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Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 1:20 EDT

Latest Pleistocene Stories

2013-09-23 11:41:15

While we grapple with the impact of climate change, archaeologists suggest we spare a thought for Aboriginal Australians who had to cope with the last ice age. "The period scientists call the Last Glacial Maximum, or LGM for short, is the most significant climatic event ever faced by humans on this continent," Associate Professor Sean Ulm from James Cook University in Cairns said. Research recently published in the Journal of Archaeological Science sheds new light on the ways Aboriginal...

Neanderthals May Have Made First Specialized Bone Tools
2013-09-21 08:08:41

April Flowers for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online Sorting through tiny bone remnants in the University of California, Davis paleoanthropology lab in 2011, undergraduate student Naomi Martisius discovered a peculiar piece. The fragment she found was from a French archaeological site, and it turned out to be a part of an early, specialized bone tool used by a Neanderthal before the first modern humans appeared in Europe. "At the time, I had no idea about the impact of my...

Early Britons Hunted Elephants
2013-09-19 11:08:15

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online After digging up the remains of a prehistoric elephant and some crude hunting tools in 2003, archaeologists at the University of Southampton now say they have proof that early humans worked together to bring these beasts down. These early humans lived thousands of years before the Neanderthals, the ancient species which most closely resembled modern humans. Until this discovery it was not known how these early humans came to migrate...

Red Meat-Eating Neanderthals May Have Also Been Fish Eaters
2013-09-17 14:22:52

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Scientists have theorized that the reason Homo sapiens were able to out-compete Neanderthals was because they embraced a more diverse diet. However, new evidence being presented by a group of European scientists indicates that Neanderthal menus may have been more diverse than previously thought. According to a study published recently in the journal Quaternary International, salmon bones found in a cave in the Caucasus Mountains were...

Large Mammals Of Younger Dryas Wiped Out By Asteroid
2013-09-03 06:40:55

[ Watch the Video: Younger Dryas Impact Wiped Out Large Mammals ] Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Scientists long fascinated with trying to understand a dramatic global climate shift have revealed new evidence that could explain a few things. A new study, funded by the National Science Foundation and to be published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Early Edition, has found that a cataclysmic asteroid or comet impact in the...

Last Glacial Maximum Peaked In Spain Much Earlier Than Elsewhere
2013-08-26 14:15:13

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online While it’s widely believed that the world’s massive ice sheets were at their greatest extent 20,000 years ago during the last glacial maximum, new research published in Scientific Reports suggested that the glacial peak was much earlier in modern-day Spain. According to study researchers, their findings could inform more localized models of glacier activity and be used to calculate the effects of climate change. “We wanted to...

Neanderthal Tools Cultural Differences
2013-08-19 16:17:52

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new analysis from an archeologist at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom has revealed distinct cultural differences between two groups of Neanderthals based on the divergent design of stone tools between 115,000 and 35,000 years ago. According to a study by researcher Karen Ruebens, the differences point to a more complex Neanderthal culture than what was previously suspected. "In Germany and France there appears to...

West Antarctica Deglaciation Began Much Earlier Than Thought
2013-08-15 10:21:16

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online One of the deepest ice cores ever drilled in Antarctica is revealing some interesting evidence about the southern continent’s turbulent past and the role Earth’s orbit played in the history of the ice ages. Scientists have known for more than a century that ice ages come and go due to the wobbling of the Earth as it orbits the sun. Increases in the intensity of summer sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere melted the ice sheets...

Bone Tools Found At Two Paleolithic Dig Sites
2013-08-13 06:45:04

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Researchers working at two neighboring Paleolithic digs in southwestern France have discovered fragments of hide-softening bone tools unlike any previously discovered at Neanderthal sites. Two teams hailing from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and the Leiden University in the Netherlands jointly reported the discovery of the bone tools – the oldest of their kind ever found in Europe....

Modern Language May Have Roots In Ancient Neanderthals
2013-07-10 05:48:08

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online As more data accumulates, we are learning that the Neanderthals were much more similar to us than we ever imagined. Scientists are still questioning if they had speech and language, though, and what implications would be for understanding present-day linguistic diversity if they did. A new study from the Max Planck Institute of Psycholinguistics argues that modern language and speech can be traced back to the last common ancestor we...


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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