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Ancient Shark Sported Devil Horns

"Devil Tooth" also had spikes on its fins

(Newser) - Researchers have discovered a never-before-seen prehistoric shark in a piece of Arizona limestone, and the creature had a rather frightening feature: a pair of "devil horns." The shark, dubbed the Devil Tooth or Diablodontus michaeledmundi, probably used the horns either to defend itself or to attract mates, Discovery...

Here's the Oldest Bird Ever Found —Maybe

Aurornis xui predates Archaeopteryx, but some think China 'enhanced' fossil

(Newser) - The feathered Archaeopteryx long ago laid claim to the title of oldest known bird—but it appears there's a new oldest winged critter in town. Scientists have found a fossil of a feathered dinosaur that predates Archaeopteryx by some 10 million years: Aurornis xui, discovered in northeastern China. The...

Scientists Find Ancient Rainforest—in Antarctica

Continent was downright balmy 52M years ago

(Newser) - It turns out Antarctica wasn't always an inhospitable expanse of ice. Drilling in the seabed off Antarctica has dug up sediment cores that, scientists say, reveal that a "near-tropical" forest covered the continent about 52 million years ago, the AFP reports. "There wouldn't have been any...

Cave Art Dates Back to Neanderthals
 Cave Art 
 Dates Back 
 to Neanderthals 

study says

Cave Art Dates Back to Neanderthals

Earliest work more than 40K years old

(Newser) - Our ancestors were artists far earlier than experts had believed, new dating techniques reveal. Paintings in El Castillo cave in northwestern Spain are at least 40,800 years old—the oldest ever found, and ancient enough that Neanderthals could have painted them. That would come as a surprise, since experts...

Early Humans Found Unique Way to Get Woolly Mammoth

Fossil suggests they stole prey from lions, say scientists

(Newser) - Prehistoric humans may have sliced up woolly mammoths for dinner after stealing them from lions. Markings on a mammoth fossil show evidence of both human and lion involvement, reports the BBC . Researchers examined an "exquisitely preserved" carcass of a young woolly mammoth that still has its teeth, tusks, and...

Scientists Replicate Prehistoric Cricket Sound

Could be the world's oldest known song: researchers

(Newser) - Scientists have brought back a sound that hasn't been heard in 165 million years: the song of a prehistoric cricket. Using a remarkably intact fossil of a katydid—also known as a bush cricket—researchers were able to create soundalike replicas based on the creature's wings, AFP reports....

Artist's Studio From 100000 BC Unearthed

Primitive paint workshop is evidence of early abstract thinking

(Newser) - Around 100,000 years ago, people were already mixing paint, using it to decorate objects and themselves and even storing it, say researchers in South Africa. A cave on the country's Indian Ocean coast has yielded what researchers believe is an ancient artist's studio, where tools were used...

Prehistoric Kids Went to Art Class

Cave art suggests adults taught children to be creative

(Newser) - Looks like art class may date back 13,000 years: Back then, research suggests, kids were getting help from adults as they decorated cave walls. Analysis of cave art in France reveals which works were created by kids, and the findings even indicate the artists’ likely ages and genders, the...

Ancient Feathers Add Some Color to Dinosaurs

Scientists thrilled with trove found in Canada from 70M years ago

(Newser) - Dinosaurs just got a little more colorful. A batch of prehistoric feathers found in western Canada from about 70 million years ago suggests that feathers on dinosaurs and early birds were more diverse and complex than thought, reports the Los Angeles Times . "Instead of scaly animals portrayed as usually...

Researchers Pinpoint Oldest Homo Erectus Tools

Axes, other implements go back 1.8M years in Kenya

(Newser) - A new study has identified the oldest known tools to have been used by Homo erectus. Until now, archaeologists had figured that the oldest tools used by man’s ancestor were somewhere in the ballpark of 1.4 million to 1.6 million years old. But now geologists have discovered...

Americas' Oldest Dog Unearthed

9,400-year-old Fido ended up as dinner

(Newser) - The first known domesticated dog in the Americas lived some 9,400 years ago and likely provided its owner with company, security, and, eventually, dinner, an ancient bone fragment suggests. A University of Maine researcher found the bone fragment in a prehistoric sample of human waste in Texas. DNA testing...

Dino-Eating Snake Makes Hiss-tory

Serpent preyed on titanosaur babies

(Newser) - Hundred-ton dinosaurs may have been just as scared of snakes as humans are. The recent discovery of a fossilized snake wrapped around a baby titanosaur offers the first-ever direct evidence that prehistoric snakes fed on dinosaur hatchlings. Researchers believe the snake was attacking a baby dinosaur as it hatched; a...

How Birds, Crocs Escaped Prehistoric Extinction

One-way breathing pattern points to common ancestor

(Newser) - In the midst of the planet's worst-ever wave of extinction some 250 million years ago, the ancestors of birds and alligators managed to survive thanks to a shared breathing mechanism that enabled them to weather low oxygen levels. New research shows that when birds and alligators breathe, air flows in...

Scientists Find Fossil of 'Mother of All Primates'

(Newser) - Scientists have discovered a 47 million-year-old primate fossil that they believe represents the common ancestor of all later monkeys, apes, and humans, reports the Wall Street Journal. The find supports a theory that humans' ancient ape-like ancestor was an adapid, which is also believed to be linked to lemurs. The...

Baby Mammoth Gives Up Secrets

(Newser) - A nearly perfectly preserved 37,000-year-old baby mammoth is giving up tantalizing secrets about her species, scientists report. The creature, dubbed Lyuba by researchers, still sports clumps of hair and eyelashes, according to the Telegraph. Scientists have been able to examine stomach contents and the mineral makeup of the bones...

Skull Hints at Caveman Compassion

Skull suggests ancient humans cared for sick

(Newser) - Scientists have pieced together the skull of an ancient human who appears to have been deformed, but survived to at least age 5—suggesting he or she was cared for in spite of the handicap. That’s evidence for the existence of compassion in early humans, a trait other primates...

Horses Tamed Earlier Than We Thought

(Newser) - Horses were domesticated 1,000 years earlier than thought, a finding that could prompt a rethinking of ancient human history, the BBC reports. A team from Exeter University found evidence of the use of harness bits on teeth—as well as horse meat and horse milk beverages—in Kazakhstan that...

Ancient Footprints Reveal Path to Humanity

Tracks in Kenya are 1.5 million years old

(Newser) - Scientists have unearthed ancient footprints that reveal humanity's ancestors walked with a modern stride as long as 1.5 million years ago, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Researchers believe the tracks—left beside a muddy river bank in Kenya and preserved when the river changed course—belong to human ancestor Homo ...

Meet Titanoboa, 45-Foot Snake
 Meet Titanoboa, 45-Foot Snake 

Meet Titanoboa, 45-Foot Snake

(Newser) - A 45-foot, 1.25-ton snake stalked the jungles of South America in the period shortly after dinosaurs went extinct, the Times of London reports. Researchers have found 28 individual “Titanoboas” in Colombia’s Cerrejon Coal Mine; with every specimen at least 40 feet long, scientists say it’s likely...

Cavemen Were Stoners
 Cavemen Were Stoners 

Cavemen Were Stoners

They rocked in stone-age in 'religious trances'

(Newser) - Prehistoric man apparently liked to get stoned in the Stone Age, scientists have discovered. Researchers found paraphernalia on a Caribbean island used to prepare hallucinogenic drugs for sniffing, dating back to prehistoric high times, reports the Telegraph. Experts believe the ceramic bowls and tubers were used to inhale cohoba, used...

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