paleontology   1516

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Neanderthals glued their tools together | Ars Technica
Neanderthals glued their stone tools into place on wooden handles, a new study suggests. Archaeologists found chemical traces of pine resin on 10 stone tools from Grotta del Fossellone and Grotta di Sant’Agostino, on the western coast of central Italy. That’s pretty solid evidence that Neanderthals living in Italy were hafting their stone tools and securing them in place with resin between 55,000 and 40,000 years ago—long before Homo sapiens set foot in Europe.
evolution  paleontology 
16 days ago by rmohns
Alarming new study makes today’s climate change more comparable to Earth’s worst mass extinction
Climate and CO2 have changed hand-in-hand through most of geological time. Mostly these changes happened slowly enough that the long-term feedbacks of Earth’s climate system had time to process them. This was true during the orbitally-induced glacial-interglacial cycles in the ice ages. In warmer interglacials, more intense insolation in northern hemisphere summers led to warmer oceans which were in equilibrium with slightly more CO2 in the atmosphere by adjusting their carbonate levels. In glacial times with less intense northern hemisphere summer insolation, the cooler oceans dissolved more CO2, and carbonate levels adjusted accordingly. The changes occurred over gentle timescales of tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years – plenty slow enough for slow feedbacks like the deep oceans and ice sheets to keep pace.
geology  paleontology  extinction  permian  global_warming  CO2  Science  climate_change  grade_A  grade_AA 
17 days ago by Marcellus
Folklore of fossil echinoderms – Deposits Magazine
A round barrow on Dunstable Downs in Bedfordshire was excavated in 1887 and found to contain an Early Bronze Age burial. Two skeletons, a woman nicknamed ‘Maud’ and a child, were surrounded by more than one hundred tests of the Chalk echinoid, Echinocorys scutata. The echinoids had been ceremonially arranged in a circle around the two skeletons. Their use in this context suggests that they were accorded a spiritual significance beyond their decorative value and it is even possible that they were considered to have had a use in the after-life.

The finding of a flint echinoid mounted in bronze in a Roman Iron Age grave in Denmark (Oakley, 1974) is evidence that fossil echinoids were used as amulets early in human history. Another flint echinoid was found in a pottery bowl, along with a portion of a Neolithic flint axe head, at an Early Iron Age cremation site in Southborough, near Tunbridge Wells in Kent. Such finds prompted Oakley (1974) to suggest that echinoids were important elements of Romano-Celtic religious beliefs.
folklore  nanohistory  paleontology  fossils 
4 weeks ago by Vaguery
The Day the Dinosaurs Died | The New Yorker
Has Robert DePalma found a snapshot of the KT extinction event?
From the article:

On August 5, 2013, I received an e-mail from a graduate student named Robert DePalma. I had never met DePalma, but we had corresponded on paleontological matters for years, ever since he had read a novel I’d written that centered on the discovery of a fossilized Tyrannosaurus rex killed by the KT impact. “I have made an incredible and unprecedented discovery,” he wrote me, from a truck stop in Bowman, North Dakota. “It is extremely confidential and only three others know of it at the moment, all of them close colleagues.” He went on, “It is far more unique and far rarer than any simple dinosaur discovery. I would prefer not outlining the details via e-mail, if possible.” He gave me his cell-phone number and a time to call.

I called, and he told me that he had discovered a site like the one I’d imagined in my novel, which contained, among other things, direct victims of the catastrophe. At first, I was skeptical. DePalma was a scientific nobody, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Kansas, and he said that he had found the site with no institutional backing and no collaborators. I thought that he was likely exaggerating, or that he might even be crazy. (Paleontology has more than its share of unusual people.) But I was intrigued enough to get on a plane to North Dakota to see for myself.
paleontology  dinosaur  science 
5 weeks ago by JJLDickinson

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