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At AAPA Meeting, a Fossil Show-and-Tell

The annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in Portland last week featured an exhibition of plaster casts of skulls, bones and teeth of important members of the human family. The fossils included the partial skeletons of Lucy from Ethiopia; Australopithecus sediba from South Africa; and the fingernail-size sliver of bone of a new type of archaic human from Siberia.

In other news of the ancient past, some 400 million years ago, nautiluslike creatures known as ammonites may have been far more sedentary than once believed, spending most of their lives at spots where methane bubbled up from the sea floor.

The way dinosaurs reproduced probably had something to do with their success. They grew fast, started mating before they hit skeletal maturity and laid clutches of multiple eggs--a life history that may have allowed dinosaurs to proliferate and diversify rapidly.

Researchers have concluded that 1.5 million-year-old footprints excavated in Africa, initially thought to reflect a thoroughly modern walking style, were instead made by individuals that walked differently than people today do.

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VIDEO: How Hair Ice Grows

In 2013, American Scientist featured an article on odd ice formations on plant stems, including these curling ribbons of ice. One of the types of ice discussed in the article was hair ice—long, thin strands of ice that grow under quite specific conditions. The only problem is that a new study shows the theory put forth at the time—that gas pressure pushes the water out—isn’t correct... (click the link above to read more).

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Of Possible Interest

Science In The News Daily: Bonobos Join Chimps as Closest Human Relatives

Science In The News Daily: Mammoths Didn't Go Out with a Bang

Science in the News Weekly: A Mammoth Find in Iowa

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