Archaeologists in Italy recently unearthed the remains of at least nine Neanderthals in Guattari Cave, near the Tyrrhenian Sea about 100 km southeast of Rome. While excavating a previously unexplored section of the cave, archaeologists from the Archaeological Superintendency of Latina and the University of Tor Vergata recently unearthed broken skulls, jawbones, teeth, and pieces of several other bones, which they say represent at least nine Neanderthals. That brings the cave’s total to at least 10; anthropologist Alberto Carlo Blanc found a Neanderthal skull in another chamber in 1939.
Italy was a very different place 60,000 years ago. Hyenas, along with other Pleistocene carnivores, stalked rhinoceroses, wild horses (an extinct wild bovine called aurochs), and people.
“Neanderthals were prey for these animals. Hyenas hunted them, especially the most vulnerable, like sick or elderly individuals,” Tor Vergata University archaeologist Mario Rolfo told The Guardian. The archaeologists found the Neanderthal remains mingled with the bones of rhinos, giant deer, wild horses, and other hyenas. Predators and scavengers tend to leave behind different parts of the skeleton than, say, flowing water or simple burial—and tooth marks are usually a dead giveaway.
A Flinders University researcher has finally fathomed why large numbers of killer whales gather at a single main location off the Western Australian southern coastline every summer.
In a new paper published in Deep Sea Research, physical oceanographer Associate Professor Jochen Kampf describes the conditions which have produced this ecological natural wonder of orcas migrating to the continental slope near Bremer Bay in the western Great Australian Bight from late austral spring to early autumn (January-April).
An area of forest the size of France has regrown around the world over the past 20 years, showing that regeneration in some places is paying off, a new analysis has found.
Nearly 59m hectares of forests have regrown since 2000, the research found, providing the potential to soak up and store 5.9 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide – more than the annual emissions of the entire US.
The two-year study, conducted via satellite imaging data and on-ground surveys across dozens of countries, identified areas of regrowth in the Atlantic forest in Brazil, where an area the size of the Netherlands has rebounded since 2000 due to conservation efforts and altered industry practices.
Scientists’ research interests are often skewed toward charismatic organisms, but quantifying research biases is challenging. By combining bibliometric data with trait-based approaches and using a well-studied alpine flora as a case study, we demonstrate that morphological and colour traits, as well as range size, have significantly more impact on species choice for wild flowering plants than traits related to ecology and rarity. These biases should be taken into account to inform more objective plant conservation efforts.