Ancestral Lines Evolutionary biologists use a cladogram, the treelike diagram of evolutionary branches or clades, to organize species into lines of evolutionary descent across time. Biologists use three types of evidence to deduce evolutionary connections: genetics, morphology, and geologic dating. (Behavior, normally a key part of evolutionary studies, can only be inferred in extinct species — for example, by examining the ecology in which the species flourished and the species adaptations for eating and locomotion.) Analyses of primate fossils and the genetic relatedness of living primates converge to the conclusion that humans and chimpanzees branched from a common ancestor about 7 million years ago. DNA recovered from several uncontaminated Neanderthalensis fossils indicated that modern humans and extinct neanderthals diverged about 400,000 years ago; but more recent studies show that they must have interbred within Europe or the Middle East since then.
Giant Asteroid Eclipses Star Tonight in Rare Celestial Event: How to Watch Live An asteroid the size of Rhode Island will briefly blot out one of the brightest stars in the sky overnight tonight (March 19-20), and you can watch the rare celestial event live online, weather permitting. At around 2:05 a.m. EDT (0605 GMT) Thursday morning (March 20), a 45-mile-wide (72 kilometers) asteroid 163 Erigone will eclipse Regulus, as seen from a swath of North America, making the 22nd-brightest star in the sky disappear for a few seconds. This "occultation" will be visible from the ground only to people in a narrow corridor in northeastern North America. However, the online Slooh Space Camera will offer live views of the eclipse during a show that begins at 1:45 a.m. The predicted occultation path of the bright star Regulus by the asteroid 163 Erigone on March 20, 2014 is shown in this map by Geoff Hitchcox/IOTA using Google Maps. "That's what will happen early Thursday morning," he added. The occultation holds more than mere gee-whiz appeal, researchers say.
The First Americans In the 1970s, college students in archaeology such as myself learned that the first human beings to arrive in North America had come over a land bridge from Asia and Siberia approximately 13,000 to 13,500 years ago. These people, the first North Americans, were known collectively as Clovis people. Their journey was made possible, according to archaeologists far and wide, by a corridor that had opened up between giant ice sheets covering what is now Alaska and Alberta. Thus did the Clovis people move down through the North American continent, carrying their distinctive tools to various sites in the Plains States and the Southwest and then moving eastward. Significant evidence of Clovis culture had been discovered in New Mexico. Clovis First, as it was called, was the one and only accepted explanation of initial human arrival and subsequent expansion throughout North and South America. I remember learning all this in introductory archaeology at a college in southeastern Pennsylvania.
Animal Totems and Animal Symbolism Animal totems play huge roles in our lives. They aid in self-discovery and capture our imagination, giving us incredible avenues of self-expression and awareness. Additionally, they assist in understanding our past, and if we are attentive, our animal totems can reveal glimpses of our future. Webster's Dictionary defines a totem as: "A natural object, usually an animal that serves as a distinctive, often venerated emblem or symbol. A means of personal or spiritual identity." Native American animal totems most commonly come to mind when discussing this topic. Since time immemorial, animals have served as harbingers of personality traits we, as humans, all aspire to achieve. Animals afford us visions of how our lives could be if we lived more simply and lived with purity of thought and emotion. By focusing on the attributes of our totems, we internalize these traits and thus begin to externalize the very character we absorb from our totems. Earth Animal Totems Water Animal Totems Insect Totems
The Archaeology News Network: Skulls with mix of Neanderthal and primitive traits illuminate human evolution Researchers studying a collection of skulls in a Spanish cave identified both Neanderthal-derived features and features associated with more primitive humans in these bones. This "mosaic pattern" supports a theory of Neanderthal evolution that suggests Neanderthals developed their defining features separately, and at different times – not all at once. Having this new data from the Sima de los Huesos site, as the Spanish cave is called, has allowed scientists to better understand hominin evolution during the Middle Pleistocene, a period in which the path of hominin evolution has been controversial. "The Middle Pleistocene was a long period of about half a million years during which hominin evolution didn't proceed through a slow process of change with just one kind of hominin quietly evolving towards the classic Neanderthal," said lead author Juan-Luis Arsuaga, Professor of Paleontology at the Complutense University of Madrid. Arsuaga and his team were delighted to work on this effort.
Occult of Personality | Peering Behind the Veil Skulls from Spanish cave illuminate human evolution Article created on Friday, July 11, 2014 Researchers studying a collection of skulls in a Spanish cave identified both Neanderthal-derived features and features associated with more primitive humans in these bones. This “mosaic pattern” supports a theory of Neanderthal evolution that suggests Neanderthals developed their defining features separately, and at different times – not all at once. Having this new data from the Spanish cave site of Sima de los Huesos has allowed scientists to better understand hominin evolution during the Middle Pleistocene, a period in which the path has been controversial. “The Middle Pleistocene was a long period of about half a million years during which hominin evolution didn’t proceed through a slow process of change with just one kind of hominin quietly evolving towards the classic Neanderthal,” said lead author Juan-Luis Arsuaga, Professor of Palaeontology at the Complutense University of Madrid. Key questions Extraordinary collection of hominin fossils
The Official Web Site of Zecharia Sitchin List of cartographers Cartography is the study of map making and cartographers are map makers. Before 1400 Modern rendering of Anaximander's 6th century BC world map Ptolemy's 150 CE world map (as redrawn in the 15th century) 15th century 16th century Battista Agnese's 1544 world map 17th century Herman Moll's A new map of the whole world with the trade winds (1736) Pieter van der Aa (Netherlands, 1659–1733)João Teixeira Albernaz I (Portugal ? 18th century Maya Once considered an unsolvable enigma, recent advances in the decipherment of the Maya writing system has not only shed light on the mechanics of the script, but also on the socio-political, artistic, and historical aspects of Maya civilization. As a whole, the Maya people created the longest lasting civilization of the New World. It became distinguishable from other early farming cultures of Mesoamerica in the middle of the first millenium BCE, when the first great Maya cities were constructed. General Overview The Maya hieroglypic writing is arguably one of the most visually striking writing systems of the world. While we're on the subject of what the Maya could "say", let's talk about Maya languages. The visual construction of Maya glyphs is very interesting. The order to read Maya glyphs is also not as straightforward as it would seem. Numbers and Calendar There were several classes of glyphs in the Maya writing system. And the following are the signs of the tzolk'in ritual cycle.