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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24 Sep 2020
Footprints in the Sand

Kevin sent in the link to www.sci-news.com/archaeology/alathar-footprints-08869.html ... human footprints going  back 120,000 years have been found in northern Saudi Arabia - together with those of animals. The were found on what was an ancient lake bed in the last interglacial period. They are said to be contemporary with the new date for Out of Africa but I dare say some would digress. Arabia has not always been a forbidding desert environment, especially not the northern zone. It has periodically been green with plenty of rivers and lakes.

24 Sep 2020
The River Monster, Spirosaurus

Sent in by Gary. At www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8757271/ ... Spirosaurus is known from its teeth as much as from its bones. It is reputed to be the larges carnivorous dinosaur - up to 50 feet in length. A trove of teeth has recently been found in the Sahara Desert of all places, in what is thought to have been an ancient river bed. Only a limited number of bones have been unearthed but the discovery of a fossil tail in the Kem Kem river bed in Morocco seems to show Spirosaurus was semi aquatic, hunting in the water. Hundreds of teeth have been found in the same river bed.

24 Sep 2020
Comet Aurora

At https://spaceweather.com [23rd September 2020] .. in a paper published in Nature Astronomy researchers describe how Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko was seen to turn vaporous jets of water into aurorae. The Rosetta spacecraft, launched by ESA, observed the aurora whilst orbiting the comet. As the comet does not have a magnetic field, or any other comet yet known, they were loathe to identify the lights as true aurorae. Yet, the glow was certainly there - but not necessarily visible to the human eye. They shine at ultra violet wavelengths.

24 Sep 2020
Fairy Circles

At https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2020/09/23/ecologists-confirm-alan-turin... ... which is said to solve the mystery. It seems Alan Turing's model explains the striking vegetation patterns that modify habitats and arid environments in Australia and the Kalahari in Namibia. A drone was used and a multispectral camera, mapping an area of Triodia grasses.

18 Sep 2020
Other stories in Mid-September

Buried Alive. At https://phys.org/news/2020-09-eternal-sleeper-dinosaurs-unearthed-china.... ... another case of sleeping dinosaurs, in a hidie hole, being overwhelmed, buried, and preserved as a stone fossil.

17 Sep 2020
Cave Bear preserved intact

Robert sent in two links. the first one is at https://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/first-ever-preserved-grown-u... ... the first ever preserved adult cave bear has been found on an island in the Arctic Ocean, one of the New Siberian islands, Bolshoy Lyakhovsky island. Even its nose is intact (see below). It died at an estimated 39,000 years ago, around the same time that Neanderthals disappeared. Previously, cave bears have only been known from bones (in caves). This specimen is a whole carcass with soft tissue intact.

17 Sep 2020
Life came full blown

One to make you think. Gary sent in this link - www.newscientist.com/article/mg24732940-800-a-radical-new-theory-rewrite... ... a radical  new theory rewrits the story of how life on earth began. The idea that life emerged fully formed has always seemed unlikely. However, evidence is emerging, we are told, that all the key molecules for life can form from the same simple carbon based chemistry. They also combine to make startlingly life like proto-cells. Perhaps Welby and his mates need to wake up and smell the marmalade. Or is that coffee.

17 Sep 2020
Aliens on Venus

This was also sent in by Venus. William may also have sent in a link. At https://news.sky.com/story/signs-of-alien-life-detected-on-venus-12071625 ... signs of alien life detected on Venus. In spite of the headline, this is not true. Alien life has not been detected. What they have found, after actually setting out to search for it, is phosphine molecules - which consist of hydrogen and phosphorous atoms. You might ask why did they set out to look for phosphine. The obvious answer is to read the full article - rather than the offerings of a Sky pundit.

13 Sep 2020
Yukon in the Younger Dryas

At https://phys.org/news/2020-09-reveal-richer-picture-dna-recovery.html ... a new technique has led to the extraction of DNA from soil for analysis, pulling the genomes of hundreds of animals and thousands of plants from less than a gram of sediment. A remarkable claim. As such, scientists now say they can reconstruct ancient environments that existed thousands of years ago. They analysed samples from four sites in the Yukon, each representing a different point in the transition from the Pleistocene to the Holocene, roughly 11,000 years ago.

13 Sep 2020
Literacy in Judah

This story  has surface once again as a result of further studies - see https://phys.org/news/2020-09-widespread-literacy-biblical-period-kingdo... ... a new study concerns widespread literacy in the Biblical period, in the 7th century BC kingdom of Judah. This follows the discovery of handwriting by 12 different individuals based at a fort at Arad, guarding the caravan route to Arabia, at the borders of the kingdom of Judah. People could read and write, Probably not the peasant class, the rural farming  communities, but certainly, the more refined classes.