Washington, D.C.— A team of Carnegie scientists have found “beautifully preserved” 15 million-year-old thin protein sheets in fossil shells from southern Maryland. Their findings are published in the inaugural issue of Geochemical Perspectives Letters. (more…)
Tag Archives: million year old
Anyone who’s read a children’s menu at a restaurant knows that kids and adults tend to like different foods. New research suggests at least one animal species had the same arrangement half a billion years ago.
It seems the earliest ancestors of spiders and horseshoe crabs, called chelicerates, had separate ecological niches for adults and larvae. They ate different foods, in other words, and did not compete for the same prey. This approach has been seen in many modern animal species, but never in one this old. (more…)
Active microbes discovered far beneath seafloor in ancient ocean sediment
Microbes are living more than 500 feet beneath the seafloor in 5 million-year-old sediment, according to new findings by researchers at the University of Delaware and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
Genetic material in mud from the bottom of the ocean — called the deep biosphere —revealed an ecosystem of active bacteria, fungi and other microscopic organisms at depths deeper than a skyscraper is high. The findings were published in Nature on June 12. (more…)
*3.2 million-year-old human predecessor had arches in feet*
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Feet arches give humans a spring in their steps, shock absorbing abilities, and stiff platforms to propel themselves forward, allowing them to walk upright consistently. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri and Arizona State University have found proof that arches existed in a predecessor to the human species that lived more than 3 million years ago. This discovery could change scientists’ views of human evolution. The study is being published this week in Science.
Carol Ward, an MU researcher in the Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences at the MU School of Medicine, and William Kimbel and Donald Johanson, director and founding director of the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University, studied a 3.2 million-year-old fourth metatarsal of Australopithecus afarensis. A team from the Institute of Human Origins and National Museum of Ethiopia led by Kimbel discovered the fossil in Hadar, Ethiopia. The species is often referred to as “Lucy,” the nickname of the most complete fossil skeleton of the species to be discovered. (more…)