3.5 billion-year-old rock structures are one of the oldest signs of life on Earth

Layered rocks in Western Australia are some of Earth’s earliest known life, according to a new study.  The fossils in question are stromatolites, layered rocks that are formed by the excretions of photosynthetic microbes. The oldest stromatolites that scientists agree were made by living organisms date back 3.43 billion years, but there are older specimens, […]

What’s the oldest star in the universe? What about the youngest?

The oldest-known star, officially called HD 140283 but nicknamed Methuselah, lies 190.1 light-years away. The Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO) UK Schmidt telescope photographed the star in blue light for the Digitized Sky Survey. (Image credit: Digitized Sky Survey (DSS), STScI/AURA, Palomar/Caltech, and UKSTU/AAO) Among the countless stars glittering in the vastness of space, some are so […]

Oldest medical amputation on record was performed on a Stone Age child in Borneo 31,000 years ago

About 31,000 years ago, a skilled prehistoric surgeon cut off the lower leg of a child hunter-gatherer in Borneo. Now, archaeologists have concluded that this ancient surgery is the earliest medical amputation on record.  The skill of the Stone Age surgeon was admirable; the patient went on to live an additional six to nine years […]

37,000-year-old mammoth butchering site may be oldest evidence of humans in North America

An artist’s interpretation of an early human hunting a woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius). (Image credit: Shutterstock) (opens in new tab) A 37,000-year-old mammoth butchering site, uncovered in New Mexico, might be the earliest evidence of humans in North America, controversial research finds. Some of the bones at the site show signs of being handled by […]