In The News

Welcome to our "In the News" page, featuring summaries of Internet news, relevant to Catastrophism and Ancient History.

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22 Feb 2020
Frozen Birds in Permafrost

Robert sent in several links on the same subject - such as ... a well preserved horned lark has been found in Siberian permafrost and its DNA has been recovered. The fossil was found in bleak NE Siberia, a fairly inhospitable environment for a lark. It has been provisionally dated at around 46,000 years ago and the bird is related to horned larks that live in the modern world. During the Late Glacial Maximum the steppe zone spread across northern Europe and Asia and was home to woolly mammoth, bison and woolly rhinoceros etc.

21 Feb 2020
Pole Shift

At ... we have an interesting paper by Woelfli and Baltensperger, 'Ancient East Siberia had a lower latitude in the Pleistocene' ... they begin by outlining their reasons why they think eastern Siberia was warmer in the Pleistocene than it is in the modern world by focussing on the mammoths and other large herbivores, also making note of the fact that Lake Baikal does not seem to have frozen over and its fauna is proof of that (which is generally accepted).

21 Feb 2020
Sent in by Gary

At ... a burial site of victims of the Black Death (14th century AD) has been uncovered at Thornton Abbey in Lincolnshire in what was once a monastic hospital cemetery. Some 48 bodies were found which included 27 children.


21 Feb 2020
Shanidar Cave

Also sent in by Gary, ( ... and by William. The skeleton of a Neanderthal individual (sex as yet undetermined) that lived around 70,000 years ago has been unearthed at Shanidar Cave in Kurdistan. The cave was the scene 60 years ago of a famous discovery of 10 sets of remains of Neanderthals. Some of them were laid in a channel in the cave floor which had been intentionally dug out to accommodate the bodies along with pollen (suggesting flowers had been deposited with them in an intentional show of grief).

21 Feb 2020
Eggs and Blood

At ... this and the following links were sent in by Robert. Were dinosaurs cold blooded, like reptiles, or warm blooded, like birds. A new study seeks to resolve the issue and suggests the latter. There appears to be a concerted endeavour to see dinosaurs as bird like rather than reptile like and this study is one more in a chain of such claims. The view is based on the composition of chemicals inside fossilised dinosaur egg shells.

18 Feb 2020
Dinosaur Blood Vessels

At .. scientists in the US have been analysing via infrared, X-rays, and spectromicroscopy, dinosaur remains in order to dscover how soft tissue managed to survive over millions of years. It seems it runs counter to the science, described as dogma, that protein rich body parts cannot survive longer that a million or so years. It seems that it has become vital for the science to explain this survival mechanism - no doubt because it has become somewhat embarrassing when confronted by recent finds.

17 Feb 2020
Giant Turtles

At ... an extinct giant turtle had a horned shell. The fossil hails from South America and has brothers in arms - such as giant rodents and crocodiles, dating back 5 to 10 million years ago - which is fairly recent in geological time. It is assumed the turtles were predated by the crocodiles and the horns were a defensive mechanism. Stupendemys geographicus is the title bestowed on the animal.

17 Feb 2020
Tel Motza

Gary sent in this link - temple near Jerusalem challenges the claim there was just one temple in Jerusalem, that of Solomon. This appears to refer to the position in the reign of Josiah (late 7th century BC or even the situation after the Exiles returned from Babylon. Not sure if it applies to the Monarchy period as a whole - but that might spoil the story at ... this story may also be impacted by chronology - a revision of Iron II strata from 10th to 9th centuries BC which is heavily contested by some factions.

17 Feb 2020
Necropolis at Asyut

At ... concerns the acropolis of Asyut - which goes back 4000 years. An ancient city with its temples, palaces, libraries and houses was later overcome by Nile flood sediments. These were possibly as a result of the river changing channels as it did on a number of occasions. A recent excavation, in the mountains above Asyut, has provided new information on the city that existed during the First Intermediate Period and Middle Kingdom.

17 Feb 2020
Sea Dragons

At ... the sea dragons in question are ichthyosaurs - fish like reptiles that filled an evolutionary niche in the oceans equivalent to modern dolphins and porpoise. They first appeared in the record of the rocks at 250 million years ago, it is said. They went on to diversify into a broad range of sizes and occupied a variety of marine ecologies. However, around 200 million years ago, we are told, there was a bottleneck through which only one lineage of ichthyosaurs survived.