August 15, 2013 |
They're the tiny recyclers of the ocean floor -- voracious, pink-plumed worms that devour entire whale skeletons, then scatter their eggs to the current in hopes that offspring will find new bones. The creatures, which were first discovered off California in 2002, in waters more than 1.5 miles deep, are so alien that biologists weren't sure initially that they were worms. They lack mouths and stomachs and the male worms are so tiny they spend their lives living inside the larger females.
July 31, 2013 |
A pair of fossil dinosaur skeletons dubbed the Montana Dueling Dinosaurs is headed for auction rather than straight to a museum. The duo, discovered touching on a Montana ranch in 2006, appear to be relatives of Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops locked in mortal combat. The long-dead dinosaurs, up on the auction block for Nov. 19, are valued at $7 million to $9 million, according to auction house Bonhams. It's unlikely a museum would be able to afford that price tag, said Luis Chiappe, a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County who was not involved in the find.
July 29, 2013 |
It's the Leicester parking lot that just keeps giving. Last summer, archaeologists discovered the long-lost remains of King Richard III, buried beneath a nondescript parking lot in the English town of Leicester. This summer, the same team returned to the site and discovered something more puzzling: A medieval coffin of lead, buried inside a medieval coffin of stone. And inside the lead coffin they found a human skeleton - its knobbly feet jutting out out from a hole at the bottom of the coffin.
June 22, 2013 |
Leprosy has plagued humans for thousands of years, but a new genetic analysis of the pathogen that causes the disfiguring disease has come to the surprising conclusion that its DNA is essentially unchanged since medieval times. The discovery, published this month in the journal Science, suggests that the disease's retreat in Europe during the 14th and 15th centuries was probably the result of human adaptation to the bacterium that causes leprosy rather than due to any change in its DNA. Few diseases have ravaged mankind the way leprosy has. It tortured ancient Chinese, Indian and Egyptian civilizations, and descriptions of it have been found on Egyptian papyrus documents that date to about 1550 B.C., according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
May 3, 2013 |
Making fun of others is often amusing. But being able to laugh at yourself is even better. You don't have to worry about other people's feelings because yours are sufficiently multilayered: an ambivalent mixture of first impressions, second thoughts and emotional turbulence - spiked by the ability not to take yourself too seriously. At Perry Rubenstein Gallery, Georg Herold's new works embody the characteristics of selves who are comfortable in their own skins. In making fun of themselves, his sculptures and paintings leave us free to think for ourselves, playfully and provocatively.
March 18, 2013 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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.
July 10, 2012 |
An international team of archaeologists have discovered that two mummies found on an island off the coast of Scotland are, like Dr. Frankenstein's monster, composed of body parts from several different humans. The mummified remains, as much as 3,500 years old, suggest that the first residents of the island of South Uist in the Hebrides had some previously unsuspected burial practices. The West Coast of South Uist was densely populated from around 2000 BC until the end of the Viking period around AD 1300.