Fossils help scientists peel back the layers of time to reveal stories of life from eras long past. Sometimes the story goes in an unforeseen direction; other fossils have a “wow” factor simply because they were discovered at all. Check out eight surprising fossil finds.
The thick coats of shaggy hair that kept woolly mammoths warm on the icy tundra have yielded enough intact DNA to sequence their genomes, a new study reports.
In addition to helping scientists figure out why mammoths went extinct, the feat could pave the way for better and faster genetic studies of other ancient animals.
A comet exploded over North America about 13,000 years ago, causing a long bout of climate cooling, according to a controversial new theory presented today.
The extraterrestrial impact may help explain massive mammal die-offs and the demise of one of the earliest American cultures.
A woolly mammoth that died millennia ago nursed for at least six years, according to an analysis of one of its tusks. The finding raises the question: Did its mother finally get tired of being poked?
“That’s an interesting question,” said Adam Rountrey, a graduate student in geology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor who helped analyze the tusk. “At this age the tusks are not protruding very far, but sure, eventually they could get in the way.”