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Latest Cenozoic Stories

Grass Was Quite Yummy For Early Human Ancestors
2012-11-14 05:23:12

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Our ancestors about 3.5 million years ago had a diet that mainly consisted of tropical grasses and sedges, according to a new study. Scientists reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that they extracted information from the fossilized teeth of three Australopithecus bahrelghazali individuals, which were the first early hominins excavated at two sites in Africa. "We found evidence suggesting that early...

Ancient Lucy Spent Some Of Her Time In Trees
2012-10-26 06:23:53

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Scientists have known that Australopithecus afarensis — the species of the well-known Lucy specimen — was an upright walking species, but they debate whether or not A. afarensis spent much of its time in trees. A comprehensive answer to this question has been unavailable because a complete set of A. afarensis shoulder blades has never been available for study. Professor David Green of Midwestern University and Zeresenay...

50 Years After The Leakeys, Dawn Of Humanity Illuminated In Special Journal Edition
2012-08-21 10:16:51

Wits' scientists are part of the most comprehensive research to come out of Olduvai in East Africa since the early 1980s The first systematic, multidisciplinary results to come out of research conducted on the edge of the Serengeti at the rich palaeoanthropological site in the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania since that produced by Louis and Mary Leakey's team, have recently been published in a special issue of the prestigious Journal of Human Evolution. Professor Marion Bamford, deputy...

What Did Early Hominins Eat?
2012-08-09 08:16:46

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online An international team of scientists has reconstructed the dietary preferences of 3 groups of hominins found in South Africa. The paper, “Evidence for diet but not landscape use in South African early hominins," is a joint effort between the Ecole Normale Supérieure, the Université de Toulouse Paul Sabatier, and the University of the Witwatersrand and has been selected for Advanced Online Publication in...

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2012-08-08 21:14:25

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online As the human and primate fossil records become more complete, researchers are beginning to see the amount of complexity involved in man´s evolution. That evolutionary tree became even more complex with the discovery of new fossils that suggest there were two additional Homo species living alongside our direct ancestors, Homo erectus, around two million years ago. According to a report published in the journal Nature...

Antarctic Was Tropical During The Eocene Epoch
2012-08-02 10:22:02

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online As the world´s greatest athletes compete for gold, silver, and bronze in London, new scientific evidence suggests that future summer Olympics could be hosted in a more remote location: Antarctica. An international team of climate scientists has discovered 50 million-year-old fossilized pollen in the seabed off the eastern coast of the polar continent, according to their report published this week in the journal Nature. The...

Mammal Diversity Aided In Survival Over Deep Time
2012-04-24 12:24:49

Lawrence LeBlond for RedOrbit.com In a first of its kind study, researchers from Vanderbilt University found that mammals´ best defense to adapting to climate change was diversity, and families with higher taxonomic diversity were better able to survive ongoing environmental changes. Larisa R. G. DeSantis, Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Vanderbilt, led researchers in studying how North American mammals adapted to climate change over a 56-million-year...

'Inhabitants Of Madrid' Ate Elephants’ Meat And Bone Marrow 80,000 Years Ago
2012-04-24 08:32:40

Humans that populated the banks of the river Manzanares (Madrid, Spain) during the Middle Palaeolithic (between 127,000 and 40,000 years ago) fed themselves on pachyderm meat and bone marrow. This is what a Spanish study shows and has found percussion and cut marks on elephant remains in the site of Preresa (Madrid). In prehistoric times, hunting animals implied a risk and required a considerable amount of energy. Therefore, when the people of the Middle Palaeolithic (between 127,000 and...

2012-04-02 11:13:48

It seems that “Lucy” was not the only hominin on the block in northern Africa about 3 million years ago. A team of researchers that included Johns Hopkins University geologist Naomi Levin has announced the discovery of a partial foot skeleton with characteristics (such as an opposable big toe bone) that don´t match those of Lucy, the human ancestor (or hominin) known to inhabit that region and considered by many to be the ancestor of all modern humans. The discovery is...

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2012-03-29 07:08:23

A 3.4-million-year-old fossil foot found in eastern Ethiopia appears to settle a long-standing debate about whether there was just one line of hominins 3 to 4 million years ago, scientists said on Wednesday. The fossil record for that period had been virtually limited to the species Australopithecus afarensis, the early human ancestor made famous by the 3.2-million-year-old Lucy skeleton. However, research on the new specimen, which was found in February 2009 in an area locally known as...


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
callithump
  • A somewhat riotous parade, accompanied with the blowing of tin horns, and other discordant noises; also, a burlesque serenade; a charivari.
'Callithump' is a back-formation of 'callithumpian,' a 'fanciful formation' according to the Oxford English Dictionary. However, the English Dialect Dictionary, says 'Gallithumpians' is a Dorset and Devon word from the 1790s that refers to 'a society of radical social reformers' or 'noisy disturbers of elections and meetings.'
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