Ancient Teeth Raise Questions about Human Origin Archaeology Paleontology 

Ancient Teeth Raise Questions about Human Origin

ResearchGate The teeth are unlike anything ever found in Europe or Asia and will force us to reexamine the theory that humans originated from Africa. Teeth fossils were discovered near the German town Eppelsheim in a former riverbed of the Rhine. Due to sheer confusion, researchers held off on publishing their research for the past year—that is, until they released a preprint detailing the teeth today. We spoke with the study’s lead author, Herbert Lutz, to find out more about the work. ResearchGate: What’s so exciting about this find? Lutz:…

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Dinosaurs of Ghost Ranch Animals Paleontology Videos 

Shelf Life Video: The Dinosaurs of Ghost Ranch

Dinosaurs’ fossils have attracted paleontologists to the Badlands of Ghost Ranch, NM, since 1881. Here, they have found the best place to find early carnivorous dinosaurs in the world. This video is another in the Shelf Life series from the American Museum of Natural History.   After being unearthed, dinosaurs’ bones are very delicate, and paleontologists need to take really good care of them. Once they are safely brought to the Museum of Natural History, they are ready to be analyzed. By looking at dinosaurs’ fossils, researchers can figure out…

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The Art of Scientific Illustration Animals Paleontology Science & Art 

The Art of Scientific Illustration

By Shayna Keyles Twitter @shaynakeyles Instagram @shaynakeyles Scientific illustration is more than just cool artwork. It’s a way of conveying technical detail that other tools can’t provide; of capturing the complexities of organisms or fabrications that are too small, too far away, too extinct, or too difficult to dissect; of sharing intimate research in a globally understood language. Pictures of discovery Illustrations have always been used to track observations and inform others. There are drawings of animals in the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc caves in France that date back 30,000 years and are…

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Biology Paleontology 

Microfossils Are Earliest Evidence Yet of Life on Earth

By Katherine Lindemann Researchers examining deposits from ancient hydrothermal vents in northeastern Canada have found evidence of microbial activity, possibly some of the earliest life on Earth. Hydrothermal vents deep beneath the oceans have long been thought to be where life originated, leading Matthew Dodd and colleagues to search where they did. The microbes were likely iron-metabolizing bacteria, and the structures they left are between 3.77 and 4.28 billion years old, making them even older than the microbes found last year to have lived near the surface of the ocean…

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Which Dinosaur Gave Rise to Tyrannosaurus Rex? Paleontology 

Which Dinosaur Gave Rise to Tyrannosaurus Rex?

By David Blagic Tyrannosaurus rex surely is one of the most well-known dinosaurs of all time. We know nearly everything about it, from its anatomy to its behavior. However, one important question hasn’t yet been answered—who was T. rex’s ancestor? What dinosaur species has the honor to be called “the King’s” grandparent? There are three main contestants: (1) Tarbosaurus bataar, (2) southern-type North American tyrannosaurid, or (3) Daspletosaurus torosus. Tarbosaurus bataar Tarbosaurus is probably the closest relative of Tyrannosaurus discovered so far. The only notable morphological differences between it and…

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Shelf Life Video: Fossils in the Gobi Desert Paleontology Videos 

Shelf Life Video: Fossils in the Gobi Desert

It’s been nearly a century since the Museum began their explorations of Mongolia’s Gobi Desert—a vast and imposing landscape that occupies an unparalleled space in the scientific record. The American Museum of Natural History gives some background on the Gobi Desert expeditions: One of the world’s richest locations for dinosaur, lizard, and mammal fossils, it was discovered in 1993 by a team that included Curators Mark Norell (now Macaulay Curator and Chair of the Division of Paleontology) and Mike Novacek (now Provost of Science at the Museum), and visited by…

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Book Review: God’s Word or Human Reason? Book Reviews Paleontology 

Book Review: God’s Word or Human Reason?

Title: God’s Word or Human Reason? An Inside Perspective on Creationism Reviewed by: Steven Spence for GotScience.org, a Science Connected publication Authors: Jonathan Kane, Emily Willoughby, T. Michael Keesey, Glenn Morton, and James Comer Publisher: Inkwater Press On sale: January 31, 2017 Best for: High school junior level and above Reviewer’s rating: 5 out of 5 Introduction “People are not stupid. They believe things for reasons. The last way for skeptics to get the attention of bright, curious, intelligent people is to belittle or condescend or to show arrogance toward…

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photographing snowflakes Astronomy Book Reviews Environment Oceanography Paleontology 

GotScience Book Reviews for Holiday Season 2016

Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe by Mike Massimino One of the best books about human spaceflight that I’ve read in years. Mike doesn’t tell a tale of a superhuman—he comes from humble beginnings, fails multiple times, and through perseverance succeeds in becoming an astronaut. Mike inspires, communicates clearly, and above all teaches that nothing in life is a one-man show. Keep doing what you’re passionate about—it might take you to the stars! Read our full review here.       Secrets of the Seas:…

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Paleontology 

Oviraptors in the Wild

By Kate Stone Oviraptorosaurs are an odd-looking group of feathered, bird-like theropod dinosaurs. They tend to have short skulls and small, toothless mouths. Now, an international team of paleontologists is reporting on a new oviraptorosaur discovery from Ganzhou, Tongtianlong limosus. The fossil is a remarkably well-preserved specimen. The animal seems to have died with its limbs splayed to the sides and its head raised. Tongtianlong is a bit different from other species. It has a unique dome-like skull. Oviraptors were mysterious and misunderstood for a long time, but they have…

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ancient bird wing preserved in amber Paleontology Science & Art 

Amber Preserves Details of Ancient Bird Wings

By Emily Willoughby @eawilloughby I am a paleoartist—a scientific illustrator whose job is to combine paleontological research with inference, logic, and a healthy dose of creativity to produce illustrations of long-extinct organisms. We are uniquely tasked with translating research into representations of real creatures that the public can see and experience as animals that lived and breathed, rather than as movie monsters or collections of measurements and static bones. This is no easy task. Accuracy always takes precedence, and the rendering must closely conform to the glimpse of reality granted…

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