News - OD Earth and History of Life

Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus) (Photo: Cephas, Wikimedia Commons)
16/09/2016

Are We Reintroducing The Wrong Sturgeon Species in Our Waters?

post by
Reinout Verbeke

Using bone fragments found at archaeological sites, researchers from the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences have reconstructed the occurrence of sturgeon in the North Sea during the last 7.000 years. It appears that an unexpected sturgeon species was dominant in our region.

Fossilized bones found in a coal mine in Gujarat, India. U.S. quarter shown for size. (photo: Johns Hopkins Medicine)
23/08/2016

Discovery of The Most Primitive Primate

post by
Jonas Van Boxel

A cache of exquisitely preserved bones, found in a coal mine in the state of Gujarat, India, appear to be the most primitive primate bones yet discovered. The discovery marks an important chapter in the evolution of primates, mammals which include humans, apes and monkeys.

Reconstruction of the placoderm nursery: young placoderms in shallow waters (above), adult animals in deeper waters (below). (Image: Justine Jacquot-Hameon, MNHN)
23/08/2016

360 Million Year Old Fish Nursery Found in Namur

post by
Reinout Verbeke

Palaeontologists have found 360 million year old placoderms, the oldest known jawed vertebrates, in the quarry of Strud, close to Namur. They mostly found young animals, which could be an indication that it was a nursery or spawning place.

Pollen types that are frequently found in medieval and post-medieval cesspits: chervil (a), starflower (b), myrtle family (c), lungwort (d), gum rockrose (e), cluster of chervil (f). (Photo: RBINS)
19/08/2016

Pollen from Cesspits Reveal Medieval Diet

post by
Reinout Verbeke

Between 1100 and 1700, the menu of the ‘Belgians’ mostly consisted of cereal products and occasionally some exotic ingredients, like honey from Spain or cloves from Indonesia. Researcher Koen Deforce (RBINS) analysed pollen that were collected in ancient Flemish cesspits.

The different modifications: the femur left shows percussion pits and a percussion notch and the femur right shows cutmarks. Femur right also shows retouching marks left from its use to retouch the edges of stone tools. (Photo: RBINS)
06/07/2016

Belgian Neandertals Were Cannibals

post by
Reinout Verbeke

Neandertals that lived near the Belgian caverns of Goyet were cannibals. Several bones show cut marks and percussion marks. It is the first evidence of Neandertal cannibalism in northern Europe.

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