Blogs & Videos: Series

Mammoths vs. Mastodons: Can we 'de-extinct' them both?

There's been a lot of talk and research interest around the possibility of resurrecting certain groups of organisms (or, at least their genomes) from extinction, with Woolly Mammoths being prime candidates for such an endeavor. But what about a closely related group, like the Mastodons? What's the criteria for possible 'de-extinction'? SO MANY QUESTIONS.

Left: Pieces of eggshell and small bones laid out in rows. Right: A young boy and an older woman carry live turkeys by the feet through a market.

Archaeological Excavation Unearths Evidence of Turkey Domestication 1,500 Years Ago

The turkeys we’ll be sitting down to eat on Thursday have a history that goes way back. Archaeologists have unearthed a clutch of domesticated turkey eggs used as a ritual offering 1,500 years ago in Oaxaca, Mexico—some of the earliest evidence of turkey domestication.

How Bird Vomit Helps Us Understand History

Like many kids, I dissected owl pellets when I was in school - but I never realized they can be used by scientists to learn about certain aspects of an ecosystem. And today, paleontologists like Matt McDowell are using these pellets to learn about the history of an environment, to preserve them for the future.

Close-up of ants on the forest floor

Ant Genomics Help Reshape Biological History of the Americas

Scientists have long believed that the Isthmus of Panama emerged from the ocean three million years ago, triggering a massive interchange of species between the Americas in its wake. However, recent conflict in both geological and biological literature suggests that this simple story is insufficient to explain the available evidence.

An artist's rendering of an prehistoric carnivore called a beardog, with it's mouth open reaching for an insect.

Chihuahua-sized fossil "beardogs" shed new light on evolution of dogs and their relatives

Fossil discoveries don’t always happen out in the field, with scientists armed with pick-axes realizing they’ve found something special. Sometimes, fossils lie in wait in museum collections until the right researcher comes along and realizes there’s something unusual about them. That’s what happened this time, and the fossils in question are prehistoric dog relatives called “beardogs.”

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