Science News Roundup: Painstaking study of 'Little Foot' fossil sheds light on human; Fossils of oldest member of huge dinosaur and more

New York virus variant harbors another worrisome mutation; vaccinating elderly adds most years of life The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 02-03-2021 18:43 IST | Created: 02-03-2021 18:27 IST
Science News Roundup: Painstaking study of 'Little Foot' fossil sheds light on human; Fossils of oldest member of huge dinosaur and more

Following is a summary of current science news briefs.

Painstaking study of 'Little Foot' fossil sheds light on human origins

Sophisticated scanning technology is revealing intriguing secrets about Little Foot, the remarkable fossil of an early human forerunner that inhabited South Africa 3.67 million years ago during a critical juncture in our evolutionary history. Scientists said on Tuesday they examined key parts of the nearly complete and well-preserved fossil at Britain's national synchrotron facility, Diamond Light Source. The scanning focused upon Little Foot's cranial vault - the upper part of her braincase - and her lower jaw, or mandible.

Fossils of oldest member of huge dinosaur group found in Argentina

Scientists have unearthed in Argentina's Patagonian wilderness fossils of what may be the oldest-known member of the dinosaur group known as titanosaurs that includes the largest land animals in Earth's history. Researchers said on Monday the fossils represent a dinosaur species named Ninjatitan zapatai that lived 140 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period. They identified Ninjatitan as a titanosaur, a group of long-necked plant-eating dinosaurs that walked on four pillar-like legs.

Archaeologists uncover ancient ceremonial carriage near Pompeii

Archaeologists have unearthed a unique ancient-Roman ceremonial carriage from a villa just outside Pompeii, the city buried in a volcanic eruption in 79 AD. The almost perfectly preserved four-wheeled carriage made of iron, bronze and tin was found near the stables of an ancient villa at Civita Giuliana, around 700 metres (yards) north of the walls of ancient Pompeii.

Graphic: Bats and the origins of outbreaks

Scientists have long suspected that the rate of new infectious diseases could accelerate, especially in developing countries where human and animal interaction is increasing. Changes in the environment are driving displaced species of animals into new habitats, allowing them to mix with other species or potential hosts.

Russia launches satellite to monitor climate in Arctic

Russia launched its space satellite Arktika-M on Sunday on a mission to monitor the climate and environment in the Arctic amid a push by the Kremlin to expand the country's activities in the region. The Arctic has warmed more than twice as fast as the global average over the last three decades and Moscow is seeking to develop the energy-rich region, investing in the Northern Sea Route for shipping across its long northern flank as ice melts.

New York virus variant harbors another worrisome mutation; vaccinating elderly adds most years of life

The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. New York variant harbors a third worrisome mutation

(With inputs from agencies.)


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