- News Home
5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
ScienceShot: Lucy's Svelte Look
23 September 2013 3:45 pm
The famous skeleton Lucy has had a makeover, thanks to newly discovered fossils. A reconstruction of the 3.2-million-year-old hominin emerged Friday with a trimmer figure, showing off a distinct neck, a narrower waistline, and arched foot. Earlier reconstructions, relying on scanty fossil rib bones and living African apes such as chimpanzees and gorillas, had given her a cone-shaped thorax and potbelly. That implied that her species, Australopithecus afarensis, had retained adaptations for moving in the trees a lot like chimps. But in the past few years, researchers have found additional ribs and a new foot bone of A. afarensis. The ribs are curved, which translates to a barrel-shaped thorax like modern humans, paleoanthropologist Carol Ward of the University of Missouri, Columbia, showed in a symposium on Friday. And the foot bone shows a distinct arch. This suggests that Lucy and her kin spent plenty of time on the ground, although they probably still climbed and slept in trees. The reconstruction, overseen by paleoanthropologist Yohannes Haile-Selassie of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and created by artist John Gurche, was unveiled Friday as part of an exhibit on human evolution at the museum.