Friday, May 31, 2013

Earliest Bird Ancestor Found

A 150 million-year-old fossil found in China's Liaoning Province and left unidentified in a local museum has been classified as the earliest known bird ancestor (Aurornis xui), with implications that flight evolved in dinosaurs only once in the lineage leading to modern birds.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Starfish Lose Arms to Heat

Scientists have found that cold-blooded (ectotherm) starfish can regulate their internal body temperatures to a degree, diverting heat away from their vital organs at the center core and into their arms to dissipate heat more efficiently even at the cost of losing that appendage to tissue damage.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Well-Preserved Mammoth Found

Scientists have excavated a female woolly mammoth carcass from sub-freezing temperatures in Siberia between 10,000 and 15,000 years old that is well-preserved enough to have flowing liquid blood and muscle tissue the color of fresh meat, provoking theories that the species' blood possessed cryoprotective properties.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Submerged Structure in Israel

Archaeologists have discovered a conical, man-made structure 70 meters across made of basalt boulders submerged about half a kilometer from shore in the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel that is of unknown origin, construction or purpose.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cave Paintings in Mexico

Archaeologists have discovered almost 5000 ancient cave paintings yet to be accurately dated at 11 sites in the northeastern Burgos region of Mexico, an area previously thought uninhabited from pre-Hispanic times.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Flying vs. Diving in Birds

A new study examining diving seabird species murres (Uria lomvia) and cormorants (Phalacrocorax pelagicus) finds these birds possess the most energetically inefficient wings for flight, concluding that flightless birds such as penguins lost their ability to fly as the adaptations for an aquatic lifestyle are unsuitable to maintain flight.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Billion-Year-Old Water

Scientists have discovered ancient water pockets through boreholes into a Canadian mine that are at least 1.5 billion years old, possibly significantly older, part of an isolated and interconnected fluid system in the deep crust that contains chemicals that may able to support microbial life.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Moon and Earth Water Source

New analysis of the hydrogen-deuterium ratios in samples brought back on the Apollo missions shows the residual water left in the lunar soil is of an identical origin to that found on Earth, implying water was already present on Earth at the formation of the Moon 4.5 billion years ago.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hanging Gardens of Babylon

After decades of research, an Oxford professor has uncovered historical evidence of the legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon, located not in Hillah as traditionally believed but 300 miles away in Nineveh and built not by Nebuchadnezzar but by the Assyrian ruler Sennacherib.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Cannibalism at Jamestown

New analysis of the bones of a 14-year-old girl show the first direct archaeological evidence of cannibalism by the early American colonists at the Jamestown settlement in Virginia during the harsh winter "starving time" of 1609-1610.