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April 3 2015

Shocking Discovery: Egypt's 'Mona Lisa' May Be a Fake


An ancient Egyptian masterpiece, hailed by some scholars as the "Mona Lisa" of Egyptian painting, is in fact a fake created in the 19th century, a researcher says. But the painting may conceal an authentic Pyramid Age piece underneath.

The "Meidum Geese," as modern-day Egyptologists and art historians call it, was supposedly found in 1871 in a tomb located near the Meidum Pyramid, which was built by the pharaoh Snefru (reign 2610-2590 B.C).

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April 3 2015

Egyptian Artifacts Salvaged from Robbed Tomb in Israel


In an underground cave in Israel, archaeologists have unearthed 3,000-year-old Egyptian artifacts that had been spared by tomb robbers.

Inspectors with the Israel Antiquities Authority's (IAA) Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery say they found pickaxes and other signs of looting in a cave near Kibbutz Lahav in southern Israel.

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April 3 2015

Turin Egyptian Museum gets overhaul of pharaonic proportions


For the earliest Egyptologists, a trip to the Egyptian Museum in Turin was considered indispensable. The museum's new director is seeking to return the almost 200-year-old museum to its one-time prominence, boosted by an overhaul of the collection and exhibit space of near-pharaonic proportions.


Related: Among the Many Items Joining King Tut In the Afterlife ... Four Socks?

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April 2 2015

World's oldest pyramid? Ancient structure in Indonesia could be up to 20,000 years old


Egypt’s oldest pyramid was built almost 5,000 years ago but a similar structure hidden beneath rubble could be up to four times older.

If true, the claim could rewrite prehistory and shed light on an obscure yet powerful and advanced ancient civilisation.


Related: From Indonesia To Turkey New Archaeological Discoveries Uncover The Mysteries Of A Lost Civilisation by Graham Hancock, 16 January 2014

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April 2 2015

‘Little Foot’ pushes back age of earliest South African hominids


Lucy’s species, an East African hominid line called Australopithecus afarensis, had a South African counterpart, a new study finds.

A nearly complete fossil skeleton from South Africa’s Sterkfontein Caves dates to 3.67 million years ago, making it roughly 1 million years older than any other South African hominid, say geochemist Darryl Granger of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., and his colleagues. Dubbed Little Foot by one of its discoverers, the skeleton represents a new species, Australopithecus prometheus, the scientists contend in the April 2 Nature.

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April 2 2015

Human language evolved with a ‘Big Bang’, study says


Prevailing theories suggest that human language evolved slowly from a series of simple grunts and noises, to a complex spoken language between 75,000 and 100,000 years ago.

But now, according to a new study in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, researchers believe the rise of complex language took place relatively rapidly, not as a series of gradual changes as has been described previously.


Alt: Our ancestors DIDN’T grunt and mumble: Scientist says early human speech evolved rapidly into complex sentences

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April 2 2015

Oxygen-depleted toxic oceans had key role in mass extinction over 200 million years ago


Changes in the biochemical balance of the ocean were a crucial factor in the end-Triassic mass extinction, during which half of all plant, animal and marine life on Earth perished, according to new research involving the University of Southampton.

The study, published in the upcoming edition of Geology, reveals that a condition called 'marine photic zone euxinia' took place in the Panathalassic Ocean- the larger of the two oceans surrounding the supercontinent of Pangaea.

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April 2 2015

Ancient Seashells Sported Flashy Colors, Patterns


Ancient seashells in museum collection tend to look drab white, but high tech equipment reveals many ancient shells displayed distinctive patterns and colors.

Given the uniqueness of their appearance, some of the shells were determined to belong to newly documented species of cone snails, which are predatory mollusks. They are described in the current issue of the journal PLOS ONE.

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April 2 2015

Dinosaur 'Romeo and Juliet' Found Buried Together


A dinosaur couple that appears to have died together after wooing each other has been identified in remains unearthed at the Gobi Desert in Mongolia.

The dino couple, named Romeo and Juliet since they are reminiscent of Shakespeare's famous doomed lovers, were entombed together for over 75 million years, according to a new study in the journal Scientific Reports.

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April 2 2015

'Alien' Camel Skeleton Discovered Along the Danube River


The skeleton of a camel that lived in the 17th century during the second Ottoman-Habsburg war has been discovered in a refuse pit in Austria.

The animal would have been somewhat of an "alien" along the Danube River in Tulln, Austria, the researchers said, calling it a "sunken ship in the desert."

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April 2 2015

Mammoth remains unearthed by oil workers: 10,000-year-old tusks, teeth and bones from Ice Age giant


The remains of a woolly mammoth that died 10,000 years ago have been unearthed in Siberia by oil workers.

Two tusks, teeth and rib bones of the extinct giant mammal were discovered buried three metres down in the frozen soil around 31 miles (50km) from Nyagan in Khanty-Mansi, Russia.

Oil workers had been digging at a site owned by Rosneft close to the town when they noticed a tusk sticking out of the excavator bucket.

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April 2 2015

Elephants Have Male Bonding Rituals, Too


Ecologist Caitlin O’Connell has spent more than two decades observing elephants on the sandy plains of Etosha National Park, in northern Namibia. She arrives sometime in June each season, sets up camp and settles into her data collection, recording the elephants’ comings and goings, as well as their interactions, from a tower north of Mushara water hole. “The pattern of animal movements demarks the passage of time almost as reliably as the cycles of the sun and moon,” she writes in her new book, Elephant Don: The Politics of a Pachyderm Posse, out in April from University of Chicago Press.

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April 2 2015

Mice sing just like birds, but we can’t hear them


It's true: Mice actually sing, especially when they're looking for a mate. That's not anything new. But unlike birdsong, mouse-song is much too high-pitched for humans to hear. So no, it's not exactly Cinderella-esque, as you can hear for yourself in the above video. But it is shockingly intricate.


Alt: Mice entice mates by singing special songs, scientists discover

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April 2 2015

Scientists discover world's first-known 'werewolf plant'


The world’s first-known “werewolf plant” has been identified after scientists accidentally discovered that a shrub relies on the lunar cycle for survival.

The species, a non-flowering relative of conifers known as Ephedra foeminea, secretes globules of sugary liquid on nights when there is a full moon to attract nocturnal pollinating insects.


Related: New Species Of Mushroom Discovered On Roadside Look Like Fun Guys

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April 2 2015

China building 'great wall of sand' in South China Sea


China's land reclamation is creating a "great wall of sand" in the South China Sea, a top US official says, leading to "serious questions" on its intentions.

US Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Harry Harris made the comments in a speech in Australia on Tuesday night.

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April 2 2015

In 2022, Humans Plan to Crash Into an Asteroid to Shift its Orbit


Earth is such a comfortable and verdant world that it’s easy to forget we actually live on a space rock that’s hurtling through an orbital obstacle course (apparently, Congress frequently needs to be reminded of this fact).

But despite the long-term existential threat posed by comet and asteroid impacts, humans still haven’t come up with a solid contingency plan should the planet ever be faced with imminent cosmic death.

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April 2 2015

Ancient Mars May Have Had Slow-Moving Monster Waves


Surfing may have been a more epic undertaking on ancient Mars than it is on modern-day Earth because of the possible existence of giant, slow-moving waves on the Red Planet, researchers say.

These big waves might have carved shorelines into Marslong ago. If so, studying these shorelines could shed light on the ancient Martian climate, such as whether or not it had seas long enough for life to potentially develop on the Red Planet, scientists added.

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