Hikers discovered Ötzi the Iceman in the Ötztal Alps of Tyrol, Austria in 1991. Forensic analysis showed that he died around 5,300 years ago, making his the oldest intact human body every found. Ötzi had been preserved by glacier ice and was found with his tools, clothes, and weapons – a time capsule of Copper Age life. While years of
If you’ve ever wondered when was the first time that ancient people decided to wear pants like we do today instead of large pieces of coatings to cover their nudity, the scientists found the answer to that one. It seems that it’s somewhere between 3,000 and 3,300 years ago, somewhere around the 13th to 10th century B.C. that ancient nomadic
Archaeologists used innovative techniques gain new insights about the third-millennium urban crisis in Mesopotamia some 4,000 years ago. This marked the fall of the Akkadian Empire – the very first empire in the world. The researchers also drew a comparison to modern day Syria where current events in the wake of climate change and a violent revolution seem to mirror those in ancient times.
Deep below ground level, 3,500 feet (1000 meters) down a Croatian cave, scientists have discovered a new species of centipede. They named this incredibly resilient creature Geophilus hadesi – earth loving Hades – in honor of Hades, the Greek God of the underworld and ruler of Hell. Centipedes are elongated arthropods with one pair of legs per body segment. Despite the name, centipedes
A recent study involving a Papua New Guinea tribe that practiced cannibalistic funeral customs sheds new light on prion-related conditions such as mad cow disease.
Researchers have discovered a new class of magnet that increases in volume when placed in a magnetic field and generates only negligible amounts of heat in the process. These properties could transform many existing technologies and enable a few new ones. Harsh Deep Chopra, Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering at Temple University, and Manfred Wuttig, Professor of Materials Science
Each year, hundreds of millions people fly by plane to meet family, do business or travel for leisure. Quite a feat, considering humans don’t have any wings. Like all advanced technology we have at our disposal today, flying is also taken for granted. In the early days, however, just getting a few feet off the ground for a couple of seconds was considered a triumph. Like human pioneering flight, nature also had to experiment a lot before flying creatures could evolve. One newly discovered dinosaur species fits well into this story. Unearthed in 160 million year old sediments in China, this queer dinosaur strangely had bat-like wings. It’s uncertain however if it was able to fly or even glide, owing to the degraded state of the fossil records. One thing’s for sure, it makes the evolution of flight much more interesting to study.
While in South American during his 1830 expedition with the HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin came across the fossils of two peculiar hoofed species which he was unable to classify properly. One was Macrauchenia, which looked like a camel with the head of an ant eater, and the other was Toxodon which had the body of rhino, the head of a hippo and the teeth of a rodent. So, was the Macrauchenia related to the camel or the ant eater? Who was Toxodon’s closet cousin, the hippo or the rhino? Darwin was puzzled and to no avail concluded these were “perhaps one of the strangest animals ever discovered”. But Darwin didn’t have the tools we have today. Now, using a ground breaking technique researchers have sequenced the collagen of a myriad of South American mammals, including Darwin’s ‘strangest animals’ and finally found their real taxonomy.
Long before T-rex claimed the top dog spot among terrestrial predators, a vicious crocodile ancestor that walked on its hind legs was at the top of the food chain during the Triassic. The fossils of the Carnufex carolinensis, also known as the the “Carolina Butcher,” were discovered decades ago in the Pekin Formation, a geological formation in North Carolina’s Chatham County. It was only recently that researchers reanalyzed the fossils and concluded they were dealing with an all new predator that roamed the Earth several million years before dinosaurs were even around.
Although mammals surfaced only 20 million years after the first dinosaurs evolved, there’s a general consensus that mammals were shadowed and reclusive in the face of dinosaurs, seeing how they were the dominant animals on the planet back then. As such, early mammals are thought to have been mostly nocturnal with minimal interaction with dinosaur environments, occupying very limited ecological niches. This conventional thinking might be toppled by recent findings made by Chinese paleontologists who discovered two highly sophisticated early mammals each at least 160 million years old: the first tree-clinging mammal and the first burrowing mammal. These creatures munched on the same plants dinosaurs did, proving they seemingly coexisted in the same ecological framework.