ice age

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New Cave Find Challenges Long-Held Migration Theory

Anthropologist Ciprian Ardelean leads cave dig in Mexico

(Newser) - Human habitation of the Americas, 30,000 years ago? That's what a new study is suggesting based on charcoal, stones, and bone samples recovered from a cave in the mountains of north-central Mexico, the Wall Street Journal reports. If true, the find doubles the known time humans inhabited this... More »

Indigenous Genocide Caused the Little Ice Age

Genocide greatly altered the use of agricultural land, study says

(Newser) - The arrival of Europeans in the Americas didn't just kill off millions of people—it may have also helped trigger the Little Ice Age, CNN reports. A new study says so many indigenous people died of disease or slaughter in the "Great Dying" after 1492 that far less... More »

Wolf Pup Died 50K Years Ago, Still 'So Cute'

Wolf, caribou found in Canada provide some of the world's oldest mummified soft tissue

(Newser) - "It's so cute" is not a typical reaction upon finding a 50,000-year-old dead animal, yet it's hard to argue with paleontologist Grant Zazula's assessment. With pristine muscle, skin, and fur, the complete mummified wolf pup, believed to have died around eight weeks old, looks as... More »

Couple Finds 'Cow' Remains in Yard—Except It's Not a Cow

Utah skeleton is actually that of a Pleistocene Era horse

(Newser) - When Laura and Bridger Hill started doing yard work at their home in Lehi, Utah, last September to prep for a retaining wall, the last thing they expected was to stumble across Ice Age-era remains. But that's exactly what happened, with the couple telling the New York Times they... More »

'Incredible' Ice Age Cave Network Found Below Montreal

It stretches the length of 2 football fields

(Newser) - At the end of the last ice age, glaciers rapidly receded across Canada, putting so much pressure on the land below that solid rock split apart. Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than a newly discovered cave system some 20 feet below Montreal, Quebec. Suspecting that a cave beneath a... More »

The Higgs Bison Solves a Few Ancient Mysteries

The ancient animal was the rare hybrid mammal

(Newser) - Approximately 120,000 years ago, the now-extinct Ice Age steppe bison got it on with the aurochs, the ancient ancestor of cows, and created a rare hybrid mammal. Then ancient humans drew it. NPR reports research published Tuesday in Nature Communications solves a number of ancient mysteries in one go.... More »

Study: Neanderthals Were Doomed by Lack of Jackets

But ancient humans figured out warm clothing

(Newser) - Justifying concerned mothers everywhere, a group of researchers believes Neanderthals could have survived the Ice Age if they'd just worn a dang jacket. According to a study published Wednesday in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology , dozens of ancient campsites—both human and Neanderthal—contain little evidence that Neanderthals ever... More »

Newly Discovered Prehistoric Puppy Still Has Fur, Brain

And a 'controversial' scientist wants to clone it

(Newser) - Scientists are poised to learn a lot more about prehistoric man's best friend after discovering a shockingly well-preserved 12,400-year-old puppy in Siberia, the Telegraph reports. The mummified Pleistocene canid—almost certainly an extinct species—is believed to have been killed by a landslide near the village of Tumat,... More »

A 'Mini Ice Age' Is Coming—and Soon

Study predicts 60% fall in solar activity around 2030

(Newser) - In the words of the Starks , winter is coming—and it's going to be bad. Using a new model to forecast the sun's activity, scientists predict solar activity will fall by 60% in the 2030s to conditions not seen since a "mini ice age" in 1645. For... More »

How Did Humans Conquer 'Roof of the World'? Barley

Ancient, hardy seeds turn up in Tibet 3.6K years ago

(Newser) - Scientists know that humans were kicking around the lower altitudes of the Tibetan Peninsula around 10,000 years ago. Permanent settlements, however, didn't show up in the harsh higher altitudes until 3,600 years ago. What happened that allowed ancient settlers to survive in a region nicknamed the "... More »

Tiny Ice Age Babies Open 'Windows' to Ancient Alaska

Girls, possibly twins, buried 11.5K years ago in central Alaska

(Newser) - One summer 11,500 years ago, two baby girls, possibly twins, were buried in an Ice Age village in central Alaska—one about 5 weeks old and the other a fetus, possibly a stillborn. Today, the girls' remains are the oldest in the North American arctic, Smithsonian reports. Archaeologists recently... More »

Ice Age Fossils Found in Wyoming Cave

Analysis of specimens underway, and some might date back 100K years

(Newser) - It's called the Natural Trap Cave for a reason: The 15-foot-wide hole in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming is all but impossible to see until it's too late, and animals have been falling to their deaths there for eons. But what was bad news for them is great... More »

How Volcanoes Can Save Life, Too

Study suggests they protected Antarctic bugs and plants during ice ages

(Newser) - Volcanoes are usually in the news for their destructive power , but a new study suggests they've got some protective power to boast of as well. Scientists think that bugs and plants have survived Antarctica's ice ages only because they found warmth near live volcanoes, reports AFP . They did... More »

Truth About Last Ice Age Found in Antarctic Ice

Study: Turns out warming happened around the same time everywhere

(Newser) - December 2011 saw the end of a five-year effort to recover the longest ice core ever drilled by the US. About half of the more than two-mile core, taken from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide, has been now been analyzed, taking scientists back through 30,000 years of annual... More »

Neanderthals Doomed by ... Big Eyes?

Better eyesight used up vital brain power

(Newser) - The dark and gloomy weather of northern Europe caused the Neanderthals to develop bigger eyes—but their improved vision turned out to be their downfall, a new study finds. More of the Neanderthal brain was devoted to vision at the expense of high-level processing, leaving them ill-equipped to deal with... More »

What Really Killed Off Neanderthals (Hint: Not Us)

DNA evidence shows Ice Age probably killed most of them

(Newser) - So we didn't kill off the Neanderthals after all. That's the conclusion of researchers who analyzed Neanderthal-bone DNA and deduced that most of them died off in Western Europe during the Ice Age, long before encountering modern humans. A small Neanderthal group lived on for about 10,000... More »

Cremated Ice-Age Remains Found in Alaska

Oldest such find ever in northern North America

(Newser) - Researchers have discovered the oldest cremated human remains ever unearthed in northern North America, they tell the Anchorage Daily News . The Fairbanks team found the remains of a 3-year-old in an ancient fire pit in central Alaska; they believe the child—only the second ice-age child discovered on the continent—... More »

Ice Age Sequel Not So Hot

But animated sequel has a few redeeming moments

(Newser) - If you need an air-conditioned snooze on the busy holiday weekend, the third Ice Age film may be the answer. Still, it has its moments:
  • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs frequently feels “so glacial that it's a wonder Ray Romano's Manny the mammoth doesn't freeze in his tracks,
... More »

Climate Change, Not Humans, Killed Mammoths

New tests suggest humans aren't to blame for extinction of prehistoric pachyderms

(Newser) - British scientists believe climate change did more than spear-wielding humans to wipe out the woolly mammoth in Europe, the Guardian reports. New tests have revealed that the mammoths roamed northern Europe until 14,000 years ago, much later than had been thought. Researchers believe the animals died out as the... More »

Meet the First European

Forensic artist reconstructs face of first modern human found in Europe

(Newser) - Meet the first modern European. His face—or hers, as researchers have been unable to determine the sex—was reconstructed by a forensic artist based on a partial skull and jawbone discovered in a Romanian cave. The facial features linked to the 35,000-year-old bones recall the continent's immediate African... More »

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