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Fossils purported to be world’s earliest animals revealed as algae

Fossils purported to be world’s earliest animals revealed as algae

Science
Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Fossils previously heralded as the earliest evidence of animal life have been revealed to be algae. The reinterpretation, announced Monday in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, will force scientists to reconsider early animal evolution. "It brings the oldest evidence for animals nearly 100 million years closer to the present day," study co-author Lennart van Maldegem said in a news release. Advertisement "We were able to demonstrate that certain molecules from common algae can be altered by geological processes -- leading to molecules which are indistinguishable from those produced by sponge-like animals," said van Maldegem, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Australian National University. The new research reverses the trend of fresh discoveries pushing the eme...
Earliest evidence for humans in the Americas

Earliest evidence for humans in the Americas

Science
Humans settled in the Americas much earlier than previously thought, according to new finds from Mexico.They suggest people were living there 33,000 years ago, twice the widely accepted age for the earliest settlement of the Americas.The results are based on work at Chiquihuite Cave, a high-altitude rock shelter in central Mexico.Archaeologists found thousands of stone tools suggesting the cave was used by people for at least 20,000 years.Ice ageDuring the second half of the 20th Century, a consensus emerged among North American archaeologists the Clovis people had been the first to reach the Americas, about 11,500 years ago.The Clovis were thought to have crossed a land bridge linking Siberia to Alaska during the last ice age. T...
Archaeologists may have uncovered London’s earliest theater

Archaeologists may have uncovered London’s earliest theater

Science
June 10 (UPI) -- Archaeologists claim to have unearthed the oldest theater in London. Discovered by a team of archaeologists with the University College London, the Elizabethan playhouse, called the Red Lion, was originally constructed in 1567. Advertisement "This site, with its prototype stage and seating, could represent the dawn of Elizabethan theater!" UCL Archaeology South-East wrote on Twitter. For the last two years, excavators have been working carefully to unearth the remains of theater, revealing a prototype stage and seating. "This is one of the most extraordinary sites I've worked on," UCL archaeologist Stephen White, who led the excavation, said in a news release. "After nearly five hundred years, the remains of the Red Lion playhouse, which marked the dawn of Elizabethan th...
Earliest evidence of hominin interbreeding revealed by DNA analysis

Earliest evidence of hominin interbreeding revealed by DNA analysis

Science
Feb. 21 (UPI) -- According to a new study, hominin populations were interbreeding at least 700,000 years ago. The revelation was made possible by statistical models and sophisticated genetic analysis methods developed by researchers at the University of Utah. In 2017, anthropologist Alan Rogers claimed to have found genetic evidence of an early separation of Neanderthal and Denisovan lineages and a population bottleneck among their ancestors. When anthropologists Fabrizio Mafessoni and Kay Prüfer analyzed the same DNA data, they arrived at a different interpretation. Rogers agreed that his original analysis was flawed. "Both of our methods under discussion were missing something, but what?" Rogers asked in a news release. Rogers returned to the data in search of patterns of mutations or...
Study pinpoints the timing of earliest human migration

Study pinpoints the timing of earliest human migration

Science
Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Sangiran, a World Heritage archeological site on the island of Java, is home to dozens of hominin fossils, comprising three different species, including evidence of the earliest hominid migration to Southeast Asia. Until now, scientists have struggled to figure out the precise timing of the hominin migrations that populated Java. New estimates, based on a unique fossil dating survey, suggest Homo erectus, the most successful archaic human, first arrived at Sangiran between between 1.3 and 1.5 million years ago -- some 300,000 years later than previous estimates. Sangiran is one of the most important hominin fossil sites in Southeast Asia, but the site's uncertain chronology has made it hard for scientists to understand the movement of early humans across the region. To m...