26 articles
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    Portrait of the Human as a Young Hominin

    How the world looked when we were Australopithecus.

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    What Made Early Humans Smart

    Walking upright made our ancestors easy prey. It also made them get smart.

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    What Color Really Evolved For

    The finding that melanosomes are so common inside animals’ bodies may overhaul our very understanding of the function of melanin, the pigment responsible for color in feathers and other external features.Photograph by Aline Dassel / Pixabay What color were the dinosaurs? If you have a picture in your head, fresh studies suggest you may need […]

  • Redefining Dinosaurs: Paleontologists are Shaking the Dinosaur Family Tree to its Roots.

    A radical reconfiguration of the long-standing dinosaur family tree challenges an orthodoxy built on roughly a century and a half of research.

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    The Rise and Fall of the Living Fossil

    The idea that some species are relics that have stopped evolving is finally going extinct.

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    Why We Love Dinosaurs

    If museums of natural history are temples to science, dinosaurs are their shrines.

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    World’s Oldest Fossils Now Appear to Be Squished Rocks

    Reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine’s Abstractions blog. In August 2016, a research team claimed to have unearthed evidence of life in a remote outcrop of 3.7-billion-year-old rocks in Greenland. This bold claim not only pushed back the origin of life by at least 220 million years, it also added to a growing body of evidence that challenged the standard story […]

  • World’s Oldest Fossils Now Appear to Be Squished Rocks

    Two years ago, scientists announced that they had found evidence of life in 3.7-billion-year-old rocks, suggesting that life arose on Earth extremely quickly. A new analysis of rocks from the same location calls that conclusion into doubt.

  • Gold Mining for Profit and Paleontology

    How the Gold Rush and Fossil Rush came together.