A lizard-like animal that lived 289 million years ago suffered from a bone condition similar to Paget's disease, according to a study published Aug. 7, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Yara Haridy of the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin and colleagues. This is the most ancient known case of such a disease.
The team of scientists, led by PhD Student Kimberley Chapelle, recognised that the dinosaur was not only a new species of sauropodomorph, but an entirely new genus. The specimen has now been named Ngwevu intloko which means 'grey skull' in the Xhosa language.
Australasian palaeontologists have discovered the world's largest parrot, standing up to 1m tall with a massive beak able to crack most food sources. The new bird has been named Heracles inexpectatus to reflect its Herculean myth-like size and strength -- and the unexpected nature of the discovery.
What was the role of warfare in Mayan civilization? New evidence from lake sediments around the abandoned city of Witzna indicates that extreme, total warfare was not just an aspect of the late Mayan period, leading to its fall, but a characteristic of intercity rivalry during the peak of Mayan culture. UC Berkeley and Tulane University researchers discovered a thick charcoal layer from a massive, scorched-earth attack on Witzna on May 21, 697 CE (AD).
The auditory section of the inner ear, or the 'cochlea,' does not have the same shape from birth depending on whether one is a man or a woman. Demonstrated by a French-South African collaboration, an interdisciplinary effort evolving scientists primarily from the CNRS, UT3 Paul Sabatier, and l'Université Clermont Auvergne,1 these results have helped develop the first reliable method for sex determination, including among children and cases where DNA is missing or too altered.
One of the most exciting discoveries in genome research was that the last common ancestor of all multicellular animals already possessed an extremely complex genome. It has long been unclear whether the arrangement of these genes in the genome also had a certain function. In a recent study, biologists show that not only individual genes but also these gene arrangements in the genome have played a key role in the course of animal evolution.
Pre-modern energy-intensive industries have had long-lasting impacts on macro-ecological patterns. A new study published in Scientific Reports revealed that the impact of pre-modern ironwork starting over 1000 years ago can still be seen in the distributions of small mammals in Japan today. The study offers insights into the history of biodiversity and provides practical knowledge that can be used to develop sustainable societies in the Anthropocene and minimize the irreversible degradation of ecosystems.
The vast cultural and linguistic diversity of Latin American countries is still far from being fully represented by genetic surveys. Western South America in particular holds a key role in the history of the continent due to the presence of three major ecogeographic domains (the Andes, the Amazonia, and the Pacific Coast), and for hosting the earliest and largest complex societies. A new study in Molecular Biology and Evolution reveals signatures of history, ecology and cultural diversity in the genetic makeup of living rural populations.
The remains of a microscopic drop of ancient seawater has assisted in rewriting the history of Earth's evolution when it was used to re-establish the time that plate tectonics started on the planet.
RNA -- the short-lived transcripts of genes -- from the 'Tumat puppy', a wolf of the Pleistocene era has been isolated, and its sequence analyzed in a new study by Oliver Smith of the University of Copenhagen and colleagues publishing on July 30 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology. The results establish the possibility of examining a range of RNA transcripts from ancient organisms, a possibility previously thought extremely unlikely because of RNA's short lifespan.