Lost Worlds and New Species Found

ekim68

Mike
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An immense mystery older than Stonehenge

When German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt first began excavating on a Turkish mountaintop 25 years ago, he was convinced the buildings he uncovered were unusual, even unique.

Atop a limestone plateau near Urfa called Gobekli Tepe, Turkish for "Belly Hill", Schmidt discovered more than 20 circular stone enclosures. The largest was 20m across, a circle of stone with two elaborately carved pillars 5.5m tall at its centre. The carved stone pillars – eerie, stylised human figures with folded hands and fox-pelt belts – weighed up to 10 tons. Carving and erecting them must have been a tremendous technical challenge for people who hadn't yet domesticated animals or invented pottery, let alone metal tools. The structures were 11,000 years old, or more, making them humanity's oldest known monumental structures, built not for shelter but for some other purpose.
 

ekim68

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A giant space rock demolished an ancient Middle Eastern city, possibly inspiring the Biblical story of Sodom

As the inhabitants of an ancient Middle Eastern city now called Tall el-Hammam went about their daily business one day about 3,600 years ago, they had no idea an unseen icy space rock was speeding toward them at about 38,000 mph (61,000 kph).

Flashing through the atmosphere, the rock exploded in a massive fireball about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) above the ground. The blast was around 1,000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima atomic bomb. The shocked city dwellers who stared at it were blinded instantly. Air temperatures rapidly rose above 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit (2,000 degrees Celsius). Clothing and wood immediately burst into flames. Swords, spears, mudbricks and pottery began to melt. Almost immediately, the entire city was on fire.
 

ekim68

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Bizarre new dinosaur species brandished a battle axe for a tail


T-rex had huge teeth. Raptors sported sharp, scythe-like claws. Triceratops fought with head-mounted horns. The ancient arsenal of dinosaur warfare was varied, and now a brand new weapon has been added to the collection. Paleontologists have discovered a new type of ankylosaur with a tail like a battle axe.

Ankylosaurs are those armored dinosaurs built like tanks, covered in bony plates and spikes and often brandishing a heavy tail club that no carnivore would want anywhere near its kneecaps. But the new species takes a different tack, attacking with a tail armed with seven pairs of large, flat spikes that its discoverers liken to an Aztec battle axe.
 

ekim68

Mike
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Brazil Is Home to Prehistoric Underground Tunnels Created by Giant Ground Sloths


While you may have heard of underground cities built by humans, what about huge tunnels dug by giant prehistoric sloths? Though it may sound outlandish, it's actually what one finds across southern Brazil. Known as paleoburrows, these enormous tunnels can measure up to 2,000 feet long and over six feet tall. Shockingly, the existence of these caves was relatively unknown until a Brazilian geologist noticed something while driving down the highway.
 

ekim68

Mike
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Colossal marine skull reveals Earth's earliest known giant animal


Scientists have discovered fossils of a new species of aquatic reptile that may represent the first giant animal that ever lived on Earth. Named Cymbospondylus youngorum, the creature is a new type of ichthyosaur dating back to the early stages of the Age of Dinosaurs, and grew to huge proportions extremely quickly.

The discovery made in the Augusta Mountains of Nevada included a well-preserved skull measuring 2 m (6.6 ft) long, as well as part of the backbone, shoulder and forelimb. They were attributed to a previously unknown species of ichthyosaur, which lived about 246 million years ago.
 

ekim68

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'Incredibly detailed preservation': scientists discover new fossil site in NSW


The new fossil site is located in the Central Tablelands, NSW near the town of Gulgong, and represents one of only a handful of fossil sites in Australia that can be classified as a ‘Lagerstätte’– a site that contains fossils of exceptional quality.

Over the last three years a team of researchers has been secretly excavating the site, discovering thousands of specimens including rainforest plants, insects, spiders, fish and a bird feather.
 

ekim68

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