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Skeletons

NATIONAL
October 22, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
A skeleton found in the wilderness last year was not that of Everett Ruess, a legendary wanderer of the 1930s, despite initial forensic tests that seemed to have solved an enduring mystery, his nephew told the Associated Press. "The skeleton is not related to us," said Brian Ruess, 44, of Portland, Ore. Everett Ruess vanished in 1934, at age 20. Initial DNA tests had been termed "irrefutable" by University of Colorado researchers, but one of them said Wednesday he accepted as final the new results from the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory in Rockville, Md. Utah's state archaeologist, Kevin Jones, had questioned the original results.
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NATIONAL
October 4, 2009 | Kate Linthicum
The auctioneer gazed out at the audience, knowing this was the moment they'd waited for. Next up, he said, was lot No. 23 -- a "wonderful, exceptional, 66-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as Samson." He gestured to the ferocious-looking skull sitting on a stand to his left. "There she is," he said. The people who had gathered in the elegant gallery at the Venetian hotel gasped. Samson is one of the three most complete T. rex specimens ever discovered, possessing the most intact skull in existence.
SCIENCE
October 2, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
A treasure trove of 4.4-million-year-old fossils from the Ethiopian desert is dramatically overturning widely held ideas about the early evolution of humans and how they came to walk upright, even as it paints a remarkably detailed picture of early life in Africa, researchers reported Thursday. The centerpiece of the diverse collection of primate, animal and plant fossils is the near-complete skeleton of a human ancestor that demonstrates our earliest forebears looked nothing like a chimpanzee or other large primate, as is now commonly believed.
SCIENCE
September 30, 2009 | John Johnson Jr.
Did Sue the dinosaur die of a really bad sore throat? An international team of scientists thinks so after studying holes in the jaw of the 13-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton on display at the Field Museum in Chicago. "It's a distinct possibility that Sue died of starvation by a substantial infection in the back of the throat" brought on by a tiny parasite, said Ewan Wolff, a paleontologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and lead author of a paper describing the team's findings published Tuesday in the online science journal PloS One. In the past, according to Wolff, many paleontologists have speculated that the holes in Sue's jaw were caused by bite marks that were a product of Sue's rampaging lifestyle.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 2009 | Kenneth R. Weiss
The Los Angeles County coroner has identified the skeleton of a man found in a car at the bottom of a deep canyon in Malibu as a Thousand Oaks resident who had been missing for more than two years. Using dental X-rays, investigators were able to identify the remains of Jeffrey Howard of Thousand Oaks, said Jerry McKibben, a coroner's investigator. Howard vanished in December 2006 at age 40 after complaining of a headache and disorientation. His body was found in a Hyundai sedan at the bottom of a steep, isolated canyon off Kanan Dume Road.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 3, 2008 | Philip Brandes; David C. Nichols; F. Kathleen Foley
A crime thriller heavily laced with violence and cruelty, John Pollono's "Razorback" is a trendy new black comedy for a post-"Sopranos" mind-set. Fine performances in a handsomely staged premiere production from Rogue Machine show much promise in a script still in need of considerable work.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 3, 2008 | From the Associated Press
Authorities are trying to determine the cause of death for two young siblings whose skeletal remains were discovered in a Kern County storage unit. Investigators said Tuesday that dental records identified the victims as Victor and Tricia Reyes. The brother and sister had been dead between two and four years when the discovery of a severed hand Aug. 19 led detectives to search a Derrell's Mini Storage unit in Bakersfield. The county coroner says the children appeared to be between 10 and 11 years old at the time of their deaths.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 17, 2008 | Sara Lippincott, Sara Lippincott is a freelance editor specializing in science.
Dry Storeroom No. 1 The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum Richard Fortey Alfred A. Knopf: 336 pp., $27.50 A book called "Dry Storeroom No. 1" may not often get riffled through at your local Borders. This is too bad. Its author, trilobite specialist Richard Fortey, is as engaging and funny as his title is musty and his zoological specialty extinct. The natural history museum whose secret life he exposes is the one in London. Fortey, a prodigious writer ("Life: A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth" is among his books)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 15, 2008 | Richard Winton, Times Staff Writer
Much of a skeleton found buried in a San Marino backyard in 1994 was disposed of by the L.A. County coroner's office a decade ago. But detectives believe the parts that remain will provide an identification if they can find a DNA or dental match. Craig Harvey, the coroner's chief of operations, said all remains except for a part of the skull were disposed of in 1995, as was common practice at the time. He said a portion of the skull was kept as a specimen for technical research.
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