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Latest Pleistocene Stories

31952c06d821bcbc2b01afb4204fc939
2011-02-09 11:29:39

Eight small teeth found in a cave near Rosh Haain, central Israel, are raising big questions about the earliest existence of humans and where we may have originated, says Binghamton University anthropologist Rolf Quam. Part of a team of international researchers led by Dr. Israel Hershovitz of Tel Aviv University, Qaum and his colleagues have been examining the dental discovery and recently published their joint findings in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Excavated at Qesem...

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2011-01-29 11:42:34

About 450 million years ago, Earth suffered the second-largest mass extinction in its history"”the Late Ordovician mass extinction, during which more than 75 percent of marine species died. Exactly what caused this tremendous loss in biodiversity remains a mystery, but now a team led by researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has discovered new details supporting the idea that the mass extinction was linked to a cooling climate."While it's been known for a long...

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2010-12-06 07:53:36

For years, geologists have argued about the processes that formed steep inner gorges in the broad glacial valleys of the Swiss Alps. The U-shaped valleys were created by slow-moving glaciers that behaved something like road graders, eroding the bedrock over hundreds or thousands of years. When the glaciers receded, rivers carved V-shaped notches, or inner gorges, into the floors of the glacial valleys. But scientists disagreed about whether those notches were erased by subsequent glaciers and...

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2010-12-01 14:08:31

Southampton researchers have estimated that  sea-level rose by an average of about 1 meter per century at the end of the last Ice Age, interrupted by rapid "Ëœjumps' during which it rose by up to 2.5 meters per century. The findings, published in Global and Planetary Change, will help unravel the responses of ocean circulation and climate to large inputs of ice-sheet meltwater to the world ocean. Global sea level rose by a total of more than 120 meters as the vast ice sheets of...

afd87e391f3f661b74a6972ca64945441
2010-11-28 08:19:49

Two scientists believe that woolly mammoths were hunted to extinction 10,000 years ago. The scientists, who live year-round in the frigid Siberian plains, say that man hunted the animals for either food, fuel or fun. Paleontologists have been trying to determine for decades how these animals came to extinction.  Some theories say that it was due to dramatically warming temperatures along with the migration of men armed with deep-piercing spears. Sergey Zimov, director of the...

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2010-11-16 13:31:47

The landform known as a drumlin, created when the ice advanced during the Ice Age, can also be produced by today's glaciers. This discovery, made by researchers from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has just been published in the scientific journal Geology. Drumlins generally consist of an accumulation of glacial debris "“ till "“ and are found in areas that were covered by ice sheet. As the ice advanced, it moved rocks, gravel and sand and created tear-shaped raised ridges...

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2010-09-30 07:57:57

New research challenges the controversial theory that an ancient comet impact devastated the Clovis people, one of the earliest known cultures to inhabit North America. Writing in the October issue of Current Anthropology, archaeologists Vance Holliday (University of Arizona) and David Meltzer (Southern Methodist University) argue that there is nothing in the archaeological record to suggest an abrupt collapse of Clovis populations. "Whether or not the proposed extraterrestrial impact...

4957d03182a86a6cab264ac2166958591
2010-09-24 08:34:38

A team from the National Museum of Natural Sciences (CSIC) has analyzed the impact of climate change on spotted hyena survival in Europe over 10,000 years ago. These changes played an important role, but the scientists say studies are still needed to look at the influence of human expansion and changes in herbivorous fauna on the definitive extinction of this species across the continent. "Climate change in the past was not directly responsible for the extinction of the spotted hyena in...

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2010-09-21 13:17:36

A utility company found a trove of animal fossils that dates back 1.4 million years at a building site it was working on. Researchers say the find could help fill in the blanks of Southern California's history. The area contains nearly 1,500 bone fragments, including a giant cat that was the ancestor of the saber-toothed tiger, ground sloths the size of a modern-day grizzly bear, two types of camels and over 1,200 bones from small rodents.  Researchers said that other finds include...

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2010-09-15 08:44:16

NASA and European researchers have conducted a novel study to simultaneously measure, for the first time, trends in how water is transported across Earth's surface and how the solid Earth responds to the retreat of glaciers following the last major Ice Age, including the shifting of Earth's center of mass. To calculate the changes, scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands; and the Netherlands Institute for Space...


Latest Pleistocene Reference Libraries

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....

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...

Homo sapiens
2013-09-24 13:55:52

Homo sapiens is the scientific name for the human species. Homo is the human genus, which also includes Neanderthals and various other extinct species of hominid. H. sapiens is the only surviving species of the genus Homo. Modern humans are the subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens, distinguished from their direct ancestor, Homo sapiens idaltu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_sapiens_idaltu). Subspecies of H. sapiens include Homo sapiens idaltu, roughly translated as “elder wise human” and...

Homo sapiens idaltu
2013-09-24 12:20:45

Homo sapiens idaltu is an extinct subspecies of Homo sapiens that lived nearly 160,000 years ago during the Pleistocene in Africa. “Idaltu” comes from the Saho-Afar word meaning “elder” or “first born”. The fossilized remains of H. s. idaltu were uncovered at Herto Bouri near the Middle Awash site of Ethiopia’s Afar Triangle in the year 1997 by Tim White, but were first revealed in 2003. Herto Bouri is a portion of Ethiopia under volcanic layers. By using radioisotope dating,...

Homo floresiensis
2013-09-16 13:06:40

Homo floresiensis Homo floresiensis, or Flores Man, nicknamed “hobbit” and “Flow”, is an extinct species in the genus Homo. The remains of an individual that would have stood about 3 feet in height were uncovered in 2003 on the island of Flores in Indonesia. Incomplete skeletons of nine individuals have been recovered, including one complete cranium. These remains have been the focus of intense research to establish whether they represent a species distinctive from modern humans....

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Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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