Ancient Mysteries

Ancient retroviruses that affected 28 of 50 modern mammals’ ancestors 15 to 30 million years ago discovered

Ancient retroviruses that affected 28 of 50 modern mammals’ ancestors 15 to 30 million years ago discovered

Boston College researchers have uncovered the worldwide spread of an ancient group of retroviruses that affected ancestors of roughly 28 of 50 modern mammals nearly 15 to 30 million years back.

Retroviruses are widespread and consists human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV-1 and -2) and human T-cell leukemia viruses. The findings of the scientists on a particular group of these viruses known as ERV-Fc have shown that they affected a large number of hosts, like species as diverse as primates, carnivores, and rodents. The results will appear in journal eLife.

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World’s Oldest Fungi existed even before Plant and Animal Life

World’s Oldest Fungi existed even before Plant and Animal Life

Researchers have discovered fossils of terrestrial fungi that may have played an important role in supporting early ecosystem at the time when our world was much different what we see today. The study on life of Tortotubus protuberans fungi, the world’s oldest terrestrial fossils, was published in the Botanical Journal of the Linnaean Society on Wednesday.

The oldest fossils came from North Africa, they date back to 445 million years, while most recent are about 385 million years old. The second oldest fossil is 5 million years younger than Tortotubus.

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Bite Style of Prehistoric Sea Bear and a Saber-Toothed Cat Resemble

Bite Style of Prehistoric Sea Bear and a Saber-Toothed Cat Resemble

American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) researchers were surprised when they analyzed Smilodon, a saber-toothed cat during a study on feeding among clam-eating marine carnivores. However, from their recent findings the elusive cat had a jaw structure resembling that of a marine bear, which existed 20 million years ago. Both species were meat-eaters.

Fossil Discovered from China reveals Shrimp-like Creature’s Nervous System

Fossil Discovered from China reveals Shrimp-like Creature’s Nervous System

The fossil of a shrimp-like animal that thrived on our planet 520 million years ago has given researchers an opportunity to understand ancient nervous system. The remains unearthed from southern China are so well preserved that individual nerves are still visible.

A study team reported that it is one of the best preserved nervous systems ever discovered. It has been estimated that the ancient nervous system could reveal several things about animals’ evolution.

Glyptodonts were closely related to modern armadillos: Study

Glyptodonts were closely related to modern armadillos: Study

Freshly published research paper about genetic data backs up the long-thought belief that glyptodonts are part of armadillos. The DNA study published in Current Biology has proved that the long-extinct armored beasts were very closely related to modern armadillos.

Study researchers Hendrik Poinar of McMaster University and Frédéric Delsu of the French National Centre for Scientific Research have assessed the genome of a Glyptodont called Doedicurus, which was one of the largest known species in the family.

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What could have led to an end of Civilization on Eastern Island

What could have led to an end of Civilization on Eastern Island

The Rapa Nui Island, famous for its homogenous stone statue called Moai, was named Eastern Island during its discovery by a Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen in 1722. Once it was home to civilization of monolithic era that later became extinct. Many archeologists have different views regarding what led to the demise of Rapa Nui. Two possible answers to the question by historians and archeologists are in conflict with each other.

Easter Island Artifacts were General Purpose Tools, Not Weapons

Easter Island Artifacts were General Purpose Tools, Not Weapons

An eye-opener study has proved ancient Easter Island theory wrong and claimed to solve what happened to the archipelago’s civilization. Evidence found by study researchers suggests that blood battles were not behind the demolition of ancient civilization.

A team of researchers from Binghamton University conducted analysis on hundreds of artifacts found on the shores of the island and found that the triangular object were actually general purpose tools. As per an ancient theory, Easter Island civilization experienced warfare over food and land that led to destruction.

Botanist at Rutgers University discovers new plant species trapped in amber

Botanist at Rutgers University discovers new plant species trapped in amber

Rutgers University botanist Lena Struwe claims to have found a new plant species locked in ancient amber. The delicate flowers are believed to have fallen to the floor of a muggy and tropical forest more than 15 million years ago.

Instead of getting withered away, the flowers were trapped in sticky globs of tree resin and toughened into amber with time. These were then carried to what is now a Caribbean mountain range.

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Researchers come up with new detailed catalogue of rare minerals containing 5,500 records

Researchers come up with new detailed catalogue of rare minerals containing 5,500 records

Researchers for the first time have categorized earth’s rarest minerals. They have tracked 5,000 minerals and less than 100 are available in entire earth’s crust while the others are rare. In fact, the rarest ones, 2,500 minerals, are only found at five places across the globe.

The research team said that it is important to study some of them as they have fundamental information about the construction of the planet. And, also some will have properties that will prove useful in technological applications.

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Similarities between Rusingoryx and hadrosaurs are great example of convergent evolution

Similarities between Rusingoryx and hadrosaurs are great example of convergent evolution

Science is perpetually full of surprises because researchers have found species from the Ice Age that has a lot common with a group of dinosaurs that used to roam during the Cretaceous period 145 to 66 million years ago.

Rusingoryx atopocranion, an extinct species, shares a feature with a group of hadrosaurs, which is a nasal crest. As per scientists, a Pleistocene antelope having a bony nasal crest akin to some hadrosaur species is a sheer example of convergent evolution.

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