Paleontology

Dolphin fossil sheds light on evolutionary history of whales and dolphins

Dolphin fossil sheds light on evolutionary history of whales and dolphins

A fossil that has been present in the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History for more than six decades is now helping to scientists to know about the evolutionary history of whales and dolphins.

As per the researchers, the fossil is of a dolphin that used to live in subarctic marine waters around 25 million years back. The dolphin represents new genus and species, which has been named as Arktocara yakataga.

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3,000-year-old skeleton could be human offering to ancient Greek God Zeus

3,000-year-old skeleton could be human offering to ancient Greek God Zeus

Lately discovered 3,000-year-old skeleton found in Greece could be the remains of a human sacrifice offered to the Greek God. The Hellenic Ministry of Culture, Education and Religious Affairs has announced that the skeleton was discovered at an altar dedicated to Zeus at Mount Lykaion in Greece.

The skeleton is considered to be of a teenager boy. The excavation was carried out this summer by archaeologists from the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project. The archaeologists shared that they have been carrying out the excavation of an ‘ash altar’ since 2007.

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Ancient fecal specimen confirms Orthacanthus sharks ate their babies

Ancient fecal specimen confirms Orthacanthus sharks ate their babies

Researchers have discovered juvenile shark teeth in the fossilized poor of the Orthacanthus sharks that were found in a coal field in Canada. The findings show that this ancient species of shark that lived around 300 million years ago used to indulge in filial cannibalism, a behavior in which adults of the species eat their own young.

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Humans used specialized tools to kill different animals 250,000 years back

Humans used specialized tools to kill different animals 250,000 years back

Archaeologists have found evidence that humans used tools to kill and butcher animals 250,000 years ago. The samples were found in an ancient watering hole called the Azraq Oasis. It is the first time that the researchers have come across direct evidence of the act being carried out by Stone Age ancestors.

Archaeologist April Nowell from University of Victoria said that 250,000 years ago the Azraq Oasis wads a watering hole that used to attract a number of species, including human hunters who used to trap animals.

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Researchers unveil about first known dinosaur to suffer from septic arthritis

Researchers unveil about first known dinosaur to suffer from septic arthritis

Researchers have provided details of the first known dinosaur that suffered from septic arthritis, a crippling form of arthritis. Researchers have discovered the dinosaur’s two forearm bones, radius and ulna.

Though researchers are not completely sure about the species, they probably think that it would be a duck-billed dinosaur also known as hadrosaur, which lived around 70 million years back. This form of arthritis also takes place in humans, birds and crocodiles.

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St. Paul’s mammoth population could have disappeared without humans’ influence: Study

St. Paul’s mammoth population could have disappeared without humans’ influence: Study

Not all woolly mammoths died over 10,000 years back. There was a group on the remote Saint Paul Island in Alaska that thrived for thousands of years after their population faced extinction in other regions. These mammoths have become extinct around 5,600 years back because of shortage of water.

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Scarcity of drinking water and its over-use caused demise of last woolly mammoths: Study

Scarcity of drinking water and its over-use caused demise of last woolly mammoths: Study

A group of woolly mammoths living on the St Paul Island, one of the last known groups of woolly mammoths, died around 5,600 years back owing to lack of drinking water. Warming climate resulted into lakes to become shallower owing to which the animals were unable to satisfy their hunger.

Majority of the world's woolly mammoths died around 10,500 years back. According to scientists, human hunting and environmental changes played a role in their extinction. But there was group living on St Paul Island, located in the Bering Sea, which managed to live another 5,000 years.

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'Game of Thrones' ants’ spikes meant for more than providing defense against predation

'Game of Thrones' ants’ spikes meant for more than providing defense against predation

Resemblance with the 'Game of Thrones' dragons, researchers have named two new ant species after them. They are now named as Pheidole drogon and Pheidole viserion. Both the ants could challenge any scientist’s assumption about spiny ants.

These ants have spikes that poke out from their backs. Scientists have said that what is present in these spines might change scientists’ perception for what actually they are meant for. Study’s lead researcher Eli Sarnat said that the spikes give a perception that they are meant for protection against predation.

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Oldest known example of malignant tumor discovered in hominin

Oldest known example of malignant tumor discovered in hominin

Discovery of a foot bone dated to around 1.7 million years ago from the site of Swartkrans having definite evidence of malignant cancer has ensured that the disease dates back in deep prehistory rather than from recent times.

For now, the researchers are not sure to which the foot bone belongs to, but one thing is clear that it is of a hominin. The foot bone was originally excavated between 1960 and 1980 from the Swartkrans cave, a part of a World Heritage Site in South Africa.

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New meat-eating dinosaur discovered in Argentina

New meat-eating dinosaur discovered in Argentina

Researchers have unearthed fossils of a carnivorous dinosaur known as Murusraptor barrosaensis that lived around 80 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period. The dinosaur discovered in Sierra Barrosa, in northwest Patagonia that was around 21 feet long was a violent predator that loved to kill its preys with sickle-shaped claws.

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