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Paleo-news archive: July-September 2010

Artist's reconstruction of Kosmoceratops
Fossils of new species of horned dinos found in Utah
(Sep 23, 2010)

Scientists have unearthed two new species of giant plant-eating horned dinosaurs in southern Utah. The creatures lived on the "lost continent" of Laramidia in the Late Cretaceous period, some 68 to 99 million years ago. Laramidia was formed when a shallow sea flooded part of what is now North America and separated the eastern from the western parts.

Read more. Source: BBC

Artist's reconstruction of Concavenator corcovatus
Hump-backed dinosaur may yield clues to origin of birds
(Sep 10, 2010)

Spanish palaeontologists have uncovered a new dinosaur with what may be the earliest evidence of feather follicles. The researchers, whose findings are published in Nature, located the fossils near Cuenca, central Spain. They named the reptile Concavenator corcovatus, meaning "meat eater from Cuenca with a hump". The type of dinosaur that was found is known as a theropod.

Read more. Source: BBC

A network of internal tunnels in fossils found on the Flinders Ranges
Fossils may be 'earliest animals'
(Aug 18, 2010)

Tiny, irregularly shaped fossils from South Australia could be the oldest remains of simple animal life found to date. The collection of circles, anvils, wishbones and rings discovered in the Flinders Ranges are most probably sponges, a Princeton team claims. The rocks in which the forms were found are 640-650 million years old.

Read more. Source: BBC

woolly mammoths
Woolly mammoth extinction 'not linked to humans' years ago
(Aug 18, 2010)

Woolly mammoths died out because of dwindling grasslands – rather than being hunted to extinction by humans, according to a Durham University study. After the coldest phase of the last ice age 21,000 years ago, the research revealed, there was a dramatic decline in pasture on which the mammoths fed. The woolly mammoth was once commonplace across many parts of Europe.

Read more. Source: BBC

hominid skulls
Tool-making and meat-eating began 3.5 million years ago
(Aug 12, 2010)

Researchers have found evidence that hominins – early human ancestors – used stone tools to cleave meat from animal bones more than 3.2 million years ago. That pushes back the earliest known tool use and meat-eating in such hominins by more than 800,000 years. Bones found in Ethiopia show cuts from stone and indications that the bones were forcibly broken to remove marrow.

Read more. Source: BBC

Triceratops skull
Morph-osaurs: How shape-shifting dinosaurs deceived us
(Jul 29, 2010)

Dinosaurs were shape-shifters. Their skulls underwent extreme changes throughout their lives, growing larger, sprouting horns then reabsorbing them, and changing shape so radically that different stages look to us like different species. This discovery comes from a study of the iconic dinosaur triceratops and its close relative torosaurus.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

ancient Caribbean primate skull
Divers find ancient monkey fossil
(Jul 22, 2010)

Scientists have examined fossilised remains of a tiny, extinct monkey that were retrieved from an underwater cave in the Dominican Republic. The researchers believe the fossil to be around 3,000 years old, but say the species itself could be very ancient. This reveals clues about the origin of primates in the region.

Read more. Source: BBC

Saadanius hijazensis bones
Fossil links humans and monkeys
(Jul 15, 2010)

Researchers have discovered the skull of a 29 million-year-old animal that could be a common ancestor of Old World monkeys and apes, including humans. It indicates that apes and Old World monkeys diverged millions of years later than previously thought, say the scientists. The discovery was made in Saudi Arabia by researchers from the University of Michigan.

Read more. Source: BBC

One million years ago, a land bridge linked the UK to continental Europe
Humans' early arrival in Britain
(Jul 8, 2010)

Researchers have discovered stone tools in Norfolk, UK, that suggest that early humans arrived in Britain nearly a million years ago – or even earlier. The find, published in the journal Nature, pushes back the arrival of the first humans in what is now the UK by several hundred thousand years. Environmental data suggests that temperatures were relatively cool.

Read more. Source: BBC


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