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July 10, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
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.
June 6, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
Estimating the weight of prehistoric animals by examining their fossilized skeletons is notoriously difficult. Estimates for the weight of larger species, such as dinosaurs, can vary by a factor of three or four. Now British researchers have developed a new way to estimate weight and conclude that our previous estimates are much too high: Dinosaurs were, in fact, much lighter than we thought. A team headed by biologist William I. Sellers of the University of Manchester used a laser scanner to compile a three-dimensional image of the skeletons of various animals, then calculated the minimum amount of skin that would be necessary to cover the skeleton.
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.
November 9, 2010 | By Robert Faturechi, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County sheriff's and coroner's officials have agreed to launch an inquiry into the handling of Mitrice Richardson's remains, which a coroner's official said were removed from a ravine without his department's permission. Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said in an interview that he was "very clear" in telling sheriff's officials that they should not to move Richardson's remains until coroner's investigators had arrived on the scene or until clearance had been granted.
November 7, 2010 | By Robert Faturechi, Los Angeles Times
A Los Angeles County coroner's official criticized sheriff's deputies for removing the remains of Mitrice Richardson from a rugged ravine without permission, saying the deputies' actions may have violated the law and undermined the thoroughness of the coroner's investigation. Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said he was "very clear" with sheriff's officials and could not think of another case in which a police agency had moved entire skeletal remains without coroner's approval.
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