Evolution

Australopithecus sediba, aka Malapa Hominin 1 (MH1) left, Lucy (AL 288-1) (Centre), and Malapa Hominin 2 (MH2) right

A team of scientists has reconstructed a skeleton of Australopithecus sediba, a hominid that lived about two million years ago, putting together the bones of some partial skeletons found in 2008 in Malapa, about 45 km (about 30 miles) from the capital city of South Africa, Johannesburg.

Neanderthal Skeleton

A team of scientists led by Dr. Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, has announced the completion of the sequencing of the DNA of a Neanderthal taken from a toe bone discovered in 2010 in a Siberian cave.

Alfred Russel Wallace in 1862

A few days ago the site Wallace Correspondence Project’s (WCP) was launched. It aims to collect in digital format the letters still existent written to and from the naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace. This project has been funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is based at the Natural History Museum in London. This initiative follows Wallace Online, another website directed by John van Wyhe, assisted by Kees Rookmaaker at the National University of Singapore in collaboration with the Wallace Page by Charles H. Smith, which collects the naturalist’s books and articles.

Dickinsonia costata, a typical fossil of the Ediacara biota

An article published in the journal “Nature” in December is causing discussions among paleontologists. The reason is that according to Gregory Retallack, a geologist at the University of Oregon in Eugene, life on land began 65 million years earlier than is generally estimated.

Trilobite fossile from the Burgess Shale

The Royal Ontario Museum and Parks Canada, the national agency that has the mandate to protect Canada’s natural and cultural heritage, opened a new site which is an online museum of the Burgess Shale, a unique field of fossils from the Middle Cambrian, about five hundred million years ago.