New Fossil Discoveries Changing our Evolutionary Roadmap

American Fossils Lead to Earlier Estimates

Who were the Americans and when and how did they get here? For for many years archaeologists thought they knew the answers to these queries.

But starting in the early 2000s signs of an earlier human presence in the Americas started to appear, eroding support for the alleged Clovis first theory. A new understanding of how individuals ultimately conquered the New World began to take form: Homo sapiens arrived by at least 15,000 years ago, following the western coast of the Americas.

The team argues the stays show people were in the Americas 130,000 years ago. Sapiens was the member of the human family to reach the “New World”, since it hails from a time when multiple species, including the Neanderthals, roamed the world. It might also recommend archaeologists have missed a more than 100,000-year record of people in this section of the globe. However, the announcement has met with sharp criticism from other scientists, who argue the remains do not always reflect human action, and that their age is uncertain.

Not one of that will be remarkable in and of itself. Such behaviors have been well documented at archaeological sites round the planet. What makes the discovery a large deal is the intended age of the remains. The team determined the age of the mastodon bones by making use of a technique called uranium series dating, which uses the radioactive decay of uranium to measure the passing of time. The results indicated the bones are 130,000 years aged, give or simply take 9,000 years more than 100,000 years older than the oldest frequently approved archaeological web sites in the Americas.

Moroccan Fossil Changing the Human Evolutionary Ideas

The year was 1961. A barite mining operation at the Jebel Irhoud massif in Morocco, some 100 kilometers west of Marrakech, turned up a fossil human skull. Subsequent excavation uncovered more bones from other individuals, along with animal remains and stone tools. Scientists’ best guess was that the remains were about 40,000 years old and represented African versions of Neandertals.

More than 40 years later, in 2004, the excavation was reopened by a worldwide staff of experts. They identified 16 new Homo sapiens fossils along with a big number of Middle Stone-Age artefacts. Now in 2017 we’re able to report on these remains thanks to enhanced relationship techniques.

The new analysis proposes a revised edition of the evolutionary history of contemporary people that involves the whole African continent, and long before the “out-of-Africa”€ spread of Homo sapiens to other continents (dated at around 100,000 years ago).

“The reason why we were so interested in the site … (is that) we had a mosaic of morphological features that did not make much sense,” Mr Hublin said.

The specimens displayed a combination of physical traits, particularly the face, that closely resembled those of modern, living human beings, and other “more primitive” aspects such as a flatter, elongated skull.

In 2004 they started adding to the fossil fragment collection — now known to have belonged to five early Homo sapiens. They also collected stone tool artifacts which had been burnt in the humans’ cooking pit.

“Very early in the process we realised that the site was much older than anything anyone could imagine,” said Mr Hublin.

3D Printed Fossil Jaws reveal more about Evolution of Teeth

Tooth-like structures are available in vertebrates throughout the history of the globe. It’s thought that the ancestors of sharks and connected fish species were among the first to produce denture-like constructions in their own mouths, presumably tough sandpaper-like shapes on the jaw (not personal teeth) that could grind down food. As they are so common in therefore many species, teeth and jaws are a very crucial target for evolutionary biologists, as they can aid scientists to track the evolutionary method of various animals including people.

“When you wake up in the morning and you’re brushing your teeth have you ever wondered why you have them and how they evolved?”

By cautiously researching tooth and jaw buildings of really sensitive and rare fossilized stays, this focus has led researchers to the Placoderms: a group of 400 million year old fish species that were believed to be the first to develop bony jaw buildings. While it was once argued that these fish had so-called “real teeth”, researchers from your Australian National University have just utilized 3D printing and 3D scanning on a Buchanosteus fish fossil (of the Placoderm family) which showed that the fish actually represents a more transitional stage in teeth evolution.

The researchers used the 3D printer to create duplicates of the fossil that were three and six times the original size to better study them. This, consequently, can alter our understanding of the evolutionary method of jaws.