According to the journal called Nature, fossils are being questioned in regards to its authenticity – especially those thought to be related to humans especially during the past 10 years. It is not believed that these fossils were actually great apes.

When the question arose, thought processes & assumptions were made. The studies that were focused on in particular were the studies of 3 previously discovered fossils. One was known as “Ardi” which was discovered in Ethiopia. All three discoveries were claimed to be humanoid in features, but the likely hood of them being just apes is now a distinct possibility.

 Anthropologists: Apes May Not Necessarily Be Human Ancestors
Was “Ardi” a human or an ape?

In papers written by Bernard Wood and his colleague Harrison, it was determined that nothing can be certain on what was previously thought about fossils that have been discovered. Many of the techniques used by palaeontologists are not complete and cannot give the accurate findings. The paper also discusses that Wood and Harrison looked more towards the physical features of many different species. Another example they researched about was the relationship between the wings of a bird and the wings of a bat.

This simple explanation of physical feature relationships was supposed to teach the archaeological community that you cannot only look at physical features of fossils to determine their origins and relationships. Just because they share the same features, does not meant they are in any way related.

The best way to explain this would be to take the example of Ramapithecus. This was a creature believed to be closely related to humans only because there were some similarities in the skull and jaw features. It was later discovered that this fossil was nothing more than a relation to an orangutan.

Wood and Harrison simply want archaeologists and palaeoanthropologists in the world to know that you might need to look seriously and a little deeper than just the surface of many fossils they might eventually come across.


This revelation comes as quite a shock to many, but a complete embarrassment to quite a few.

Once thought to have been 3.5 billion year old fossils of bacteria in Australian rock, has now been discovered as nothing more than a few insensible minerals. Oh yes, quite a few researchers had to hide their faces in shame on this one, but pretty much no one will be able to live this one down.

fossil Oops! Oldest Evidence of Life Turns Out To Be Iron Deposits
A fossil (not the one mentioned in this article)

This discovery came from a team of people at the University of Kansas. By taking a closer look at the Australian rock, it was discovered that there was no presence of the oxygen-producing cyanobacteria, but that it was only iron ferrous minerals.

Researcher Allison Marshall stated that she went into the study thinking that these were actually microfossils and that many people in the scientific community believed it as well. It was very hard for many to believe that this discover would have gone unnoticed, but it did. Many asked the question; why did it take so long to figure this truth out? But many did not have the answer.

This was basically a life lesson on believing what you find in the data, not going by what someone has told you to be the truth. While many went along with the belief that this was actually the oldest form of evidential life, there were a few who just didn’t settle for what everyone else thought was true.

This particular team of scientists has suggested that it is better to take a closer look at the findings of microfossils. Do not settle on the first thing you see, but look closer into what you see. You should raise questions and never stop looking for the right answer. You never know what truths you can eventually find.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

Researchers attempting to clone

a mammoth by 2017

By Tannith Cattermole

17:33 January 23, 2011

The last known mammoth lived around 4,500 years ago, but if scientists in Japan are successful then we might be able to meet one soon! Research to resurrect these awesome creatures was shelved when cell nuclei taken from a sample from Siberia were found to be too badly damaged, however a scientific breakthrough in Kobe successfully cloned a mouse from sixteen year old deep frozen tissue, and the research began again in earnest …

Mammoths are a species of the extinct genus Mammuthus, and closely related to modern elephants today. As anyone who’s been awed and amazed by a mammoth skeleton would know, some had long-curved tusks, and in colder regions, long shaggy hair. The last known mammoths died out 4,500 years ago, but in 1997 researchers at Kyoto University began to try and extract DNA from the tissue of a preserved mammoth carcass found in the Siberian permafrost.

Their efforts were thwarted however by damage caused by ice crystals that rendered the cells unviable. The breakthrough came in 2008 when scientist Dr. Teruhiko Wakayama from the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, developed a new technique, and successfully managed to clone a mouse from tissue that had been deep frozen for sixteen years.

Now emeritus professor Akira Iritani and his team at Kyoto University are making preparations to fulfill their goal of cloning a live mammoth. They successfully extracted mammoth egg cell nuclei without damage, and used elephant egg cells to fill the gaps.

“Now the technical problems have been overcome, all we need is a good sample of soft tissue from a frozen mammoth,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

In the summer, Iritani will travel to Siberia to search for good mammoth samples. There are an estimated 150 million mammoth remains in Russia’s Siberian permafrost, some whole frozen specimens, others in pieces of bone, tusk, tissue and wool. If he is unsuccessful he will apply to Russian scientists to give him a sample.

If a mammoth embryo is successfully cloned then it will be transplanted into a surrogate African elephant, the mammoth’s closest living relative. Then will follow a gestation period of 22 months, the longest of any land animal.

“The success rate in the cloning of cattle was poor until recently but now stands at about 30 per cent, I think we have a reasonable chance of success and a healthy mammoth could be born in four or five years.” said Iritani.

There are other considerations however; “If a cloned embryo can be created, we need to discuss, before transplanting it into the womb, how to breed [the mammoth] and whether to display it to the public,” Iritani told the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper. “After the mammoth is born, we’ll examine its ecology and genes to study why the species became extinct and other factors.”

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

New Understanding of Bizarre

Extinct Mammal:

Shares Common Ancestor

With Rodents, Primates

Science(Oct. 11, 2010) — University of Florida researchers presenting new fossil evidence of an exceptionally well-preserved 55-million-year-old North American mammal have found it shares a common ancestor with rodents and primates, including humans.

The study, scheduled to appear in the Oct. 11 online edition of the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, describes the cranial anatomy of the extinct mammal, Labidolemur kayi. High resolution CT scans of the specimens allowed researchers to study minute details in the skull, including bone structures smaller than one-tenth of a millimeter. Similarities in bone features with other mammals show L. kayi‘s living relatives are rodents, rabbits, flying lemurs, tree shrews and primates.

Researchers said the new information will aide future studies to better understand the origin of primates.

“The specimens are among the only skulls of apatemyids known that aren’t squashed completely flat,” said study co-author Jonathan Bloch, an associate curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the UF campus. “They’re preserved in three dimensions, which allows us to look at the morphology of the bones in a way that we never could before.”

Scientists have disputed the relationships of Apatemyidae, the family that includes L. kayi, for more than a century because of their unusual physical characteristics. With can opener-shaped upper front teeth and two unusually long fingers, apatemyids have been compared to a variety of animals, from opossums to woodpeckers.

“There are only a few examples in the history of mammals where you get such an incredibly odd ecological adaptation,” Bloch said.

Like a woodpecker’s method of feeding, L. kayi used percussive foraging, or tapping on trees, to locate insects. It stood less than a foot tall, was capable of jumping between trees and looked like a squirrel with a couple of really long fingers, similar to the aye-aye, a lemur native to Madagascar, Bloch said.

Apatemyids have been preserved for tens of millions of years and are well known from Europe and North America.

The skeletons analyzed in the publication were recovered from freshwater limestone in the Bighorn Basin by co-author Peter Houde of New Mexico State University. Located just east of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, the site is known as one of the best in the world for studying the evolution of mammals during the 10 million years following the extinction of the dinosaurs, Bloch said.

Mary Silcox, first author of the study and a research associate at the Florida Museum, said scans of the specimens began about 10 years ago, during her postdoctoral work at The Pennsylvania State University.

“It’s not like medical CT, it’s actually an industrial CT scanner,” said Silcox, an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Toronto Scarborough. “Because this is a small animal, we needed to be able to study it at a very high resolution. The high resolution CT data were a critical part.”

Doug Boyer of Stony Brook University is also a co-author of the study, part of the team’s larger research to understand the relationships of apatemyids to other mammals. Bloch and colleagues are currently writing a detailed analysis of L. kayi‘s skeleton.

John Wible, curator of mammals at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and one of the researchers who reviewed the study, said it provides valuable information for understanding the evolutionary relationships of mammals.

“It is now clear that any assessment of the origins of primates in the future will have to include apatemyids,” Wible said. “Apatemyids are not some freakish dead-end, but significant members of our own history.”

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha