Neanderthals have been imagined as the inferior cousins of modern humans, but a new study by archaeologists at UCL reveals for the first time that they produced weaponry advanced enough to kill at a distance. The study, published in Scientific Reports, examined the performance of replicas of the 300,000 year old Schöningen spears—the oldest weapons

Paleontologists at the University of Chicago have discovered the first detailed fossil of a hagfish, the slimy, eel-like carrion feeders of the ocean. The 100-million-year-old fossil helps answer questions about when these ancient, jawless fish branched off the evolutionary tree from the lineage that gave rise to modern-day jawed vertebrates, including bony fish and humans.

A mass of charred seeds found while clearing a home construction site in Brantford, Ontario, has been identified as ancient, domesticated goosefoot (C. berlandieri spp. jonesianum), a form of quinoa native to Eastern North America. The seeds date back to 900 B.C., and have never previously been found north of Kentucky this early in history,

During the European Middle Ages, literacy and written texts were largely the province of religious institutions. Richly illustrated manuscripts were created in monasteries for use by members of religious institutions and by the nobility. Some of these illuminated manuscripts were embellished with luxurious paints and pigments, including gold leaf and ultramarine, a rare and expensive

The Roman poet Lucretius’ epic work “De rerum natura,” or “On the Nature of Things,” is the oldest surviving scientific treatise written in Latin. Composed around 55 B.C.E., the text is a lengthy piece of contrarianism. Lucreutius was in the Epicurean school of philosophy: He wanted an account of the world rooted in earthly matter,

A “hidden cradle of plant evolution” has been uncovered in Jordan. In Permian sedimentary rocks exposed along the east coast of the Dead Sea, a team led by palaeobotanists from the University of Münster discovered well-preserved fossils of plant groups bearing characteristics typical of younger periods of Earth history. The Permian began some 300 million

Using uranium-lead dating, Senckenberg scientists, in cooperation with an international team, were able to date the onset of the “Cambrian explosion” to precisely 538.8 million years ago. During the “Cambrian explosion,” all currently known “blueprints” in the animal kingdom appeared within a few million years, while at the same time the so-called “Ediacara biota” –

It was a prehistoric clash of the ages that didn’t end pretty when a monster in the sky clashed with a beast of the deep. The sorry outcome for one particular flying reptile is brutally recorded on a fossil where a shark chomped its neck, leaving a telltale tooth wedged against a vertebra. USC researchers

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have created a recipe for a renewable 3-D printing feedstock that could spur a profitable new use for an intractable biorefinery byproduct: lignin. The discovery, detailed in Science Advances, expands ORNL’s achievements in lowering the cost of bioproducts by creating novel uses for lignin—the material

Early Jurassic predatory dinosaurs are very rare, and mostly small in size. Saltriovenator zanellai, a new genus and species described in the peer-reviewed journal PeerJ – the Journal of Life and Environmental Sciences by Italian paleontologists, is the oldest known ceratosaurian, and the world’s largest (one ton) predatory dinosaur from the Lower Jurassic (Sinemurian, ~198

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