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Archeology & Paleontology

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Why Archeologists Hate Indiana Jones. The jungles of the Peten are hot and sweaty. Most of the best places for archeology are. Field seasons are especially hot, since they are always during the driest time of year so that the site doesn’t get flooded. Howler monkeys boom from the parched trees, which barely twitch during the windless days. Meanwhile, pasty grad students toil away in the hot sun, quietly picking away at a stucco relief or the markings on a stone pillar.

In this heat, it’s good to wear a hat, preferably something sturdy with a wide brim. Every archeology site in the world is littered with rugged people in wide-brimmed hats talking about long dead civilizations. Tulane archeologist Marcello Canuto, for instance, prefers the khaki, floppy variety. “Oh God,” he groans, “Don’t even go there. It’s not surprising that academics – hell bent on taking the fun out of everything – would hate our beloved and iconic movie version of them. Think about it. Hollywood looter… …real-life looters. It doesn’t even look real. Extinct Big Birds. There were four or five species of the bird genus Gastornis that lived in North America, Europe, and Asia 55 to 40 million years ago. The North American bird was previously known as Diatryma before it was reclassified. Gastornis were big flightless birds, the largest species being Gastornis giganteus, which grew to 6.5 feet tall. But they weren’t anything to be afraid of -unless you were a plant.

Its powerful beak was used to crush seeds and fruit. Acrocephalus |*| on Twitter: "Happy Accident Leads To 'Really Significant' Stonehenge Discovery, by @G_nobes #archeology. Happy Accident With Garden Hose Leads To 'Really Significant' Stonehenge Discovery. A Catholic priest blesses a grave during a burial ceremony for the remains of 110 Napoleonic soldiers who died in a major battle against the Russian army, near the of Studenka, about 100 kilometers (63 miles) east of Minsk, Belarus, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits) This photo taken on May 25, 2012, released on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 by Tak'alik Ab'aj Archaeological Project shows a jade piece in the tomb of a very early Mayan ruler at Tak'alik Ab'aj archaeological site in Retalhuleu, south of Guatemala City. (AP Photo/Tak'alik Ab'aj Archaeological Project) In this Sept. 28, 1941 file photo, Spitfires, subscribed for by the people of Assam, are now operating with fighter command of the Royal Air Force, at an airfield somewhere in England.

(AP Photo) An archeologist sprays water on a skull recently discovered at the archaeological site Templo Mayor in Mexico City, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012. Happy Accident With Garden Hose Leads To 'Really Significant' Stonehenge Discovery. Happy Accident With Garden Hose Leads To 'Really Significant' Stonehenge Discovery. Ancient Engraving Strengthens Case for Sophisticated Neandertals. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American. Engraving found in Gorham's Cave in Gibraltar dates to more than 39,000 years ago and is thought to have been made by a Neandertal. Image: Courtesy of Stewart Finlayson One of the longest-running, most fervent debates in the history of human evolution research concerns the cognitive abilities of the Neandertals.

Were they the slow-witted creatures of popular imagination or did an intellect like that of modern humans lurk behind that heavy brow? Researchers working in Gibraltar have found what they say is the first known example of an abstract pattern engraved by a Neandertal. Archaeologists consider art and other types of symbolic expression to be key elements of modern behavior, and good indicators that whoever made the symbols had language. I’m quite sure that this finding will not end the debate over Neandertal smarts. Neandertals Made Some of Europe’s Oldest Art [Video] The Beer Archaeologist. Dinosaur-killing asteroid hit at just the wrong time. Mark Garlick/Science Photo Library A cooling climate may have led to less diversity among horned dinosaurs such as Triceratops. Just before a large asteroid slammed into the Earth 66 million years ago, the diversity of plant-eating dinosaur species declined slightly, a new study suggests.

That minor shift may have been enough to doom all dinosaurs when the space rock hit. The scarcity of plant-eaters would have left them more vulnerable to starvation and population collapse after the impact, with consequences that rippled all the way up the food chain. “The asteroid hit at a particularly bad time,” says Stephen Brusatte, a palaeontologist at the University of Edinburgh, UK. Brusatte and his colleagues describe this nuanced view of the famous extinction in Biological Reviews1. Palaeontologists have argued for decades about whether dinosaurs were doing well when the asteroid hit, or whether they were experiencing a worldwide drop in the number of species.

Localized decline What if? 'Pristine' Mammoth Skeleton Unearthed In Texas. A Catholic priest blesses a grave during a burial ceremony for the remains of 110 Napoleonic soldiers who died in a major battle against the Russian army, near the of Studenka, about 100 kilometers (63 miles) east of Minsk, Belarus, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits) This photo taken on May 25, 2012, released on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 by Tak'alik Ab'aj Archaeological Project shows a jade piece in the tomb of a very early Mayan ruler at Tak'alik Ab'aj archaeological site in Retalhuleu, south of Guatemala City.

(AP Photo/Tak'alik Ab'aj Archaeological Project) In this Sept. 28, 1941 file photo, Spitfires, subscribed for by the people of Assam, are now operating with fighter command of the Royal Air Force, at an airfield somewhere in England. (AP Photo) An archeologist sprays water on a skull recently discovered at the archaeological site Templo Mayor in Mexico City, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012. Archaeologists Discover 15 Previously Unknown Monuments Buried Around Stonehenge. La cronología de la desaparición de los neandertales | Investigación UPV/EHU. La datación de alta precisión de materiales procedentes de 40 yacimientos arqueológicos, desde Rusia hasta España, revela que la desaparición de los neandertales de Europa se produjo hace alrededor de 40.000 años. Pero más que un reemplazamiento rápido por humanos modernos, el estudio, publicado en Nature, compone una imagen mucho más compleja, caracterizada por un mosaico biológico y cultural que duró varios miles de años.

El profesor del Departamento de Geografía, Prehistoria y Arqueología Alvaro Arrizabalaga y la investigadora Ikerbasque María José Iriarte, del grupo de Prehistoria de la Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, son dos de los miembros del equipo internacional autor del artículo. Determinar las relaciones espaciales y temporales entre los neandertales y los primeros humanos modernos es fundamental para comprender los procesos subyacentes y las razones para la desaparición de los neandertales. Referencia: How Titanoboa, the 40-Foot-Long Snake, Was Found. In the lowland tropics of northern Colombia, 60 miles from the Caribbean coast, Cerrejón is an empty, forbidding, seemingly endless horizon of dusty outback, stripped of vegetation and crisscrossed with dirt roads that lead to enormous pits 15 miles in circumference.

It is one of the world’s largest coal operations, covering an area larger than Washington, D.C. and employing some 10,000 workers. The multinational corporation that runs the mine, Carbones del Cerrejón Limited, extracted 31.5 million tons of coal last year alone. Cerrejón also happens to be one of the world’s richest, most important fossil deposits, providing scientists with a unique snapshot of the geological moment when the dinosaurs had just disappeared and a new environment was emerging.

“Cerrejón is the best, and probably the only, window on a complete ancient tropical ecosystem anywhere in the world,” said Carlos Jaramillo, a paleontologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. These Cave Rocks Are Made out of Bacteria - Inkfish. Stalactites hold tight to the ceiling, the saying goes, and stalagmites might grow high enough to reach it. But the simple mnemonic doesn’t come close to covering the variety of weird, rocky shapes growing all over a cave.

There are even, it turns out, rocks made from bacteria. They’re not putting the “tight” in “stalactite” so much as the “ack!” Researchers found the microbe-made rocks in a cave in northern Sweden called Tjuv Antes. (It’s named for a fugitive thief who allegedly hid there in the 1800s.) The walls of Tjuv Antes Cave are made of granite. The researchers took samples of the various stones, and the biofilms covering them, back to the lab.

Cross-sections of the lumpy stone structures revealed layers that were surprisingly distinct, says Magnus Ivarsson. Ivarsson says the stony formations in this cave formed in cycles, alternating between layers of inorganic calcite and films of bacteria. How common is it for cave stones to be built out of bacteria? La paleobotánica arroja luz sobre los ecosistemas de los dinosaurios de Galve - Diario de Teruel. Un trabajo científico revela que los ambientes de hace 129 millones de años eran muy húmedos La paleobotánica (área de la paleontología que estudia los fósiles de plantas) está arrojando información de gran relevancia sobre los ecosistemas en los que vivieron los dinosaurios que poblaron la provincia de Teruel durante el Mesozoico Vota Resultado 0 votos La paleobotánica (área de la paleontología que estudia los fósiles de plantas) está arrojando información de gran relevancia sobre los ecosistemas en los que vivieron los dinosaurios que poblaron la provincia de Teruel durante el Mesozoico.

Un artículo científico que acaba de ser publicado en la revista internacional Historical Biology revela que los ambientes en los que vivieron estos grandes vertebrados en la subcuenca de Galve eran muy húmedos y se caracterizaban por la presencia de coníferas de gran tamaño. En este sentido, añade que se trata de "un ambiente fluvial que hace que haya mucha vegetación y sea exuberante". Congresos. New dates rewrite Neanderthal story. Modern humans and Neanderthals co-existed in Europe 10 times longer than previously thought, a study suggests. The most comprehensive dating of Neanderthal bones and tools ever carried out suggests that the two species lived side-by-side for up to 5,000 years. The new evidence suggests that the two groups may even have exchanged ideas and culture, say the researchers. The study has been published in the journal Nature.

Until now, Neanderthal remains have been dated by a number of laboratories but many have been considered unreliable. Now an international team of researchers collected more than 400 samples from the most important sites in Europe. The samples were purified and analysed using state-of-the-art dating methods at Oxford University. "I think we can set aside the idea of a rapid extinction of Neanderthals caused solely by the arrival of modern humans. Some previous dates had suggested that modern humans and Neanderthals co-existed in Europe for as little as 500 years. Ancient 'Evil Eye' Box Discovered In Nile River Cemetery. A 2,000-year-old cemetery with several underground tombs has been discovered near the Nile River in Sudan.

Archaeologists excavated several of the underground tombs, finding artifacts such as a silver ring, engraved with an image of a god, and a faience box, decorated with large eyes, which a researcher believes protected against the evil eye. Villagers discovered the cemetery accidently in 2002 while digging a ditch near the modern-day village of Dangeil, and archaeological excavations have been ongoing since then.

The finds were reported recently in a new book. In the Sudan cemetery, researchers found a faience box decorated with large eyes that may have been meant to protect against the "evil eye. " The cemetery dates back to a time when a kingdom called Kush flourished in Sudan. Based in the ancient city of Meroe (just south of Dangeil) Kush controlled a vast territory; its northern border stretched to Roman-controlled Egypt. At times, it was ruled by a queen. An archer's burial. 'Important' Ancient Tomb Discovered In Greece Dates Back To Era Of Alexander The Great.

'Resurrección' virtual de un arácnido de hace 410 millones de años | Ciencia. Nunca sabremos cómo caminaba porque hace 290 millones de años que se extinguió. Pero gracias a los fósiles encontrados en Escocia y a un nuevo programa informático, un equipo de paleontólogos ha reconstruido la manera en la que creen que se desplazaba una especie de arácnido que vivió hace unos 410 millones de años. Los detalles de esta resurrección virtual se publican esta semana en la revista Journal of Paleontology. El vídeo, firmado conjuntamente por investigadores de la Universidad de Manchester y el Museo de Ciencias Naturales de Berlín (Museum für Naturkunde), es un ejemplo de lo que los paleontólogos pueden hacer con esta herramienta informática, denominada Blender, que está disponible de forma gratuita para aquellos que quieran utilizarla en sus estudios.

Y para darla a conocer, los científicos no han dudado en elegir un título llamativo: 'The walking dead: Blender as a tool for palaeontologists with a case study on extinct arachnids'. 'Rangeomorph' Research Helps Explain Why Bizarre Fractal Creatures Went Extinct. About 600 million years ago, mysterious, frondlike creatures unlike anything found on Earth today filled the primeval seas.

Then, they mysteriously vanished. Now, new research is shedding light on how these sea creatures, called rangeomorphs, lived and why they went extinct. The primitive life forms were ideally suited to the nutrient-rich, placid seas of the Ediacaran Period, which lasted from around 635 million to 541 million years ago. But the stationary creatures were no match for the fast swimmers that emerged during the Cambrian Period that followed, and changing seawater chemistry didn't provide the rangeomorphs the nutrients they needed to survive, the researchers found.

"The oceans during the Ediacaran Period were more like a weak soup — full of nutrients such as organic carbon, whereas today suspended food particles are swiftly harvested by a myriad of animals," study co-author Simon Conway Morris, a paleontologist at the University of Cambridge, said in a statement. Viruses Leave Behind Fossils. Viruses Leave Behind Fossils Sarah C.P. Williams A new finding by geologists suggests that the evolutionary history of viruses could be studied by analyzing ancient rocks. Read more... On ocean bottoms, lake shores, and slick rocks, bacteria and single-celled organisms have been doing the same thing for millions of years: forming dense, thick “microbial mats” to help them thrive in large colonies. Researchers have now, for the first time, shown the vital role of viruses in both the life and mineralization of microbial mats (1). Mysterious Nanospheres Virus-like particles distributed throughout microbial mats are shown in these transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images (1) Microbial mats represent one of the more primitive ecosystems on earth.

In the 1990s, researchers using powerful electron microscopes first spotted tiny nanospheres within microbial mats. Conducting a Genetic Survey A metagenomic analysis of the nucleic acids revealed viruses related to 585 known viral strains. Weird Forests Once Sprouted in Antarctica. Stone Age Skull Unearthed with Bits of Brain Clinging to It.

Las plumas estaban en los dinosaurios desde el principio. Los misterios que rodean al máximo térmico de hace 56 millones de años | Investigación UPV/EHU. Hallan un taller de joyería neolítica en un yacimiento de Gerona. | Antrophistoria. Video: Thousands of Years of Human Migration in Five Minutes. Fossils could be discovered on the moon: Signs of ancient life may be littered across the moon -- ScienceDaily. CriptoNatura: Andrias scheuchzeri. Giant ... Mysterious Giant Hole In Siberia Investigated By Scientists | Video. Tracks Hint at the Social Life of Tyrant Dinosaurs. Balance positivo: los fósiles de la Sima de los Huesos podrían pertenecer a una nueva especie. Researchers declassify dinosaurs as being the great-great-grandparents of birds.

Thousands of Dino Tracks Found Along Alaska's Yukon.