“Supernova Sapiens” –Earthly Infernos 8-Million Years Ago Led Proto-Humans to Walk Upright

Kepler Supernova

 

Scientists propose that a supernovae eight-million years ago created atmospheric ionization that triggered an enormous upsurge in cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, igniting forest fires around the globe. These infernos could be one reason ancestors of homo sapiens developed bipedalism—to adapt in savannas that replaced torched forests in northeast Africa leading proto-humans to walk on two legs, “eventually resulting in homo sapiens with hands free to build cathedrals, design rockets and snap iPhone selfies.”

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T Rex & Bedbugs –“Strange Bedfellows”

T Rex

 

There have been about 15,000 generation of human beings on our planet, and some 500,000 generations of cockroaches. Now we learn that the inglorious bedbug has been a parasitic companions with other species aside from humans for more than 100 million years, stalking their hosts at the same time as dinosaurs.

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“Deep Life” — Scientists Identify a Signal That Survived the Fiery Evolution of Early Earth

Blue Whale

 

“The evolution of the planet and the life on it are intertwined. We can’t understand one without understanding the other,” says Caltech assistant professor of geology Claire Bucholz about a new study that provides fresh evidence for just how deep—literally—the strong connection is between the geology of Earth and the ocean life that flourishes on it.

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“Explosive Epoch” –China’s Discovery of Pleistocene Skull Foreshadows Later Human Evolution

Hualongdong 6 human skull

 

Throughout the climate swings of the Pleistocene, the ice sheet that covered North America—one larger even than modern Antarctica—did not merely shrink in response to a few degrees of warming, writes Peter Brannen in Ends of the World, it exploded: “Rather than slowly dwindling over thousands of years, these continents of ice sometimes violently disintegrated in spectacles that unfolded over mere centuries. In one rapid collapse 14,000 years ago, called Meltwater Pulse 1A, three Greenlands’ worth of ice fell into the sea in icy flotillas, sending sea level soaring 60 feet.”

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“The Great Collision” –Epic Unprecedented Change to Life On Earth

Oxygen Clouds

 

“Contrary to our first expectations, global climate was not the primary cause of this change in ocean oxygen and nitrogen cycling,” said Princeton University researcher Emma Kast about the planet’s dramatic increase in the oxygen 55 million years ago. The more likely culprit? Plate tectonics. The collision of India with Asia — dubbed “the collision that changed the world” by legendary geoscientist Wally Broecker, a founder of modern climate research — closed off an ancient sea called the Tethys, disturbing the continental shelves and their connections with the open ocean.

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“Cave of the Extinct Sapiens” –Sophisticated Thinkers Equal to Modern Humans

 

Denisovan Cave

 

At some point in the past, far distant from this week’s release of the Event Horizon Telescope picture of a gargantuan 55-million-year-old black hole in an ancient elliptical galaxy, a distinct branch of human evolution, the Denisovans, disappeared, but not before interbreeding with modern humans. Today, people in places like East Asia and New Guinea still carry fragments of Denisovan DNA. Over the past decade, the Denisova Cave in a valley in the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia has yielded fossils harboring DNA dating back 200,000 years.

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