Dinosaurs and LSD?

Keeping with our theme of ancient drugs, earlier this year researchers from Oregon State University and USDA Agricultural Research Service discovered a remarkable fossil from the amber mines of Myanmar.  The amber was around 100 million years old, from the mid-Cretaceous and it contained the oldest known piece of grass. This alone makes it an... Continue Reading →

What Killed the Berezovka Mammoth?

It isn't often that palaeopathology enters popular culture but then mammoths have long fascinated humanity. Perhaps it is because our ancestors actually lived alongside them, or maybe it is the existence of such beautifully preserved examples, often with intact hair and skin, that has given us such an intimate glimpse of these prehistoric mammals. A... Continue Reading →

Oldest Air Pollution

When you think of ‘air pollution’ you are probably imagining traffic fumes, or the thick photochemical smogs that shroud many modern megacities, or perhaps you even think of the ‘pea soupers’ in London that led to the first Clean Air Act in 1952. Now we know that air pollution is actually almost as old as... Continue Reading →

The Parasite that Killed a T-Rex

There are few dinosaurs quite as iconic as Tyrannosaurus Rex. At 12 metres long and up to 6 metres tall it was a ferocious apex predator, using its estimated 57,000N bite force to easily kill and eat the large herbivores of the day. Now you might expect that such a feared predator is going to... Continue Reading →

Oldest Murder Victim Discovered?

Violence seems to be nothing new to humanity but evidence of a 430,000 years old murder is quite unusual. A paper published earlier this month (May 2015) has announced the discovery of a prehistoric murder victim from the Sima de los Huesos site in northern Spain. This site has long been known for its impressive... Continue Reading →

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