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Latest Phytolith Stories

Prehistoric Europeans Used Spices
2013-08-22 10:51:06

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online While today’s cutting-edge chefs use liquid nitrogen and futuristic food additives to achieve a desired effect, cooks have been manipulating meals as far back as the hunter-gatherer days. According to a new discovery being reported this week in the journal PLOS ONE, prehistoric chefs in modern day Denmark and Germany used mustard garlic as a food spice at least 6,000 years ago. Study researchers say tests on ancient pottery shards...

Volcanic Grit Played Key Role In Strong Tooth Development
2013-03-05 19:55:56

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Archeologists have long assumed the evolutionary development of strong, thick-enameled teeth coincides with a mammals shift to a diet of field grasses. However, a new study in Nature Communications shows some Argentine mammals developed sturdy chompers in response to gritty volcanic dust that appeared in their tropical rainforest habitat. “The assumption about grasslands and the evolution of these teeth was based on...

Maize Central To Diet And Civilization In Ancient Peru
2013-02-26 09:42:30

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online For decades, the emergence of a distinct South American civilization during the Late Archaic period (3000-1800 BC) in Peru has puzzled archaeologists and eluded their understanding. The role of agriculture and particularly corn, or maize, in the evolution of complex, centralized societies has been one of the most persistent questions. The prevailing theory, until now, has been that marine resources provided the economic engine...

2013-01-10 14:05:03

Study questions informative value of dental microwear for dietary habits of extinct species Dental microwear, the pattern of tiny marks on worn tooth surfaces, is an important basis for understanding the diets of fossil mammals, including those of our own lineage. Now nanoscale research by an international multidisciplinary group that included members of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig has unraveled some of its causes. It turns out that quartz dust is the...

Ancient Human Predecessors Were Tree-Climbing Bark Eaters
2012-06-28 09:20:06

[ Watch the Video ] redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online An international team of scientists has revealed that the ancestors of modern humans had an unusual diet -- one which may have contributed to their ultimate downfall, according to various reports published Wednesday. According to Thomas H. Maugh II of the Los Angeles Times, researchers led by the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany have discovered that Australopithecus...

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2009-03-24 08:00:00

Probably domesticated in the Mexican tropical forest The earliest physical evidence for domesticated maize, what some cultures call corn, dates to at least 8,700 calendar years ago, and it was probably domesticated by indigenous peoples in the lowland areas of southwestern Mexico, not the highland areas. This new evidence comes from an international team of researchers, who report the findings in two companion papers in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They place...

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2005-11-17 15:35:00

WASHINGTON -- Imagine dinosaur terrain - full of ferns and palms, right? Better add some grass to that picture. A new discovery debunks the theory that grasses didn't emerge until long after the dinosaurs died off. Fossilized dung tells the story: The most prominent plant-eating dinosaurs were digesting different varieties of grass between 65 million and 71 million years ago, researchers report Friday in the journal Science. The earliest grass fossils ever found were about 55 million years...

2005-11-17 14:10:00

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent WASHINGTON -- Fossilized dinosaur droppings found in central India show that giant dinosaurs known as titanosaurs ate grass, an international team of researchers reported on Thursday. Few scientists had ever thought that dinosaurs grazed, because there was no evidence that grasses existed that long ago. They believed that the grinding teeth found in some dinosaur fossils were used for munching other plant matter, perhaps trees, like modern...


Word of the Day
cruet
  • A vial or small glass bottle, especially one for holding vinegar, oil, etc.; a caster for liquids.
This word is Middle English in origin, and ultimately comes from the Old French, diminutive of 'crue,' flask.
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