archeology

one crazy looking crocodile
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Via Washington Post:

A new species found in North Carolina is one of the oldest and largest crocodile relatives ever known.

Back before dinosaurs were the big bads of our continent, Carnufex carolinensis ruled the scene. At nine feet long and walking on its hind legs, this croc would have been a fierce predator 230 million years ago. Researchers described the species (which translates to "Carolina Butcher," which is awesome) for the first time Thursday in Scientific Reports.

The great blue hole offers insight to the collapse of the mayans
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Via The Earth Story:

The cave has already been used in research on Saharan dust transport across the Atlantic since its depths make an ideal sediment trap, and now new work has confirmed the inference from other sources that the Maya civilisation fell after a series of long droughts. They used a series of sediment samples from the epoch of their demise (around 800-1000 CE) and compared the changing ratios of aluminium and titanium, which reveal periods of heavy rainfall from tropical cyclones (the source of most of the water that kept the Mayans alive).

These indicated several long periods of drought at the time of their slow downfall that eked out over two centuries as the inter tropical convergence zone shifted north and south, taking the rain giving cyclones with it. The science is simple, in times of greater rain, more of the volcanic rocks in the area are weathered, and the water flows into the sea dumping its sediment and accompanying titanium with it. Analysing through the core allows the shifting rainfall densities to be tracked over time.
archeology,science,bird,aurornis xui,fossil
Via: Wired
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...The new fossil, which the team has named Aurornis xui ( Aurornis meaning "dawn bird," and xui in honor of Xing Xu's contributions to bird origins), was found in Liaoning province's Tiaojishan Formation, in sediments dated about 160 million years ago, according to the Nature report. That's around the time that dinosaurs are believed to have started evolving into birds...
archeology,discovery,science,paleontology
Via: NY Times
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Most geneticists agree that Native Americans are descended from Siberians who crossed into America 26,000 to 18,000 years ago via a land bridge over the Bering Strait. But while genetic analysis of modern Native Americans lends support to this idea, strong fossil evidence has been lacking.

Now a nearly complete skeleton of a prehistoric teenage girl, newly discovered in an underwater cave in the Yucatán Peninsula, establishes a clear link between the ancient and modern peoples, scientists say.
birds,archeology,dinosaurs,flight,science
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Archaeologists have unearthed the fossil of a "four-winged" dinosaur bird – indicating that feathered dinosaurs may have been able to fly before the evolution of birds.

The long tail feathers of Changyuraptor, from north-east China, would have provided the stability and speed control required for a safe landing.

At four feet long and weighing 90 pounds, the creature, which lived 125 million years ago, is the biggest dinosaur of its type yet discovered.

The well-preserved fossil shows that its body was cloaked by a full set of feathers and, in comparison with its body size, the foot-long tail feathers were unusually long.
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