12:00:16

By Rick Steelhammer What's 12 feet long, has 6-inch claws and weighs a ton or more? It's Megalonyx jeffersonii, and starting Saturday, a precise scientific replica of its skeletal remains will be on display at the West Virginia Geological Survey Museum near Morgantown. In March, the Legislature designated the Megalonyx jeffersonii the official state fossil, since the first known specimen of the prehistoric species was found in a West Virginia cave more than 200 years ago. Megalonyx...

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2008-08-27 12:50:00

Researchers in the US and UK have concluded that tools developed by Homo sapiens were no more sophisticated than those used by the Neanderthals. The team of researchers, whose findings appear in the Journal of Human Evolution, recreated these ancient tools and compared them to each other.Researchers studied wide stone tools called "flakes," which were used by both Neanderthals and early modern humans. Also, they studied the complexity of "blades" "“ a narrower stone tool later adopted...

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2008-04-30 11:00:00

Human ancestor's teeth yields new cluesTiny marks on the teeth of an ancient human ancestor known as the "Nutcracker Man" may upset current evolutionary understanding of early hominid diet.Using high-powered microscopes, researchers looked at rough geometric shapes on the teeth of several Nutcracker Man specimens and determined that their structure alone was not enough to predict diet.Peter Ungar, professor of anthropology at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, contends the finding...

2008-03-03 18:41:52

Leaping, furry mini-monkeys that were as small as mice crossed the Bering land bridge long before humans, representing North America's oldest known primates. This new claim is based on the fossils of at least three individuals of this previously unknown species of extinct primate uncovered at a site near Meridian, Miss., scientists announced today. The researcher estimates the primate fossils date to about 55.8 million years ago. If the age of the fossils is accurate, the new...


Latest Cenozoic Reference Libraries

Mapinguari
2014-04-22 13:41:18

Mapinguari The mapinguari or mapinguary is an ape-like cryptid said to inhabit the Amazon rainforests of Brazil and Bolivia. It is also known as the Isnashi. Several attempts to find physical evidence that the creature exists have been conducted. Samples have been gathered, but when analyzed it was found to be from known animals and some of the castings of tracks were inconclusive. Native folklore has described the creature as having only one eye, long claws, backward feet, a...

Palaeovespa
2014-04-18 16:08:43

Palaeovespa is a genus of wasps that holds seven species, all of which are extinct. Two of the species were discovered in Baltic amber deposits from Europe dating back to the middle Eocene era, while the other five were found in Florissant Formation amber from the Priabonian stage era in Colorado in the United States. This genus, and four of its species, was first described in 1906 by Dr. Theodore Cockerell in the Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. Cockerell described all but one...

Australopithecus garhi
2013-11-29 11:38:51

Australopithecus garhi is a gracile australopithecine species whose fossils were discovered in 1996 by a research team led by Ethiopian paleontologist Berhane Asfaw ad Tim White, an American paleontologist. The remains are believed to be a human ancestor species and most likely the direct ancestor to the human genus Homo. Tim White was the scientist to find the first of the key A. garhi fossils in 1996 within the Bouri Formation found in the Middle Awash of Ethiopia’s Afar Depression....

Australopithecus africanus
2013-11-29 10:55:07

Australopithecus africanus was an early hominid, an australopithecine that lived between roughly 3.03 and 2.04 million years ago in the later Pliocene and early Pleistocene. Au. africanus was of slender build and was thought to have been a direct ancestor of modern humans. Fossil remains signify that Au. africanus was considerably more like modern humans that Au. afarensis, with a more human-like cranium permitting a larger brain and more humanoid facial features. This hominid has only been...

Neanderthals
2013-10-03 16:03:35

The Neanderthals or Neandertals are an extinct species or subspecies of the genus Homo which is closely related to modern humans. They are known from fossils, dating back from the Pleistocene period, which have been found in Europe and parts of western and central Asia. The species gets its name from Neandertal, “Neander’s Valley”, the location in Germany where it was first uncovered. Neanderthals are classified either as a subspecies of Homo sapiens or as a distinct species of the...

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Word of the Day
jument
  • A beast of burden; also, a beast in general.
'Jument' ultimately comes from the Latin 'jugum,' yoke.
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