“There are soft tissues in the back of the carcass, possibly genitals and part of the intestine,” he tells RT. “This makes it possible to study the excreta, which will allow us to reconstruct the paleoenvironment of that period.”
Plotnikov tells local Russian outlet Yakutia 24 that the woolly rhino specimen includes all four limbs, its horn and even some of its woolly coat, according to report from Reuters. The scientist also says wear marks on the horn suggest the creature may have used its bony protrusion to gather food, perhaps scraping away snow to reach tender greenery underneath.
Wear marks on the horn suggest the creature may have used its bony protrusion to gather food, perhaps scraping away snow to reach tender greenery underneath.
Plotnikov tells the Siberian Times that the animal looks to have died young at three or four years of age and likely drowned. “The gender of the animal is still unknown,” he adds.
The prehistoric beast was found in the Yakutia region in August and is thought to have roamed the Arctic plains between 20,000 and 50,000 years ago, Plotnikov tells the Siberian Times. The Associated Press reports that radiocarbon dating tests should deliver a more precise estimate of its age once the ancient carcass reaches a lab.
Forbes reports on an interesting new journal article.
Mass extinctions of land-dwelling animals—including amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds—follow a cycle of about 27 million years, coinciding with previously reported mass extinctions of ocean life, according to a new analysis published in the journal Historical Biology.
The study also finds that these mass extinctions align with major asteroid impacts and devastating volcanic eruptions.
Paleontologists recognize five big mass extinction events in the fossil record. At the end of the Ordovician period, some 443 million years ago, an estimated 86% of all marine species disappeared. At the end of the Devonian period, some 360 million years ago, 75% of all species went extinct. At the end of the Permian period, some 250 million years ago, the worst extinction event so far happened, with an extinction rate of 96%. At the end of the Triassic period, some 201 million years ago, 80% of all species disappeared from the fossil record. The most famous mass extinction happened at the end of the Cretaceous, some 65 million years ago, when 76% of all species went extinct, including the dinosaurs. Minor extinction events mark the end of the Carnian age, about 233 million years ago, and the transition from the late Eocene and early Oligocene period, about 36 to 33 million years ago, coinciding with the Popigai impact.
The authors examined the record of mass extinctions of land-dwelling animals and concluded that they coincided with the extinctions of ocean life. They also performed new statistical analyses of the extinctions of land species and suggest that those events followed a similar cycle of about 27.5 million years.
The authors also compared the ages of extinction events with the ages of impact craters, created by asteroids and comets crashing to the Earth’s surface, and the ages of flood basalts, the results of a giant volcanic eruption or series of eruptions that cover vast areas with lava and emit large quantities of greenhouse gases into Earth’s atmosphere.
“These new findings of coinciding, sudden mass extinctions on land and in the oceans, and of the common 26- to 27-million-year cycle, lend credence to the idea of periodic global catastrophic events as the triggers for the extinctions,” said Michael Rampino, a professor in New York University’s Department of Biology and the study’s lead author. “In fact, three of the mass annihilations of species on land and in the sea are already known to have occurred at the same times as the three largest impacts of the last 250 million years, each capable of causing a global disaster and resulting mass extinctions.”
He into a well in Italy 130,000 years ago, couldn’t get out, and starved to death. And he had buck teeth!
The perfectly preserved remains of an Ice Age cave bear have been discovered in the Russian Arctic — the first example of the species ever to be found with soft tissues intact.
The astonishing find was made by reindeer herders on the Lyakhovsky Islands, which are part of the New Siberian islands archipelago in Russia’s Far North.
Prior to this, only the bones of cave bears had been unearthed, but this specimen even had its nose intact, according to a team of scientists from the North-Eastern Federal University (NEFU) in Yakutsk, Siberia.
The discovery is of “world importance,” a leading Russian expert on extinct Ice Age species said.
In a statement released by the university, scientist Lena Grigorieva said: “Today this is the first and only find of its kind — a whole bear carcass with soft tissues. It is completely preserved, with all internal organs in place including even its nose.
“Previously, only skulls and bones were found. This find is of great importance for the whole world.”
The adult animal was found by a group of reindeer herders, who then transferred the right to research the specimen to the NEFU, which is at the forefront of research into extinct woolly mammoths and rhinos.
According to the team, the cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) is a prehistoric species or sub-species that lived in Eurasia in the Middle and Late Pleistocene period and became extinct some 15,000 years ago. Preliminary analysis suggests the bear is between 22,000 and 39,500 years old.
Very neat stuff and good photos from the Siberian Times.
The severed head of the worldâ€™s first full-sized Pleistocene wolf was unearthed in the Abyisky district in the north of Yakutia.
Local man Pavel Efimov found it in summer 2018 on shore of the Tirekhtyakh River, tributary of Indigirka.
The wolf, whose rich mammoth-like fur and impressive fangs are still intact, was fully grown and aged from two to four years old when it died.
The wolf, whose rich mammoth-like fur and impressive fangs are still intact, was fully grown and aged from two to four years old when it died. Picture: Albert Protopopov
The head was dated older than 40,000 years by Japanese scientists.
Scientists at the Swedish Museum of Natural History will examine the Pleistocene predatorâ€™s DNA.
â€˜This is a unique discovery of the first ever remains of a fully grown Pleistocene wolf with its tissue preserved. We will be comparing it to modern-day wolves to understand how the species has evolved and to reconstruct its appearance,â€™ said an excited Albert Protopopov, from the Republic of Sakha Academy of Sciences.
Live Science has an interesting vertebrate paleontology story.
About 315 million years ago â€” long before dinosaurs roamed the Earth â€” an early reptile scuttled along in a strangely sideways jaunt, leaving its tiny footprints embedded in the landscape, new research finds.
It’s anyone’s guess why this ancient, clawed critter walked sideways (although experts have several ideas), but one thing is certain: The animal’s prints represent the oldest-known vertebrate track marks ever discovered in Grand Canyon National Park, said Stephen Rowland, a professor of geology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who is studying the fossilized trackway.
The trackway is so old, that it was made a mere 5 million years after the first known reptiles emerged on Earth, just as the ancient supercontinent Pangaea was forming. “This is right in that little window of the very first reptiles,” Rowland told Live Science. “We don’t know much about that real early history.” [Photos: Dinosaur Tracks Reveal Australia’s ‘Jurassic Park’]
The research, which has yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, was presented at the annual Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Oct. 17.
The trackway â€” preserved on a slab of sandstone measuring about 3.2 feet long and 18 inches wide (1 meter by 45 centimeters) â€” contains 28 prints from the mystery animal’s front and back feet. A friend of Rowland’s first noticed the fossilized tracks in 2016 while hiking along the Grand Canyon’s Bright Angel Trail, located on the Manakacha formation in northern Arizona.
When Rowland visited the site in May 2017, the 2-inch-long (5 cm) prints befuddled him. At first glance, the track marks looked as if they were left by two animals walking side by side, “which is very bizarre for an early reptile,” he said. After lying awake at night, turning the images over in his mind, Rowland had an epiphany: The animal that left the tracks was moving sideways.
Fishermen Raymond McElroy and Charlie Coyle thought their nets had snagged on an old piece of dead tree at the bottom of Lough Neagh.
It had been a bad nightâ€™s fishing and when they ventured out to their nets on the lake at 4.30am, they found they had caught no fish, yet the net was straining.
It took two of them all their strength to lift the net from the lough floor. By the weight, they figured it might be a piece of a dead tree snagged at the bottom.
Instead, it was the perfectly preserved antlers of a giant Irish elk. Now extinct, this magnificent animal stood more than two metres tall and had antlers of up to four metres in diameter.
Though called the Irish elk because their skeletons have been found in the bogs of Ireland, they roamed across most of northern Europe, but died out 7,000 years ago in mysterious circumstances.
One of the largest collections of such deer is in the National History Museum in Dublin.
Mr Coyle said he got a fright when the two metre wide antlers came out of the water. â€œI thought it was the devil himself. I was going to throw it back in. I didnâ€™t know what to do with it.â€
Mr McElroy said he recognised straight away that it was the antlers of a giant Irish elk. The jawbone of possibly the same animal was recovered from the lake in 2014.
Wired reports on a fossil find near San Diego from the 1990s that may completely upset the chronological apple cart.
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 mastodonsâ€”a slightly smaller cousin of the woolly mammothâ€”died out some 11,000 years ago.
But the dig site turned out to be even more revelatoryâ€”and now, with a paper in the journal Natureâ€”controversial. See, this site wasnâ€™t just catnip for the paleontologists, the diggers who study all fossils. It soon had archaeologists swooping in to study a number of stone tools scattered around the bones, evidence of human activity. After years of debate over the dating technology used on the mastodon, a group of researchers now believes that they can date it and the human tools to 130,000 years agoâ€”more than 100,000 years earlier than the earliest humans are supposed to have made it to North America.
The researchers expect a bit of controversy from a discovery that pushes back the arrival of humans in North America by a factor of ten.
Euchambersia is a genus of therocephalian therapsid that lived during the Late Permian, approximately 255 million years ago, in what is now South Africa.
The oldest venomous vertebrate yet found was a small-dog-sized early relative of mammals named Euchambersia that lived some 260 million years ago, according to findings just published in the journal PLOS One by scientists from University of the Witwatersrand (WITS).
“Today, snakes are notorious for their venomous bite,” said the study’s lead author Julien Benoit in a statement, “but their fossil record vanishes in the depth of geological times at about 167 million years ago. So, at 260 million years ago, the Euchambersia evolved venom â€“ more than a 100 million years before the very first snake was even born.”
Euchambersia was about 16-20 inches long (40-50 centimeters) and trod the land of modern-day South Africa well before the dinosaurs. The animal has long been supposed to have been venomous, based on characteristics of its teeth and upper jaw, but the hypothesis had not until now been tested.
The WITS researchers used CT scanning and 3D imaging on the only two fossilized skulls in existence of Euchambersia. Sure enough, under the detailed examination they found the small creature’s anatomy had characteristics consonant with making venom.
The scientists found a deep, wide space in the upper jaw called a fossa that would have held a venom gland. It was connected to the canine teeth and mouth by bony grooves and canals. Finally, ridges on the incisors and canine teeth completed the venom delivery system.
Euchambersia did not deliver its venom in the same way snakes deliver their payload, the scientists found. While reptiles such as the cobras and vipers we all know and run from today inject venom through needle-like grooves in the their teeth, Euchambersia’s venom went directly into its mouth and the animal used the ridges on its canines to pass the poison to its victims.
[S]cientists have confirmed that a bracelet found in Siberia is 40,000 years old. This makes it the oldest piece of jewelry ever discovered, and archeologists have been taken aback by the level of its sophistication.
The bracelet was discovered in a site called the Denisova Cave in Siberia, close to Russia’s border with China and Mongolia. It was found next to the bones of extinct animals, such as the wooly mammoth, and other artifacts dating back 125,000 years.
The cave is named after the Denisovan people â€” a mysterious species of hominins from the Homo genus, who are genetically different from both Homo sapiens and Neanderthals.