News That Matters

Tag: ancient

Mystery extinct ape found in ancient Chinese tomb

Mystery extinct ape found in ancient Chinese tomb

Science
An ape that is new to science has been discovered buried in an ancient tomb in China.The gibbon has already become extinct, suggesting humans wiped out primate populations long before the modern age.Living primates are in peril, with many on the brink of extinction.The new gibbon, named Junzi imperialis, may be the first to vanish as a direct result of human actions, according to scientists led by the Zoological Society of London."All of the world's apes - chimpanzees, gorillas, orang-utans and gibbons - are threatened with extinction today due to human activities, but no ape species were thought to have become extinct as a result of hunting or habitat loss," said lead researcher Dr Samuel Turvey."However, the discovery of the re...
Scientists shocked by mysterious deaths of ancient trees

Scientists shocked by mysterious deaths of ancient trees

Science
A tree regarded as the icon of the African savannah is dying in mysterious circumstances.International scientists have discovered that most of the oldest and largest African baobabs have died over the past 12 years.They suspect the demise may be linked to climate change, although they have no direct evidence of this.The tree can grow to an enormous size, and may live hundreds if not thousands of years.The researchers, from universities in South Africa, Romania and the US, say the loss of the trees is "an event of an unprecedented magnitude".Revealing the findings in the journal, Nature Plants, they say the deaths were not caused by an epidemic."We suspect that the demise of monumental baobabs may be associated at least in part wi...
Jurassic fossil tail provides missing link in ancient crocodile family tree

Jurassic fossil tail provides missing link in ancient crocodile family tree

Science
May 11 (UPI) -- Paleontologists have recovered a Jurassic fossil tail they believe is the missing link between two halves of the ancient crocodile family. During the Jurassic period, from roughly 200 to 145 million years ago, ancient crocodiles took two basic forms, each featuring several species. One group featured dino-like armor and had limbs for walking on land. Another had tail fins and flippers, but not armor. One group was croc-like, the other was dolphin-like. Researchers suggest the newly discovered tail belonged to an intermediary species, which boasted armor as well as tail fins. Scientists, who described the fossil in the journal PeerJ, named the new species Magyarosuchus fitosi, a tribute to Attila Fitos, the amateur collector who discovered it. Fitos dug up the tail in the ...
Scientists identify color of ancient fossilized butterfly

Scientists identify color of ancient fossilized butterfly

Science
April 11 (UPI) -- Scientists have successfully determined the color of an ancient butterfly wing. It's the first time scientists have identified the color of a 200-million-year-old insect.The coloration of a butterfly's wing is determined by wavelength-selective scattering patterns, which cause some wavelengths to be absorbed and others to be reflected. Unlike pigments, which can survive for millions of years, structural colors are more difficult to identify among ancient fossils.An international team of researchers used a combination of advanced imaging techniques to reveal the ultrastructures, the architecture of cells visible with magnification, on the surface of the fossil butterfly wing. Scientists used optical modeling to interpret the structural patterns and characterize the wing's ...
Egyptian archaeologists find ancient necropolis

Egyptian archaeologists find ancient necropolis

Technology
An ancient necropolis containing 40 stone coffins, small statues and a necklace with an inscription "Happy New Year" has been discovered.Khaled El-Enany, Egypt's antiques minister, said the discovery near Tuna al-Gabal, south of Cairo, included a large number of burial shafts dating from the late Pharaonic period to the early Ptolomaic era of around 305BC.The site is more than 2,000 years old and it is expected to take another five years to excavate.Mr Enany said: "It's only the beginning, we are very soon going to add a new archaeological attraction to Middle Egypt."Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said: "Evacuation work is scheduled to last for five years in an attempt to uncover all the burials in the cemetery."Image:A wooden coffin found by archa...