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Latest Phanerozoic Stories

New Technologies Challenge Old Ideas About Early Hominid Diets
2011-10-14 07:11:32

New assessments by researchers using the latest high-tech tools to study the diets of early hominids are challenging long-held assumptions about what our ancestors ate, says a study by the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Arkansas. By analyzing microscopic pits and scratches on hominid teeth, as well as stable isotopes of carbon found in teeth, researchers are getting a very different picture of the diet habitats of early hominids than that painted by the physical...

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2011-07-13 10:40:00

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The debate whether dinosaurs went extinct due to a large space rock that struck the Earth 65.5 million years ago (MYA) may have been answered with the discovery of a distinctive brow horn from a Ceratopsian dinosaur just 13 centimeters (5.1 inches) below the K-T boundary -- the distinct layer of geological sediments separating the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods. Rocks laid down 65.5 MYA show a thin layer abundant in rare elements...

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2011-05-15 09:43:23

More than 200 million years ago, mammals and reptiles lived in their own separate worlds on the supercontinent Pangaea, despite little geographical incentive to do so. Mammals lived in areas of twice-yearly seasonal rainfall; reptiles stayed in areas where rains came just once a year. Mammals lose more water when they excrete, and thus need water-rich environments to survive. Results are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Aggregating nearly the entire landmass of...

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2010-12-22 09:25:00

A massive new fossil site discovered in southwestern China marks the first discovery of a complete ecosystem which recovered following a mass extinction. According to Guardian Science Correspondent Ian Sample, "the spectacular haul of 20,000 fossils," which was discovered at a hillside in what it now Luoping county in the Yunnan Province of China, were "beautifully preserved" and included "mollusks, sea urchins and arthropods, alongside much larger animals that occupied the top of the food...

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2010-09-07 10:42:12

A team made up of members of the University of Oviedo (UO) and the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) have gathered together all findings of the woolly mammoth, the woolly rhinoceros and the reindeer in the Iberian Peninsula to show that, although in small numbers, these big mammals, prehistoric indicators of cold climates, already lived in this territory some 150,000 years ago. The presence of the woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius), the woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis),...

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2010-07-08 06:20:00

Ancient man migrated out of Africa into northern Europe more than 800,000 years ago, far earlier than previously believed, according to a new study released Wednesday. A collection of flint tools unearthed near Happisburgh in the eastern British county of Norfolk, where winter temperatures reach 32F degrees below zero, is from the earliest known settlement of humans, according to the landmark study published in the British journal Nature. The discovery suggests that humans 26,000 generations...

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2010-03-15 10:20:40

A research project at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona supports the hypothesis that there was no overlap or relationship with the Neanderthals Research carried out by a group of archaeologists from the Center for Prehistoric Archaeological Heritage Studies of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (CEPAP_UAB) at the Cova Gran site (Lleida) has contributed to stirring up scientific debate about the appearance of the first "modern" human beings on the...

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2009-10-13 07:25:22

Smithsonian researchers working in Colombia's Cerrej³n coal mine have unearthed the first megafossil evidence of a neotropical rainforest. Titanoboa, the world's biggest snake, lived in this forest 58 million years ago at temperatures 3-5 C warmer than in rainforests today, indicating that rainforests flourished during warm periods. "Modern neotropical rainforests, with their palms and spectacular flowering-plant diversity, seem to have come into existence in the Paleocene epoch, shortly...

2009-10-01 09:49:00

KENT, Ohio Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Throw out all those posters and books that depict an ape evolving into a human being, says Kent State University Professor of Anthropology Dr. C. Owen Lovejoy. An internationally recognized biological anthropologist who specializes in the study of human origins, Lovejoy is one of the primary authors who revealed their research findings today on Ardipithecus ramidus, a hominid species that lived 4.4 million years ago in what is now Ethiopia....

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2009-05-04 13:06:32

Data is conclusive, says Keller, who hopes to move on from decades-old controversy A Princeton University geoscientist who has stirred controversy with her studies challenging a popular theory that an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs has compiled powerful new evidence asserting her position. Gerta Keller, whose studies of rock formations at many sites in the United States, Mexico and India have led her to conclude that volcanoes, not a vast meteorite, were the more likely culprits in the...


Latest Phanerozoic 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 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...

Thescelosaurus
2013-04-28 18:48:11

Thescelosaurus, meaning “godlike”, “wondrous”, or “marvelous” and “lizard” was a genus of small ornithopod dinosaur that appeared at the very end of the Late Cretaceous period in North America. It was a member of the last dinosaurian fauna before the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event around 65.5 million years ago. The completeness and preservation of many of its specimens illustrate that it might have preferred to live near streams. This bipedal ornithopod is known from...

Daspletosaurus
2013-04-28 18:27:18

Daspletosaurus, meaning “frightful lizard” is a genus of tyrannosaurid theropod dinosaur that resided in western North America between 77 and 74 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous Period. Fossils of the only named species were found in Alberta, although other possible species from Alberta and Montana wait for description. Daspletosaurus is closely related to the much larger and more current Tyrannosaurus. Like most of the known tyrannosaurids, it was a multi-ton bipedal...

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Word of the Day
barghest
  • A goblin in English folklore, often appearing in the shape of a large dog and believed to portend imminent death or misfortune.
  • A ghost, wraith, hobgoblin, elf, or spirit.
The origin of 'barghest' is not known, but it may be from perhaps burh-ghest, town-ghost, or German Berg-geist (mountain spirit) or Bär-geist (bear-spirit).
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