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Scientists 'surprised' to discover very early ancestors survived on tropical plants, new study suggests

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New research suggests that between three million and 3.5 million years ago, the diet of our very early ancestors in central Africa is likely to have consisted mainly of tropical grasses and sedges. (Credit: © timur1970 / Fotolia)

Researchers involved in a new study led by Oxford University have found that between three million and 3.5 million years ago, the diet of our very early ancestors in central Africa is likely to have consisted mainly of tropical grasses and sedges. The findings are published in the early online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

An international research team extracted information from the fossilised teeth of three Australopithecus bahrelghazali individuals -- the first early...

Tracing humanity's African ancestry may mean rewriting 'out of Africa' dates

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Dec. 13, 2012 — New research by a University of Alberta archeologist may lead to a rethinking of how, when and from where our ancestors left Africa.

U of A researcher and anthropology chair Pamela Willoughby's explorations in the Iringa region of southern Tanzania yielded fossils and other evidence that records the beginnings of our own species, Homo sapiens. Her research, recently published in the journal Quaternary International, may be key to answering questions about early...

Australian multicellular fossils point to life on land, not at sea, geologist proposes

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Dickinsonia fossils in South Australia, shown here, were likely formed by lichen or other microbial consortia, not from marine invertebrates or giant protists as previously theorized. (Credit: Courtesy of Greg Retallack)

Ancient multicellular fossils long thought to be ancestors of early marine life are remnants of land-dwelling lichen or other microbial colonies, says University of Oregon scientist Gregory J. Retallack, who has been studying fossil soils of South...

Chemical analysis reveals first cheese-making in Northern Europe 7,000 years ago

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A sieve fragment from a clay pit in north-central Poland which was submitted to lipid residue analyses. (Credit: Image by Mélanie Salque)

 The first unequivocal evidence that humans in prehistoric Northern Europe made cheese more than 7,000 years ago is described in research by an international team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, published December 12 in Nature.

By analysing fatty acids extracted from unglazed pottery pierced with small holes excavated from...

Algal ancestor is key to how deadly pathogens proliferate, researchers find

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Apicomplexa are the parasites that cause malaria and toxoplasmosis. Researchers have discovered how an important structure inside these parasitic cells allows the cells to replicate and spread inside their hosts. (Credit: Francia ME, Jordan CN, Patel JD, Sheiner L, Demerly JL, et al. (2012) Cell Division in Apicomplexan Parasites Is Organized by a Homolog of the Striated Rootlet Fiber of Algal Flagella. PLoS Biol 10(12): e1001444. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001444)

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Book review

Dinosaurs Encyclopedia

Book Review

Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages ... WRITTEN BY A PROFESSIONAL paleontologist specifically for young readers, this guide to the Dinosauria is packed...