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Megaraptor namunhuaiquii

Relation with T Rex found in fossils discovered 30 years ago

Humans of all age groups from children to great archaeologists have always been curious about the origin and existence of dinosaurs. Scientists at the University of Bonn and the Sirindhorn Museum have identified two new species of dinosaur which were based upon analyzing fossils discovered 30 years ago in Thailand.

The new species are distant relatives of the T.Rex dinosaur species but have a more primitive structure. Their work has been published in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. These fossils were discovered during excavation and were handed over to the Sirindhorn Museum.  Adun Samathi who is pursuing the research came over these fossils five years ago. He is currently pursuing a doctorate at Steinmann Institute of Geology, Mineralogy and Paleontology at the University of Bonn. He bought these fossils here to use the state of the art facilities at the University.

These group of dinosaurs are called megaraptors which is a group of carnivores predatory dinosaurs including the Tyrannosaurus-rex(T.Rex). They run on hind legs and their arms are strong and armed with long claws. They have a more delicate head which has a long snout ending. Samathi has said that these fossils can be assigned to the bones of a megaraptor named as Phuwiangvenator. Phuwiangvenator was believed to be the fastest runner with a length of about six meters and shorter than T.Rex who is 12 meters.

The main group of megaraptors are found in South America and Australia however they are believed to be originated in Southeast Asia and spread across the globe from there. Various characters of the Phuwiangvenator group indicate that they originated from Southeast Asia. Further unidentified fossils were discovered by a group of researchers which are of a predatory dinosaur species of length close to 4.5 meters, however, the species could not be identified. Scientists assume that this second species is a smaller variant in the dinosaur species called the Vayuraptor nongbualamphuenisis is also related to Phuwiangvenator and T. rex. Samathi compares this condition with that of the African black cats where the Phuwiangvenator is a lion and the Vayuraptor is a cheetah.

The recent findings and all the hard work of the archaeologists in finding the two new predatory species will be made public and presented on the tenth anniversary of the Sirindhorn Museum. Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will open the event. In the field of archaeology, there is no end as new fossils will lead to discovering of new species and theories.


osorno volcano

Scientists discover 15000 year old footprint, the oldest evidence of humans in South America

Researchers in Chile reported that they have obtained footprint belonging to humans. It dates back to more than 15000 years. This is the oldest evidence of humans which has been found in Latin America.

This finding makes a direct challenge to the timeline and path of migration of human beings into South America. The evidence which was available till now held the understanding that human beings could not reach the Patagonia region which is located at the south tip of Latin America till 12,000 years before.

The footprint was obtained at Pilauco excavation in Osorno, where researchers have been searching for any evidence since 2007.

Archaeologists from Austral University in Chile reported that the footprint was first detected in 2011 beside a house. It took several years for paleontologist Karen Moreno, geologist Mario Pino to verify that the footprint was that of a human being. The report has been published in the journal PLOS-ONE.

Mario Pino told the newspaper, El Austral that several other footprints have been discovered in South America but none of them was so dated old as this one. Scientists have been able to calculate the age of the footprint by applying radiocarbon techniques of dating to the plant where the footprint was present.

Radioactive dating was first developed by Willard Libby, in the latter part of the 40s who was also awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in 1960. It is based on the principle that radioactive form of Carbon ( C -14) has been continuously created by the interaction of cosmic rays with nitrogen. Measuring the amount of C-14 in the dead animal or plant provides the data from which it can be calculated when the plant or animal died.

Pino reported that the print appeared to be of a male human weighing approximately 70 kilograms. He belonged to the species Hominipes modernus, which is related to Homo Sapiens. Evidence of stone tools has also been obtained in the region around the fossil.

Almost eight years have passed between finding the fossil and reporting the confirmation about the age. The team of researchers spent the time in checking, confirming and re-checking the evidence and finally managed to convince their peers.

The city of Osorno has been a rich archaeological site and scientists were alerted of this after workers found treasures underneath the Earth while digging. Remains of animals such as horses have been found here. Scientists think that many more evidence of humans may be present, but they have been mostly eroded by glaciers or is present underwater.

Callao Cave Philippines

Researchers discover fossils in Calleo Cave indicating a new hominid species

Scientists have reported the discovery of an unknown species of human beings who resided in the Philippines almost 50,000 years before. The recently found evidence shows that new species, Homo luzonensis was very small in size and maybe even smaller than the Hobbit species which was discovered in the Flores island back in 2004.

This discovery has made the timeline of human evolution very messy but nonetheless fascinating due to the discovery of the species which was previously not known. Small pieces of bones and teeth were found from the Callao Cave in the Philippines island of Luzon. The fossils found in the Callao Cave give clues of many features which have been totally unknown to the researchers. Hence it makes the statement for the declaration of a new human species, Homo luzonensis. This discovery was reported in the Nature journal.

This is a breakthrough discovery as it is not regular to find about new human species. The discovery of Homo luzonensis can reveal facts about human evolution and what happened to the ones who left Africa thousands of years before.

In 2010, a single human foot bone was discovered in Calleo Cave which was dated at 67000 years old. This was the first evidence that humans have been present in Philippines for quite some time. We have known that hominins, the group of primates who are more closely related to us than chimpanzees lived in Philippines as early as 700,000 years ago.

The hominins are not exactly our direct ancestors but they can be considered as close relatives. Each species had their own evolutionary journey as they adapted to changing environments and circumstances. Around 50,000 years ago in Africa, there were many human species in Africa and Eurasia.

The team of scientists led by Florent Détroit, National Museum of Natural History located in France and Armand Mijares, University of the Philippines who found the foot bone in Philippines have tried to gather more evidence around Calleo Cave. The excavations have led to the discovery of 12 hominin elements in all which includes a thigh bone, and several bones of hands and feet. Scientists have identified them belonging to two adults and one child. Unfortunately, there was no genetic evidence present in these specimens.

Analysis of the specimens gives rise to the conclusion that the species, Homo Luzonensis have been very small compared to the present size of human beings. Scientists suspect that they may have been subjected to insular dwarfism, a condition where the size of a species gets significantly reduced due to very less to the resources needed for development.

Although some of the scientists feel it is too soon to declare the luzonensis a new species and that only another set of fossils complemented by DNA and mark them as a new Homo member.