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Ancient in Biological News

Climate-caused biodiversity booms and busts in ancient plants and mammals

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---A period of global warming from 53 million to 47 million years ago strongly influenced plants and animals, spurring a biodiversity boom in western North America, researchers from three research museums report in a paper published online this week in the Proceedings of the Natio...

Scary ancient spiders revealed in 3-D models, thanks to new imaging technique

Early relatives of spiders that lived around 300 million years ago are revealed in new three-dimensional models, in research published today in the journal Biology Letters . Scientists at Imperial College London have created detailed 3D computer models of two fossilised specimens of ancient c...

Bizarre walking bat has ancient heritage

A bizarre New Zealand bat that is as much at home walking four-legged on the ground as winging through the air had an Australian ancestor 20 million years ago with the same rare ability, a new study has found. The discovery overturns a long-held held view that the agile walking and climbing skil...

Scientists 'rebuild' giant moa using ancient DNA

Scientists have performed the first DNA-based reconstruction of the giant extinct moa bird, using prehistoric feathers recovered from caves and rock shelters in New Zealand. Researchers from the University of Adelaide and Landcare Research in New Zealand have identified four different moa speci...

University of Leicester geologists demonstrate extent of ancient ice age

Geologists at the University of Leicester have shown that an ancient Ice Age, once regarded as a brief 'blip', in fact lasted for 30 million years. They have published their findings and are due to discuss them at a public lecture at the University on Wednesday June 17. Their research sugges...

Fossil bone bed helps reconstruct life along California's ancient coastline

Berkeley In the famed Sharktooth Hill Bone Bed near Bakersfield, Calif., shark teeth as big as a hand and weighing a pound each, intermixed with copious bones from extinct seals and whales, seem to tell of a 15-million-year-old killing ground. Yet, new research by a team of paleontologists fro...

Temporary infidelity may contribute to the stability of ancient relationships

Fungus-farming ants have cultivated the same fungal crops for 50 million years. Each young ant queen carries a bit of fungus garden with her when she flies away to mate and establish a new nest. Short breaks in the ants' relationship with the fungus during nest establishment may contribute to the...

Diuscovery in amber reveals ancient biology of termites

CORVALLIS, Ore. The analysis of a termite entombed for 100 million years in an ancient piece of amber has revealed the oldest example of "mutualism" ever discovered between an animal and microorganism, and also shows the unusual biology that helped make this one of the most successful, although f...

Wetlands likely source of methane from ancient warming event

An expansion of wetlands and not a large-scale melting of frozen methane deposits is the likely cause of a spike in atmospheric methane gas that took place some 11,600 years ago, according to an international research team led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. The finding ...

Final frontier: Mission to explore buried ancient Antarctic lake given green light

An international team of scientists led by the UK has been given the go-ahead to explore one of the planet's last great frontiers - an ancient lake hidden deep beneath Antarctica's ice sheet. Buried under 3 km of ice, the lake the size of Lake Windermere (UK) may have been isolated for hundreds ...

Reversing ecology reveals ancient environments

From hair color to the ancestral line of parasitic bacteria, scientists can glean a lot from genes. But imagine if genes also revealed where you lived or who you spent time with. It turns out they do, if you know where and how to look. Stanford researchers with collaborators at Tel-Aviv Univers...

Mountain caribou's ancient ancestry revealed

The declining mountain caribou populations of Canada's southern Rockies are a more distinct breed than scientists previously believed, according to a new study by University of Calgary researchers that is shedding light on the ancient ancestry of the mountain-dwelling herbivores. In a study pub...

University of Leicester archaeologist uncovers evidence of ancient chemical warfare

A researcher from the University of Leicester has identified what looks to be the oldest archaeological evidence for chemical warfare--from Roman times. At the meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, University of Leicester archaeologist Simon James presented CSI-style arguments tha...

Decline of carbon-dioxide-gobbling plankton coincided with ancient global cooling

ITHACA, N.Y. The evolutionary history of diatoms -- abundant oceanic plankton that remove billions of tons of carbon dioxide from the air each year -- needs to be rewritten, according to a new Cornell study. The findings suggest that after a sudden rise in species numbers, diatoms abruptly declin...

Male crickets with bigger heads are better fighters, study reveals, echoing ancient Chinese text

Observing and betting on cricket fights has been part of Chinese cultural tradition since at least the Sung Dynasty (A.D. 960-1278). This ancient practice has resulted in quite a detailed list of characteristics that Chinese practitioners think make for champion fighters. "Because money was involv...

Dry spells spelled trouble in ancient China

Chinese history is replete with the rise and fall of dynasties, but researchers now have identified a natural phenomenon that may have been the last straw for some of them: a weakening of the summer Asian Monsoons. Such weakening accompanied the fall of three dynasties and now could be lessenin...

6,000km trip to reveal clues to ancient migration

Two Durham University scientists are to play a key part in a 6000km trip following the migration route of ancient Pacific cultures. Drs Keith Dobney and Greger Larson, both from the Department of Archaeology, will be joining the voyage, which will be the first ever expedition to sail in two...

Genetic based human diseases are an ancient evolutionary legacy

This press release is available in German . Tomislav Domazet-Loo and Diethard Tautz from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Pln, Germany, have systematically analysed the time of emergence for a large number of genes - genes which can also initiate diseases. Their studies ...

Modern genetics vs. ancient frog-killing fungus

MOSCOW, Idaho Scientists at the University of Idaho currently are involved in a CSI-like investigation of a killer known to have been running rampant for the past decade. But the killer's name can't be found on the FBI's Most Wanted list. Instead, it's on the minds of ecologists on every continen...

Genome of simplest animal reveals ancient lineage, confounding array of complex capabilities

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. As Aesop said, appearances are deceivingeven in life's tiniest critters. From first detection in the 1880s, clinging to the sides of an aquarium, to its recent characterization by the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI), a simple and primitive animal, T...

UCLA 'world summit' to explore ancient life on Earth, and beyond

A UCLA "world summit" will bring together internationally renowned scientists from 12 countries including the U.S., Russia, China, Japan, Australia and India to address ancient microscopic fossils, from July 27 to Aug. 2. "We are bringing together the world's best scientists in the field o...

From humming fish to Puccini: Vocal communication evolved with ancient species

It's a long way from the dull hums of the amorous midshipman fish to the strains of a Puccini aria or, alas, even to the simplest Celine Dion melody. But the neural circuitry that led to the human love song not to mention birdsongs, frog thrums and mating calls of all manner of vertebrates was ...

Archaeologist uses satellite imagery to explore ancient Mexico

Satellite imagery obtained from NASA will help archeologist Bill Middleton peer into the ancient Mexican past. In a novel archeological application, multi- and hyperspectral data will help build the most accurate and most detailed landscape map that exists of the southern state of Oaxaca, where t...

Synchrotron light unveils oil in ancient Buddhist paintings from Bamiyan

The world was in shock when in 2001 the Talibans destroyed two ancient colossal Buddha statues in the Afghan region of Bamiyan. Behind those statues, there are caves decorated with precious paintings from 5th to 9th century A.D. The caves also suffered from Taliban destruction, as well as from a s...

Floating a big idea: MIT demos ancient use of rafts to transport goods

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--Oceangoing sailing rafts plied the waters of the equatorial Pacific long before Europeans arrived in the Americas, and carried tradegoods for thousands of miles all the way from modern-day Chile to western Mexico, according to new findings by MIT researchers in the Department of ...

New dinosaur from Mexico offers insights into ancient life on West America

SALT LAKE CITY A new species of dinosaur unearthed in Mexico is giving scientists fresh insights into the ancient history of western North America, according to an international research team led by scientists from the Utah Museum of Natural History at the University of Utah. To date, the di...

Scientists rebuild ancient proteins to reveal primordial Earth's temperature

GAINESVILLE, Fla. Using the genetic equivalent of an ancient thermometer, a team of scientists has determined that the Earth endured a massive cooling period between 500 million and 3.5 billion years ago. Reporting today (Feb. 7) in the journal Nature, researchers from the University of Florid...

Avian origins: new analysis confirms ancient beginnings

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---Did modern birds originate around the time of the dinosaurs' demise, or have they been around far longer" The question is at the center of a sometimes contentious "rocks versus clocks" debate between paleontologists, whose estimates are based on the fossil record, and scient...

Scientists melt million-year-old ice in search of ancient microbes

Researchers from the University of Delaware and the University of California at Riverside have thawed ice estimated to be at least a million years old from above Lake Vostok, an ancient lake that lies hidden more than two miles beneath the frozen surface of Antarctica. The scientists will now e...

Newfound ancient African megadroughts may have driven the evolution of humans and fishes

From 135,000 to 90,000 years ago tropical Africa had megadroughts more extreme and widespread than any previously known for that region, according to new research. Learning that now-lush tropical Africa was an arid scrubland during the early Late Pleistocene provides new insights into humans' m...

454 Sequencing: Science paper describes a novel, highly efficient method of sequencing ancient DNA

Branford, September 27, 2007 454 Life Sciences, a Roche company, today reported that researchers from Pennsylvania State University have used the companys Genome Sequencer FLX system to sequence the entire mitochondrial genomes from 10 individual woolly mammoths. The study, entitled "Whole-Geno...

Amber specimen captures ancient chemical battle

CORVALLIS, Ore. It appears that chemical warfare has been around a lot longer than poison arrows, mustard gas or nerve weapons about 100 million years, give or take a little. A new study by researchers at Oregon State University has identified a soldier beetle, preserved almost perfectly in a...

CU-Boulder team discovers first ancient manioc fields in Americas

A University of Colorado at Boulder team excavating an ancient Maya village in El Salvador buried by a volcanic eruption 1,400 years ago has discovered an ancient field of manioc, the first evidence for cultivation of the calorie-rich tuber in the New World. The manioc field was discovered un...

Scientists retrace evolution with first atomic structure of an ancient protein

EUGENE, Ore.(Aug. 16, 2007)Scientists have determined for the first time the atomic structure of an ancient protein, revealing in unprecedented detail how genes evolved their functions. "Never before have we seen so clearly, so far back in time," said project leader Joe Thornton, an evolutionar...

Caribbean frogs started with a single, ancient voyage on a raft from South America

Red frog from mountains of Haiti. Eleutherodactylus audanti , from Massif de la Selle. Nearly all of the 162 land-breeding frog species on Caribbean islands, including the coqui frogs of Puerto Rico, originated from a single frog species that rafted on a sea voyage from South America about 3...

CT scan reveals ancient long-necked gliding reptile

Close up CT scan, composite image of fossil gliding reptile Mecistrotrachelos apeoros. Curved foot and ribs are clearly visible The fossilized bones of a previously unknown, 220 million-year-old long-necked, gliding reptile may remain forever embedded in stone, but thanks to an industrial-size ...

An ancient bathtub ring of mammoth fossils

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory geologists have put out a call for teeth tusks, femurs and any and all other parts of extinct mammoths left by massive Ice Age floods in southeastern Washington. The fossils, in some cases whole skeletons of Mammathus columbi, the Columbian mammoth, were depo...

Fitness has fallen since the days of Ancient Greece

We may not be as fit as the people of ancient Athens, despite all that modern diet and training can provide, according to research by University of Leeds (UK) exercise physiologist, Dr Harry Rossiter. Dr Rossiter measured the metabolic rates of modern athletes rowing a reconstruction of an Atheni...

Volcanic eruptions, ancient global warming linked

A team of scientists announced today confirmation of a link between massive volcanic eruptions along the east coast of Greenland and in the western British Isles about 55 million years ago and a period of global warming that raised sea surface temperatures by five degrees (Celsius) in the tropics a...

Researchers give name to ancient mystery creature

For the first time, researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada have been able to put a name and a description to an ancient mammal that still defies classification. The findings, published recently in the Journal of Paleontology provide the first and only comprehensive account o...
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