Natural History

Ancient tsunami wiped out prehistoric communities in Northern England

A study by the University of York has revealed that a tsunami wiped out prehistoric communities living in Northumberland, England, causing wide-scale depopulation across the region.

Travels of a 14,000-year-old woolly mammoth tied to earliest Alaska hunting camps

Scientists have established a connection between the travels of a 14,000-year-old woolly mammoth and the oldest known human settlements in Alaska.

Baboons in Ancient Egypt were raised in captivity before being mummified

In a new study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, researchers examined a collection of baboon mummies from the ancient Egyptian site of Gabbanat el-Qurud, the so-called Valley of the Monkeys on the west bank of Luxor.

Head lice evolution mirrors human migration and colonisation in the Americas

A recent analysis of lice's genetic diversity suggests that these parasites arrived in the Americas on two distinct occasions: first during the initial human migration across the Bering Strait, and later with the advent of European colonisation.

New insights into mummified mice on Andean volcanoes

A study of mummified mice found at Inca ritual sites on Andean volcanoes has revealed new insights into how the mice reached the summits.

Southern Ocean: Reconstructing environmental conditions over the past 30,000 years

In the last 30,000 years there was, at times, more mixing in the Southern Ocean than previously thought.

Sierra Nevada snowpack lowest in five centuries

Snowpack in California's Sierra Nevada in 2015 was at the lowest level in the past 500 years, according to a new report led by University of Arizona researchers.

World has lost 3 percent of its forests since 1990

The globe's forests have shrunk by three per cent since 1990 - an area equivalent to the size of South Africa - despite significant improvements in conservation over the past decade.

Research shows evolution in real time

In ongoing research to record the interaction of environment and evolution, a team led by University of California, Riverside biologist David Reznick has found new information illustrating the evolution of a population of guppies.

Scientists reveal New Zealand’s prehistoric wildlife sanctuaries

An international research team led by University of Otago scientists has documented prehistoric "sanctuary" regions where New Zealand seabirds survived early human hunting.

Widest distribution of mammoths during the last Ice Age

Ice Age paleontologist Prof. Dr. Ralf-Dietrich Kahlke of the Senckenberg Research Station for Quaternary Paleontology in Weimar recorded the maximum geographic distribution of the woolly mammoth during the last Ice Age and published the most accurate global map in this regard.

New research sheds light on end of Snowball Earth period

The second ice age during the Cryogenian period was not followed by the sudden and chaotic melting-back of the ice as previously thought, but ended with regular advances and retreats of the ice, according to research published by scientists from the University of Birmingham in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Humans as predators: An unsustainable appetite for adults and carnivores

Humans are just one of many predators in this world, but a new study highlights how their intense tendency to target and kill adult...

IU paleobotanist identifies what could be the mythical ‘first flower’

Indiana University paleobotanist David Dilcher and colleagues in Europe have identified a 125 million- to 130 million-year-old freshwater plant as one of earliest flowering plants on Earth.

Humans responsible for demise of gigantic ancient mammals

Early humans were the dominant cause of the extinction of a variety of species of giant beasts, new research has revealed.

Research shows catastrophic invertebrate extinction in Hawai’i and globally

Hawai'i has been called the "extinction capital of the world." But, with the exception of the islands' birds, there has until now been no accurate assessment of the true level of this catastrophic loss.

How 16th Century observations paved the way for Darwin’s landmark study

Documents dating back to the 16th Century provide a unique insight into one of Darwin's landmark studies - according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

Natural selection, key to evolution, also can impede formation of new species

An intriguing study involving walking stick insects led by the University of Sheffield in England and the University of Colorado Boulder shows how natural selection, the engine of evolution, can also impede the formation of new species.

Origins of life: New model may explain emergence of self-replication on early Earth

When life on Earth began nearly 4 billion years ago, long before humans, dinosaurs or even the earliest single-celled forms of life roamed, it may have started as a hiccup rather than a roar: small, simple molecular building blocks known as "monomers" coming together into longer "polymer" chains and falling apart in the warm pools of primordial ooze over and over again.

4 million years at Africa’s salad bar

As grasses grew more common in Africa, most major mammal groups tried grazing on them at times during the past 4 million years, but some of the animals went extinct or switched back to browsing on trees and shrubs, according to a study led by the University of Utah.

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