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March 18, 2013 | By Amina Khan
A robotic ocean explorer has found the first Antarctic whale fall marine scientists have ever studied - and discovered nine new deep-sea species among the critters living off the enormous skeleton, according to British researchers. The 35-foot southern Minke whale bones, described in the journal Deep-Sea Research II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, give researchers a rare glimpse into the rich ecosystem provided by these giant sea creatures once they die. Whale falls - when the body of a deceased whale sinks to the bottom of the ocean - can become an oasis rich in resources for deep-sea life.
January 14, 2013 | By Joseph Serna, Los Angeles Times
The urgent message went well beyond Robert Painter's usual areas of legal expertise - personal injury, commercial disputes, medical malpractice. In less than 48 hours, the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus bataar , a fierce cousin of Tyrannosaurus rex , would be up for auction. "Sorry for the late notice," the email said. "Is there anything we can do to legally stop this?" The president of Mongolia, whom Painter had met 10 years before at a public policy conference, was now asking the Houston lawyer to block the sale of a fossil that scientists believed had been looted from the Gobi Desert.
October 11, 2012 | By Tina Susman
She was known as "Baby Bones" for seven years, as investigators struggled to put a name to the little girl whose skeletal remains and Tweety Bird satchel were found in a wooded area of New Jersey. Now the girl's aunt, uncle and the aunt's former companion are under arrest, and Baby Bones has a name: Jon-Niece Jones, who was 9 when she died in New York City. The mystery, which was featured on the TV show "America's Most Wanted" in 2009, reportedly began unraveling recently after police received tips about the case, including one that enabled them to compare DNA of the remains to a living relative and make a connection.
October 11, 2012 | By Kim Murphy
SEATTLE - The long-running detective saga involving one of North America's earliest inhabitants has taken a new twist, with news that Kennewick Man - the shockingly intact 9,300-year-old skeleton unearthed in 1996 on the banks of the Columbia River - probably was a visitor to central Washington, not a longtime inhabitant. More likely, Smithsonian Institution anthropologist Douglas Owsley announced in a pair of lectures this week in Washington state, he came from the coast, not the arid inland valley where his remains were found.
April 9, 2012 | By Mike Anton, Los Angeles Times
She is 96 years old, all bones and little skin. Her ribs are split and rotted in places and stained by rust. Nonetheless, she is a slightly fearsome presence, commanding her surroundings like a T. rex in a natural history museum. When the Shawnee first hit the water in 1916, she was a striking beauty - a 72-foot sailboat made of old-growth oak and Douglas fir, African mahogany, naturally curved hackmatack and gleaming teak. Her hull had the seductive curve of a wineglass.
April 2, 2012 | Louis Sahagun
The curator of the Catalina Island Museum opened the door to a musty backroom a few weeks ago hoping to find material for an upcoming exhibit on the World War II era. Closing the door behind him, he trudged down a narrow aisle lined with storage boxes and bins filled with gray photocopies of old letters, civic records, celebrity kitsch -- and dust. "No luck," curator John Boraggina muttered. But as he made his way to a back corner, he noticed another row of boxes. He carried the largest to a table, blew off the dust and lifted the lid. Inside were leather-bound journals and yellowing photographs showing freshly unearthed skeletons lying on their backs or sides, or curled as if in sleep.
July 31, 2011 | By Mark Vanhoenacker, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia Griddle-hot deserts, time-forsaken ghost towns, prismatic canyons and endless ribbons of lonely highway: There's nothing quite like a road trip across the Southwest to get the gasoline pumping in an American's wanderlust-ful heart. But what's perfect for America's bottom-left corner works even better here in Africa's. Welcome to Namibia, on Africa's western coast between South Africa and Angola, where the deserts are hotter, the roads are emptier and America - at least when Brangelina aren't visiting - couldn't be farther away.
February 20, 2011 | By Cristy Lytal, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Without Nikita Patel and the other creature technical directors, or TDs, at Industrial Light & Magic, Rango the chameleon, who stars in the title role of Paramount's new film from director Gore Verbinski, would lack one of the key traits of any good animated character: the ability to move. "Our department basically works on the simulations and the rigging of the characters," she said. "Rigging is putting a skeleton inside the model so that the animators can move it around. And if we want to see more realism out of it, the creature TDs will go in and add some simulation to the muscles and the flesh to make it jiggle or look more real.
February 8, 2011 | By Devorah Lauter, Los Angeles Times
It's 4 a.m., and an IT geek with scruffy blond hair called Bunny is sipping beer and swallowing chunks of bread dipped in cheese fondue. Other people are passing around joints, or just chilling ? literally. The dank room is not that cold, but wading through stone corridors flooded with gray water has left their clothes soaked. That's what happens when you have a middle-of-the-night picnic 65 feet under the streets of Paris. This night, about a dozen people have found their way here through a maze of tunnels, caverns and half-flooded passageways, stepping over a few skeletons and piles of ruins, some dating to the time when the Romans called the city Lutetia.
January 10, 2011 | By Carla Hall, Los Angeles Times
It's not unusual in Los Angeles for construction crews to find buried remains, but it is surprising to find a cemetery. Under a half-acre lot of dirt and mud being transformed into a garden and public space for a cultural center celebrating the Mexican American heritage of Los Angeles, construction workers and scientists have found bodies buried in the first cemetery of Los Angeles ? bodies believed to have been removed and reinterred elsewhere in the 1800s. Since late October, the fragile bones of dozens of Los Angeles settlers have been discovered under what will be the outdoor space of La Plaza de Cultura y Artes downtown near Olvera Street.
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