She died 11,500 years ago at the tender age of six weeks in what is now the interior of Alaska. Dubbed “Sunrise Girl-child” by the local indigenous people, the remains of the Ice Age infant—uncovered at an archaeological dig in 2013—contained traces of DNA, allowing scientists to perform a full genomic analysis. Incredibly, this baby girl belonged to a previously unknown population of ancient Native Americans—a discovery that’s changing what we know about the continent’s first people.
IN 1993, CONSTRUCTION workers building a new freeway in San Diego made a fantastic discovery. A backhoe operator scraped up a fossil, and scientists soon unearthed a full collection of bones, teeth, and tusks from a mastodon. It was a valuable find: hordes of fossils, impeccably preserved. The last of the mastodons—a slightly smaller cousin of the woolly mammoth—died out some 11,000 years ago.
The sixth mass extinction—the one that seven billion humans are doing their darnedest to trigger at this very moment—is shaping up to be like nothing our planet has ever seen. That’s the conclusion of a sweeping new analysis, which compared marine fossil records from Earth’s five previous mass extinction events to what’s happening in the oceans right now.
Bones and teeth belonging to the ancestors of the short-statured human lineage known as “the Hobbits” have been discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores. The fossils, which date back 700,000 years, are offering fresh insights into the origin of this mysterious species.
Meet the titanosaur. It’s the newest exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, and it’s a dinosaur cast so large it doesn’t even fit into a single room.
Look out your window, and you may just spot a living dinosaur. Instead of slipping into total annihilation 66 million years ago, the avian line of dinosaurs managed to not only survive but thrive in the aftermath of a mass extinction, giving rise to modern birds.
While digging in his field on Monday, Michigan farmer James Bristle found what he thought was ordinary debris in his field. After digging further, he discovered that what he had found wasn’t a fence post, but bones from a Woolly Mammoth.