The close of the Permian Period around 250 million years ago saw Earth's biggest extinction ever. At this time large volcanic eruptions were occurring in what is now Siberia. The volcanoes pumped out gases that led to acid rain. Falling on the supercontinent Pangaea, the acid rain killed off end-Permian forests. The demise of forests led to soil erosion and the production of organic-rich sediments in shallow marine waters.
A skull discovered by Tel Aviv University researchers provides direct anatomical evidence that fills a problematic time gap of modern human migration into Europe. It is also the first proof that anatomically modern humans existed at the same time as Neanderthals in the same geographical area.
Understanding how baleen whales hear has posed a great mystery to marine mammal researchers. New research by San Diego State University biologist Ted W. Cranford and University of California, San Diego engineer Petr Krysl reveals that the skulls of at least some baleen whales, specifically fin whales in their study, have acoustic properties that capture the energy of low frequencies and direct it to their ear bones.
University of Alberta paleontologists including Ph.D. student Tetsuto Miyashita, former M.Sc. student Lida Xing and professor Philip Currie have discovered a new species of a long-necked dinosaur from a skeleton found in China.
The discovery of a 55,000-year-old skull in Northern Israel provides new insights into the migration of modern humans. The skull has a bun-shaped region at the back resembling modern African and European skulls, suggesting the people of this area could be closely related to the first modern humans that colonized Europe. It also indicates that modern humans and Neanderthals inhabited the southern Levant close in time to the two groups' likely interbreeding event.
So far any trace was missing of those modern humans who made their way from Africa to the North, arriving in Europe around 45,000 years ago and replacing all other forms of hominins. Now a finding from the Manot-Cave in northern Israel is closing this gap in our knowledge about our own origin. It turned out that the finding fits the gap in terms of morphology. Manot also changes our view with regard to our potential interbreeding scenario with Neandertals.
Characteristics of a partial skull recently discovered in Manot Cave in Israel's West Galilee provide the earliest evidence that modern humans co-inhabited the area with Neanderthals and could have met and interbred 55,000 years ago.
From the subarctic Pacific to the Chilean margins, extreme oxygen loss is stretching from the upper ocean to about 3,000 meters deep. In some oceanic regions, such loss occurred within 100 years or less, according to a UC Davis study.
Fossilized remains of four ancient snakes have been dated between 140 and 167 million years old -- nearly 70 million years older than the previous record of ancient snake fossils -- and are changing the way we think about the origins of snakes.
Pre-Homo human ancestral species, such as Australopithecus africanus, used human-like hand postures much earlier than was previously thought