We describe the earliest evidence for neoplastic disease in the hominin lineage. This is reported from the type specimen of the extinct hominin Australopithecus sediba from Malapa, South Africa, dated to 1.98 million years ago.

Original Source

New excavations in Liang Bua, where the remains of the ‘Hobbit’ (Homo floresiensis) were discovered, show that this diminutive human species used this cave between 190,000 and 50,000 years ago, and not until as recently as 12,000 years ago as previously interpreted; modern humans have been present in Australia since around 50,000 years ago, so whether Homo floresiensis survived long enough to witness the arrival of modern humans is still an open question.

Biospheric relationships between production and consumption of biomass have been resilient to changes in the Earth system over billions of years. This relationship has increased in its complexity, from localized ecosystems predicated on anaerobic microbial production and consumption to a global biosphere founded on primary production from oxygenic photoautotrophs, through the evolution of Eukarya, metazoans, and the complexly networked ecosystems of microbes, animals, fungi, and plants that characterize the Phanerozoic Eon (the last ∼541 million years of Earth history).

In 1991, Robert S. Desowitz asked, “Did the primitive malaria begin as a parasite of some prehistoric reptile that later was picked up by a mosquito, or was it first a parasite of the mosquito that later became established in the reptile?” This question has been debated for years and is addressed in the present work in light of the fossil record of malarial organisms (Haemosporidia).

Original Source

The rise of plastics since the mid-20th century, both as a material element of modern life and as a growing environmental pollutant, has been widely described. Their distribution in both the terrestrial and marine realms suggests that they are a key geological indicator of the Anthropocene, as a distinctive stratal component. Most immediately evident in terrestrial deposits, they are clearly becoming widespread in marine sedimentary deposits in both shallow- and deep-water settings.

Indore: In a rare discovery, palaeontologists have stumbled upon a nine crore-year-old rare coral fossil similar to that of brain coral in Bagh beds of Narmada valley region.

Biologists have described a new species of extinct plant, based on two fossil flowers that were trapped in chunks of amber for at least 15 million years.

Just 38 per cent of U.S. schoolchildren were taught that climate change is linked to fossil fuels, with many teachers spending less than an hour a year on the subject

This paper presents the first Indo-French Prehistorical Mission in the Himalayan foothills, northwestern India, and introduces the results of the multidisciplinary research program “Siwaliks” under the patronage of Professor Yves Coppens, from the Collège de France and Académie des Sciences, France. This program is dedicated to the discovery of cut marks on mineralized bovid bones collected among vertebrate fossils in a fluviatile formation named “Quranwala zone” in the Chandigarh anticline, near the village Masol, and located just below the Gauss–Matuyama polarity reversal (2.58 Ma).

The fossil record provides striking case studies of biodiversity loss and global ecosystem upheaval. Because of this, many studies have sought to assess the magnitude of the current biodiversity crisis relative to past crises—a task greatly complicated by the need to extrapolate extinction rates. Here we challenge this approach by showing that the rarity of previously abundant taxa may be more important than extinction in the cascade of events leading to global changes in the biosphere.