Massive fossil find in California includes mastodon, petrified forest

Mastodons, rhinos, and even camels — all in the great state of California.

Credit: Charles R. Knight/Wikimedia
  • A ranger working for a San Francisco water utility discovers a massive petrified forest and its ancient residents.
  • The forest dates from the Miocene era 10 million years ago.
  • Mastodons, horses, and rhinoceroses lived there.
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From 1.8 million years ago, earliest evidence of human activity found

Scientists discover what our human ancestors were making inside the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa 1.8 million years ago.

Credit: Michael Chazan / Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Researchers find evidence of early tool-making and fire use inside the Wonderwerk Cave in Africa.
  • The scientists date the human activity in the cave to 1.8 million years ago.
  • The evidence is the earliest found yet and advances our understanding of human evolution.
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Humans still similar to first animals without heads, arms, or skeletons

555-million-year-old oceanic creatures share genes with today's humans, finds a new study.

Credit: Sohail Wasif/UCR
  • A new study finds genetic links between early oceanic animals and humans.
  • The animals studied had no heads, skeletons, legs, or arms.
  • The creatures were from the Ediacaran era, living about 555 million years ago.
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Incredible fossil shows dinosaur sitting on preserved nest of eggs

Fossils of ancient creatures doing anything are rare. This one is absolutely unique.

Credit: Shundong Bi
  • A new fossil from southern China shows a dinosaur incubating its eggs at the time of its death.
  • The find sheds light on oviraptor eating and egg-tending behavior.
  • The find will be the focus of further study for some time.
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Neanderthals could produce and hear human speech, new study finds

Their ear structures were not that different from ours.

Credit: Mercedes Conde-Valverde/University of Binghamton
  • Neanderthals are emerging as having been much more advanced than previously suspected.
  • Analysis of ear structures indicated by fossilized remains suggests they had everything they needed for understanding the subtleties of speech.
  • The study also concludes that Neanderthals could produce the consonants required for a rich spoken language.
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