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a yellow-ish fish skull is held up by metal prongs, with a rack of other museum collection items in the background
Fossilized Fish Teeth Could Be Earliest Evidence of Cooking
Study authors say the teeth, dated around 780,000 years old, push back the date humans are known to have engaged in cooking by more than 600,000 years. 
Fossilized Fish Teeth Could Be Earliest Evidence of Cooking
Fossilized Fish Teeth Could Be Earliest Evidence of Cooking

Study authors say the teeth, dated around 780,000 years old, push back the date humans are known to have engaged in cooking by more than 600,000 years. 

Study authors say the teeth, dated around 780,000 years old, push back the date humans are known to have engaged in cooking by more than 600,000 years. 

paleobiology
Ferns bounced back much faster than other plants after the meteor impact that wiped out the dinosaurs.
Why Did Ferns Persist When All Other Plants Perished?
Amanda Heidt | Aug 15, 2022 | 6 min read
A strange layer in the fossil record contains evidence that fern populations exploded following the mass extinction that ended the Cretaceous period. Scientists want to know why.
A drawing portraying the black silhouette of Pompeii buildings with Mount Vesuvius and the sky behind them
First Human Genome Sequenced from Ancient Pompeii
Alejandra Manjarrez, PhD | May 26, 2022 | 4 min read
The genome is from a male who was likely in his late thirties when the historic Mount Vesuvius eruption occurred. The analyses suggest he is related to the diverse Imperial Roman population of the time, and that he may have suffered from spinal tuberculosis.
Environmental DNA Sequencing: Lessons from Ancient and Modern Environments
The Scientist’s Creative Services Team | 1 min read
In this webinar, Eske Willerslev and Simon Creer will discuss the discoveries they have made about the ancient and modern world through environmental DNA sequencing.
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An artist's depiction of a new species of Homo, H. longi
“Dragon Man” May Replace Neanderthal as Our Closest Relative
Amanda Heidt | Jun 25, 2021 | 8 min read
A massive, well-preserved skull discovered in China in the 1930s belongs to a new species called Homo longi, researchers report, but experts remain skeptical about the evidence.
Unearthed: World’s Oldest Animal Sperm—And It’s Giant
Max Kozlov | Dec 1, 2020 | 2 min read
The sperm, belonging to a tiny marine crustacean, dates back nearly 100 million years, making it the most ancient animal sperm found to date.
Ape Fossils Shed New Light on Evolution of Bipedalism
Catherine Offord | Nov 7, 2019 | 2 min read
The 12-million-year-old bones of a previously unknown species named Danuvius guggenmosi challenge the prevailing view about when and where our ancestors first started walking upright.
crane fly fossil
Image of the Day: Fossilized Eyes
Nicoletta Lanese | Aug 20, 2019 | 1 min read
Both modern and ancient crane fly eyes contain eumelanin, a light-screening pigment.
Fossilized Tubes Point to Super-Ancient Mobile Organisms
Jef Akst | Feb 12, 2019 | 1 min read
If the structures identified in a 2.1-billion-year-old rock are really signs of burrowing organisms, it would push back the earliest known mobile organisms by 1.5 billion years.
Paleoart
The Scientist Staff | Dec 31, 2018 | 1 min read
See an update from Chicago's Field Museum about the works of Charles R. Knight and other paleoartists who pioneered the depiction of ancient life.
First Vertebrates Evolved in Shallow Water
Kerry Grens | Oct 25, 2018 | 1 min read
Fish stuck to coastal habitats for nearly 100 million years after they first appeared.
Fossilized Lipids Confirm Dickinsonia as One of the Earliest Animals
Ruth Williams | Sep 20, 2018 | 3 min read
An analysis of organic material from 500-million-year-old fossils upholds the theory that the mysterious creatures were early forms of animal life.
Fossilized Beetle Is Earliest Evidence of Insect Pollinator
Abby Olena, PhD | Aug 16, 2018 | 3 min read
A 99-million-year-old beetle preserved in amber alongside grains of pollen likely pollinated prehistoric plants.
Why Are Modern Humans Relatively Browless?
Jim Daley | Jul 1, 2018 | 4 min read
The function of early hominins’ enlarged brow ridges, and their reduction in size in Homo sapiens, have puzzled paleoanthropologists for decades.
Fossilized Brains Called into Question, Might be Microbes
Abby Olena, PhD | Apr 11, 2018 | 4 min read
Authors of a new study suggest that 520-million-year-old structures, previously identified as the brains of ancient arthropods, are instead preserved microbial biofilms.
Paleoproteomics Opens a Window into the Past
Catherine Offord | Mar 1, 2018 | 10+ min read
Researchers are looking to proteins to explore the biology of ancient organisms, from medieval humans all the way back to dinosaurs.
Infographic: From Sediments to Sequences
Catherine Offord | Feb 28, 2018 | 2 min read
How to analyze ancient proteins
Another New Timeline for Homo naledi
Tracy Vence | Apr 27, 2017 | 1 min read
The ancient human may have lived around 200,000 to 300,000 years ago—much more recently than previously estimated.
Image of the Day: Primordial Plants
The Scientist Staff | Mar 8, 2017 | 1 min read
This ancient relative of the Ginkgo biloba (Umaltolepis mongoliensis) dates back 100 million years, to the early Cretaceous Period.
Extinct River Dolphin Species Discovered
Alison F. Takemura | Aug 16, 2016 | 2 min read
Overlooked for half a century, a skull in the Smithsonian collection points to a dolphin species that lived 25 million years ago, according to a study.
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