Archive for September, 2018

Earth’s oldest animals formed complex communities

A new analysis is shedding light on Earth’s first macroscopic animals: the 570-million-year-old, enigmatic Ediacara biota. Ediacaran fossils have a slightly bizarre appearance not shared by any modern animal groups. For decades, researchers believed these enigmatic fossils were ecologically simple. However, borrowing a method from modern ecology — fitting species to relative abundance distributions — […]

Ancient bird bones redate human activity in Madagascar by 6,000 years

Analysis of bones, from what was once the world’s largest bird, has revealed that humans arrived on the tropical island of Madagascar more than 6,000 years earlier than previously thought — according to a study published today, 12 September 2018, in the journal Science Advances. A team of scientists led by international conservation charity ZSL […]

Geologists reveal ancient connection between England and France

The British mainland was formed from the collision of not two, but three ancient continental land masses, according to new research. Scientists have for centuries believed that England, Wales and Scotland were created by the merger of Avalonia and Laurentia more than 400 million years ago. However, geologists based at the University of Plymouth now […]

Global warming: Worrying lessons from the past

Fifty-six million years ago, Earth experienced an exceptional episode of global warming. In a very short time on a geological scale, within 10,000 to 20,000 years, the average temperature increased by 5 to 8 degrees, only returning to its original level a few hundred thousand years later. Based on the analysis of sediments from the […]

Ancient farmers profoundly changed Earth’s climate!!!

Millennia ago, ancient farmers cleared land to plant wheat and maize, potatoes and squash. They flooded fields to grow rice. They began to raise livestock. And unknowingly, they may have been fundamentally altering the climate of Earth. A study published in the journal Scientific Reports provides new evidence that ancient farming practices led to a […]

Mammal forerunner that reproduced like a reptile sheds light on brain evolution

Compared with the rest of the animal kingdom, mammals have the biggest brains and produce some of the smallest litters of offspring. A newly described fossil of an extinct mammal relative — and her 38 babies — is among the best evidence that a key development in the evolution of mammals was trading brood power […]