Archives for category: Geology and geography

A human-sized lobster that lived 480 million years ago used spiny limbs to sieve food from the sea like some modern whales. BBC News

Old Sarum archaeologists reveal plan of medieval city

The Map of Life is an interactive website that maps fish and land-based vertebrates around the world to create a searchable map. Later in the year there will be more species added, including plants and invertebrates.

See the report in Nature.

Archaeologists have found traces of nicotine in flasks from the Late Classic Maya period (600 to 900 AD), which is the first evidence that they used tobacco. The flask is marked with Mayan hieroglyphics reading, “y-otoot ’u-may” (the home of its/his/her tobacco). The researchers used gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LCMS) to find the traces.

Read the abstract in Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry.

A fossil foot found in Ethiopia suggests that one of our ancestors was walking there around 3.4 million years ago.  It’s not clear what species of hominid this was, but it’s not Australopithecus afarensis, also known as ‘Lucy’.

The oldest dinosaur eggs found so far are about 190 million years old. The eggs, found in South Africa, are of the prosauropod Massospondylus, which is related to Diplodocus.

The oldest fossils found so far are cell- or bacteria-like microfossils found in Australia that date back 3.4 billion years.

It’s okay – it’s not going to be next week! America and Eurasia are moving, and in about 50-200 million years, the two continents are likely to join up at the North Pole to create a new continent, Amasia.

Around 300 million years ago, the continents were joined up in a ‘super-continent’ called Pangaea.

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