• Ancient reptile tracks in the Pyrenees may include evidence of new type of footprint

    A large set of tracks made by archosauromorphs in the Pyrenees mountain range may include a new type of footprint made by reptiles that lived 247 million years ago, according to a study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.A large set of tracks made by archosauromorphs in the Pyrenees mountain range may include a new type 
    of footprint made by reptiles that lived 247 million years ago, according to a...
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  • Roman emperor's summer palace discovered in southern Turkey

    Archaeologists have discovered a Roman emperor's summer residence in Kibyratis, located in the Turkish mountains, according to Haaretz.Lydian tomb in the Kabalis with relief of a lion, Archaic period [Credit: University of Vienna]The rural estate belonged to the family of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, who ruled from 161-180 AD, according to researchers from the Austrian Archaeological Institute.The area of Kibyratis has had few...
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  • New species of hyaenodon found in Egypt

    Analysis of Egyptian fossils has identified a new species of extinct carnivorous mammals called hyaenodonts, according to a study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONEHyaenodont skull [Credit: Matthew Borths]Hyaenodonts preceded modern terrestrial carnivores in Africa and also lived in Europe, Asia, and North America. Some were tree-dwelling; others were terrestrial. The Afro-Arabian hyaenodont records are the oldest, making...
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  • Ancient zinc mining and metallurgy site discovered in China's Hunan Province

    From July to December in 2016, 14 large Zinc mining and metallurgy sites in Guiyang district were surveyed by Hunan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology cooperates with Peking University School of Archaeology and Museology and other organizations. Intentional excavation of Tongmuling site was hence carried out.Aerial photo of Tongmuling site [Credit: Chinese Archaeology]The survey and excavation revealed a number of intact,...
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  • Sea scorpions: The original sea monster

    Four hundred and thirty million years ago, long before the evolution of barracudas or sharks, a different kind of predator stalked the primordial seas. The original sea monsters were eurypterids -- better known as sea scorpions.This illustration shows a sea scorpion attacking an early vertebrate 
    [Credit: Nathan Rogers]Related to both modern scorpions and horseshow crabs, sea scorpions had thin, flexible bodies. Some species...
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  • Builders find remains of 'lost' archbishops of Canterbury in London crypt

    The remains of five archbishops of Canterbury have been accidentally discovered by builders in a hidden tomb beneath a London church, site developers said Sunday.Among the remains are those of Richard Bancroft, the "chief overseer" of the King James Bible 
    [Credit: Craig Dick/Garden Museum]Some 20 lead coffins were discovered in a crypt underneath St Mary's-at-Lambeth, which sits outside Lambeth Palace, the central London...
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  • Cleveland Museum of Art to transfer Roman sculpture of Drusus Minor to Italy

    The Cleveland Museum of Art and The Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism of the Republic of Italy (Ministry) today announced that they have reached an agreement for the transfer of an early 1st century AD marble portrait head of Drusus Minor (Drusus Julius Caesar, 13 BC-AD 23) to the Republic of Italy.Head of Drusus Minor (13 BC-AD 23), probably after AD 23 and likely before AD 37. Roman, 1st cent. 
    Marble;...
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  • Indonesian ‘hobbits’ not related to Homo erectus

    The most comprehensive study on the bones of Homo floresiensis, a species of tiny human discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003, has found that they most likely evolved from an ancestor in Africa and not from Homo erectus as has been widely believed.Artist's impression of Homo floresiensis [Credit: Katrina Kenny, SA Museum]The study by The Australian National University (ANU) found Homo floresiensis, dubbed "the...
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  • Genetic evidence suggests early mammals were nocturnal

    Our earliest mammalian ancestors likely skulked through the dark, using their powerful night-time vision to find food and avoid reptilian predators that hunted by day. This conclusion, published by Stanford researchers in Scientific Reports, used genetic data to support existing fossil evidence suggesting that our distant relatives may have adapted to life in the dark.Many modern mammals, like this wood rat, are nocturnal, thanks to...
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  • Birds vs. bees: Study helps explain how flowers evolved to get pollinators to specialize

    Ecologists who study flowering plants have long believed that flowers evolved with particular sets of characteristics -- unique combinations of colors, shapes, and orientations, for example -- as a means of attracting specific pollinators. But a recent paper in the journal Ecology suggests that flowers that are visited almost exclusively by hummingbirds are actually designed not to lure birds, but to deter bumblebees and their wasteful...
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  • Why animals have evolved to favour one side of the brain

    Most left-handers can rattle off a list of their eminent comrades-in-arms: Oprah Winfrey, Albert Einstein, and Barack Obama, just to name three, but they may want to add on cockatoos, "southpaw" squirrels, and some house cats. "Handed-ness" or left-right asymmetry is prevalent throughout the animal kingdom, including in pigeons and zebrafish. But why do people and animals naturally favor one side over the other, and what does it teach...
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  • Key S. African leopard population 'crashing', study warns

    The leopard population in a region of South Africa once thick with the big cats is crashing, and could be wiped out within a few years, scientists warned on Wednesday.The clash between humans and leopards, experts agree, is mostly due to humanity's expanding footprint, 
    especially in Africa, whose population is set to expand by more than a billion before mid-century 
    [Credit: AFP/Gianluigi Guercia]Illegal killing of...
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  • Newly discovered exoplanet may be best candidate in search for signs of life

    The newly discovered super-Earth LHS 1140b orbits in the habitable zone around a faint red dwarf star named LHS 1140, in the constellation of Cetus (The Sea Monster). Red dwarfs are much smaller and cooler than the Sun and, although LHS 1140b is ten times closer to its star than the Earth is to the Sun, it only receives about half as much sunlight from its star as the Earth and lies in the middle of the habitable zone. The orbit is...
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  • Tracing the puzzling origins of clinging jellyfish

    For such small and delicate creatures, they can pack mighty painful stings. Known as clinging jellyfish because they attach themselves to seagrasses and seaweeds, Gonionemus is found along coastlines in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and in particular in waters near Vladivostok, Russia. Exactly how these jellyfish, long assumed to be native to the North Pacific, became so widely distributed throughout the world has perplexed...
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  • Miranda’s work experience

    This is my blog of the week I spent doing work experience at Wessex Archaeology.  I've been interested in history and archaeology since primary school and I still go to the Young Archaeologists Club (YAC) in Salisbury.  Every day was brilliant and it was absolutely wonderful to broaden my experience with archaeology. I would like to be an osteoarchaeologist in a few years. Day 1In the morning, I had a tour and met most members of staff. In the afternoon, I was with the coastal & ma
  • New Team Member for Built Heritage

    My name is James Wright and I have recently joined Wessex Archaeology’s Sheffield Office as a Built Heritage Technician. Following my return to education as a ‘mature student’, I graduated from the University of York with a BA in Archaeology last year. Since then, I have been working as a Planning Intern for Calderdale Council, assisting with the preparation of their Local Plan (focusing on the Historic Environment Policies, which means I have some experience of built heritage
  • World's largest collection of rock art at risk, Australian senators told

    Irreplaceable Indigenous art in Western Australia has been vandalised and is under threat from emissions from a proposed fertiliser plant, inquiry hearsIrreplaceable Indigenous rock art at a site in remote Western Australia has been vandalised with graffiti, treated with contempt by outsiders, and placed under threat by an invasive weed, an inquiry has heard.Murujuga, commonly known as the Burrup peninsula near Karratha, holds the largest concentration of ancient rock art in the world – 2,
  • ISIS targets St. Catherine's Monastery in Sinai, Egypt

    Gunmen attacked security forces near St. Catherine's Monastery in Egypt's south Sinai on Tuesday, killing at least one police officer and injuring four others, the Health Ministry said, just a week after two deadly church bombings killed 45.The Monastery of St. Catherine, near Mount Sinai in Egypt, where a policeman was killed and four others 
    were wounded on Monday [Credit Pedro Costa Gomes/AFP/Getty Images]Islamic State...
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  • 5,000 year old skeleton discovered in Malaysia

    A prehistoric human skeleton, thought to be at least 5,000 years old, was uncovered during construction of a gallery for the Guar Kepah Neolithic site near Kepala Batas, on mainland Penang, on Monday.The prehistoric human skeleton was found at Guar Kepah Neolithic site on mainland Penang, near Kepala Batas 
    [Credit: USM]Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Global Archaeological Research Centre director Professor Datuk Dr Mokhtar...
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  • Medieval priest discovered in elaborate grave 700 years after his death

    The remains of a medieval priest who died 700 years ago have been uncovered in an elaborate grave. Archaeologists from the University of Sheffield uncovered the rare find at Thornton Abbey in Lincolnshire, which was founded as a monastery in 1139 and went onto become one of the richest religious houses in England.The 700 year old grave was found in Thornton Abbey, Lincolnshire[Credit: University of Sheffield]The priest's gravestone...
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  • Behind the iron curtain: How methane-making microbes kept the early Earth warm

    For much of its first two billion years, Earth was a very different place: oxygen was scarce, microbial life ruled, and the sun was significantly dimmer than it is today. Yet the rock record shows that vast seas covered much of the early Earth under the faint young sun.Tiny incubators were used to simulate early Earth conditions, tracking microbial diversity and methane emissions 
    over a period of 500 days [Credit: Rob Felt,...
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  • Scientist explores archaeological record by studying Mongolian reindeer herder camps

    For years, Todd Surovell has studied an ancient Paleoindian site in Colorado and wondered why he would find concentrations of tools in one spot or a particular type of tool in another. He had to go to Mongolia to find the answers.This composite time-lapse photo shows every spot Mongolian people occupied in a reindeer herder camp Sept. 15, 2014. 
    Todd Surovell, a UW professor of anthropology and director of the George C. Frison...
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  • Megafaunal extinctions driven by too much moisture

    Studies of bones from Ice Age megafaunal animals across Eurasia and the Americas have revealed that major increases in environmental moisture occurred just before many species suddenly became extinct around 11-15,000 years ago. The persistent moisture resulting from melting permafrost and glaciers caused widespread glacial-age grasslands to be rapidly replaced by peatlands and bogs, fragmenting populations of large herbivore...
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  • The giant sloth megatherium was a vegetarian

    Together with an international team, Senckenberg scientists examined the diet of the extinct Giant Sloth Megatherium. Based on analyses of the collagen in the fossil bones, the researchers concluded in their study, which was recently published in the scientific journal Gondwana Research that Megatherium subsisted on an exclusively vegetarian diet. Until recently, there had been much speculation about the food habits of these...
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  • Supermassive black holes found in two tiny galaxies

    Three years ago, a University of Utah-led team discovered that an ultra-compact dwarf galaxy contained a supermassive black hole, then the smallest known galaxy to harbor such a giant black hole. The findings suggested that the dwarfs were likely tiny leftovers of larger galaxies that were stripped of their outer layers after colliding into other, larger galaxies.U astronomers and colleagues have found two ultra-compact dwarf...
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  • Retreating Yukon glacier caused a river to disappear

    The massive Kaskawulsh Glacier in northern Canada has retreated about a mile up its valley over the past century.A Sept. 2, 2016 aerial photo shows the meltwater stream along the toe of Kaskawulsh Glacier, seen on the left, that is 
    diverting fresh water from one river to the other [Credit: Dan Shugar/University of Washington Tacoma]Last spring, its retreat triggered a geologic event at relatively breakneck speed. The toe of ice...
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  • Researchers provide new insight into dark matter halos

    Research from the University of Pennsylvania could shed light on the distribution of one of the most mysterious substances in the universe.An image of a simulated galaxy cluster showing evidence for a boundary, or "edge" 
    [Credit: Surhud More, Benedikt Diemer and Andre Kravtsov, 
    Astrophysical Journal 2015]In the 1970s, scientists noticed something strange about the motion of galaxies. All the matter at the edge of spiral...
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  • Cave-in: How blind species evolve

    Why do animals that live in caves become blind? This question has long intrigued scientists and been the subject of hot debate. Clearly, across the animal kingdom, blindness has evolved repeatedly.There are thousands of underground and cave-dwelling species, from nakedmole rats to bats, found throughout nature. Many of these species havelost their sense of sight.A well-studied blind cavefish (bottom), the Mexican tetra...
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  • Hubble sees starbursts in Virgo

    Although galaxy formation and evolution are still far from being fully understood, the conditions we see within certain galaxies -- such as so-called starburst galaxies -- can tell us a lot about how they have evolved over time. Starburst galaxies contain a region (or many regions) where stars are forming at such a breakneck rate that the galaxy is eating up its gas supply faster than it can be replenished!NGC 4536 [Credit:...
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  • David French obituary

    Archaeologist who was an expert on all aspects of the Roman roads of Asia MinorIn the early 1970s, a short article by a little-known US scholar reported the discovery of an ancient road near the site of Gordion, the capital city of the ancient kingdom of Phrygia. This article, and his own chance encounter on a family picnic with a batch of undocumented Roman milestones next to a stretch of Roman road west of the modern Turkish capital, Ankara, inspired the archaeologist David French, who has die
  • The lifetimes of massive star-forming regions

    Astronomers can roughly estimate how long it takes for a new star to form: it is the time it takes for material in a gas cloud to collapse in free-fall, and is set by the mass, the size of the cloud, and gravity. Although an approximation, this scenario of quick, dynamic star formation is consistent with many observations, especially of sources where new material can flow into the cloud, perhaps along filaments, to sustain steady...
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  • New discoveries at Gezishan Palaeolithic Site in China's Ningxia Province

    Gezishan Site is located at the northwest of Qingtongxia city, Ningxia Province, it is an important prehistorical site in the later period of late Pleistocene in China. From 2013, the Ningxia Provincial Institute of Archaeology and Cultural Relics in conjunction with Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences made a systematical research, and cleared up the selected location No.10. In 2016,...
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  • Papua Center for Archaeology discovers prehistoric cave in Sorong City

    The Papua Center for Archaeology has discovered a prehistoric cave dwelling in the Malaumkarta Village, Makbon Sub-district, Sorong City, West Papua Province.Kalabus Cave [Credit: Papua Center for Archaeology]"The local community named the cave as Kalabus Cave," Hari Suroto, an archaeologist of the Papua Center for Archaeology, stated during a telephonic conversation here on Sunday.Suroto said the cave is located 200 meters west of...
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  • Ecuadoran tourist cited for writing names on Roman Colosseum

    Italian police say a tourist from Ecuador has been cited for inscribing the names of his son and wife and "2017" inside the ancient Roman Colosseum.A woman walks past a writing inscribed on a wall inside the Colosseum, Tuesday, April 11, 2017. Italian police say a tourist 
    from Ecuador has been cited for inscribing the name of his son and wife and the year, 2017, on Monday, April 10, 2017 
    inside the ancient Roman...
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  • The dangers of being a saber-toothed cat in Los Angeles 12,000 years ago

    Saber-toothed cats that roamed Los Angeles 12,000 years ago had many injuries to their shoulders and backbones that likely occurred when they killed large herbivore prey such as bison and horses, UCLA biologists report in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.In this illustration, saber-toothed cats pursue a bison. UCLA biologists say the cats sustained injuries to their backs 
    and shoulders, likely as a result of attacks on...
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  • Scientists to examine air pollution damage on Thessaloniki's Arch of Galerius

    Scientists from the environmental pollution control laboratory of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki collected for the first time samples of solid deposits from the Arch of Galerius - or “Kamara” as it is locally known - in Thessaloniki, to establish the degree of damage caused by air pollution.Arch of Galerius, Thessaloniki [Credit: WikiCommons]The project is organized in cooperation with the Thessaloniki Ephorate of...
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  • Mummies discovered in ancient tomb near Egypt's Luxor

    Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed several mummies, colourful wooden sarcophagi and more than 1,000 funerary statues in a 3,500-year-old tomb near the city of Luxor, hailing an "important discovery".Members of an Egyptian archaeological team work on a wooden coffin discovered in a 3,500-year-old tomb 
    in the Draa Abul Nagaa necropolis, near the southern Egyptian city of Luxor [Credit: AFP/Stringer]The 18th Dynasty tomb...
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  • Graeco-Roman artefacts discovered at future Alexandria residential site

    Excavators from Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities have discovered a collection of Graeco-Roman artefacts during excavation work carried out in Alexandria’s Babour El-Maya area.Clay pot discovered in Alexandria [Credit: Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities]Mahmoud Afifi, head of the Ancient Egyptian Department at the Ministry of Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the excavation work, undertaken upon the request of an Alexandria resident,...
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  • Pompeii: EU funds to highlight jewel of European heritage

    The European Commission is allocating almost €50 million from the European Regional Development Fund to the continuation of the renovation and preservation works on the iconic Italian archaeological site.Restoration crews work on a building at the ancient Roman city of Pompeii 
    [Credit: Carlo Hermann/AFP/Getty]After the completion of the restoration works co-financed by the EU Cohesion Policy, the Ancient Roman city of Pompeii,...
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  • Moabosaurus discovered in Utah's 'gold mine'

    Move over, honeybee and seagull: it's time to meet Moabosaurus utahensis, Utah's newly discovered dinosaur, whose past reveals even more about the state's long-term history.BYU researcher Brooks Britt with the newly discovered Moabosaurus, on display 
    at BYU's Museum of Paleontology [Credit: Jaren Wilkey, BYU]The Moabosaurus discovery was published this week by the University of Michigan's Contributions from the Museum of...
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  • Medieval Mongolian woman died after massive blow to head

    Intriguing new details have emerged about a medieval mummy known for her 'Adidas' boots - which she wore more than a millennia ago.
    Scientists believe the body of a woman found in April last year, died up to 1,100 years ago from a blow to the head 
    [Credit: The Mongolian Observer/The Center of Cultural Heritage of Mongolia/Siberian Times]The body of the woman was discovered a year ago this week in the Altai mountains region of...
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  • 'Palaeolithic Venus' discovered in Russia

    A stunning 23,000-year-old 'Venus' has been discovered in the Bryansk region of Russia, say scientists. The Palaeolithic beauty was carved from woolly mammoth tusk and shows a 'fantastically delicate' prehistoric woman.The 23,000-year-old 'Venus' statue [Credit: Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography]The rare find was made in the Bryansk region of Russia. Dr Konstantin Gavrilov, who led the expedition that discovered it."This...
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  • Chaotic flows and the origin of life

    A research team at Texas A&M University has uncovered a physical mechanism that may help answer one of the major questions concerning the origin of life, "How did the building blocks form?"Chaotic advection accelerates interfacial transport under hydrothermally relevant conditions 
    [Credit: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences]The research team is led by Dr. Victor Ugaz, professor and holder of the Charles D....
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  • 99-million-year-old termite-loving thieves caught in Burmese amber

    Eusocial insects, such as ants, social wasps and bees, and termites, include some of the most ecologically ubiquitous of terrestrial animals. The nests of these insects are well protected and provide a safe, communal space for the storing of resources and production of brood, so the nests are often cohabited by various highly specialized symbionts that take advantage of the abundant resources and protection inside the nests.The...
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  • Food for thought: reconstructing the diet of Napoleon's Grand Army | Jennifer Raff

    A recent analysis from a 19th century mass grave has revealed the surprisingly complex dietary - and social - diversity among Napoleon’s armed forcesUnderstanding the historic past can be incredibly challenging. Written records are only as accurate as the knowledge of the author, and historical narratives can be influenced by political orientations and specific agendas. Even accurate depictions of historical events may not reveal the whole truth; how some people may have experienced a part
  • Canterbury Christ Church University Partnership

    Over the past year Wessex Archaeology has been working with Canterbury Christ Church University to develop a series of work placements and projects for their second-year students. These form part of their new module for 2016/2017 – Applied Humanities Employability in Practice – for students in the Humanities Department. The aim of the module is to complement the theoretical elements of their undergraduate studies with practical, work-based experience. This will give them the opportu
  • Long-awaited rescue for valuable silk tunic

    Until now, a heavy glass pane weighing approximately 80 kilos has prevented a valuable, centuries-old silk tunic attributed to Saint Ambrose from being restored in Milan. With a team of restorers and art transporters, an archaeologist at the University of Bonn has now managed to free the work of art, the tunic, from its heavy load, preserve the fabric and thus retain it for posterity.The valuable silk tunic is now accessible for the...
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  • Discovery of early, 'croc-like' reptile sheds new light on evolution of dinosaurs

    A new species of ancient reptile has been described by scientists at the University of Birmingham, filling a critical gap in the fossil record of dinosaur cousins and suggesting that some features thought to characterise dinosaurs evolved much earlier than previously thought.A life reconstruction of the new species Teleocrater rhadinus, a close relative of dinosaurs, feasting on an ancient mammal 
    relative, Cynognathus, in the...
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  • Almost complete skull of saber toothed cat discovered in Schöningen

    Led by scientists of the Senckenberg Research Institute and the University of Tübingen, the excavation team found the remains of a saber-toothed cat at the archaeological site in Schöningen. An examination of the skull fragments at the Dutch University of Leiden revealed the animal to be a representative of the European saber-toothed cat, Homotherium latidens. The recent discovery constitutes the third example of this large predatory...
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  • X-ray scanning immortalizes endangered primates in the digital afterlife, in 3-D

    If you're a medical student, obtaining a human cadaver for learning anatomy or practicing surgical techniques is relatively easy. Thousands of people donate their bodies to science each year. But if you study and care for endangered primates, it's a different story.Skimmer, a pygmy slow loris, was 19 when she died at the Duke Lemur Center in 2013. She is one of more than 100 
    rare or endangered primates whose bodies are being...
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