ResearchBlogging Editor’s selections: False primates, hot jupiters, comet controversies and clever corvids

(Cross-posted at ResearchBlogging.org News.)

  • Suminia getmanov: A false primate: Over the past few months, you have probably heard a lot about “Ida”, a magnificently-preserved fossil of a 47-million year old primate.  You may not have heard about the fossils of 260-million year old primate-like suminia, which is some 200 million years older than the first primates.  A Primate of Modern Aspect discusses what is known about these creatures, and the implications for evolution.
  • Cthonian Ftargn!: Over at Supernova Condensate, Invader Xan tells us about the recently proposed and observed class of “hot Jupiter”-like planets, known as “Cthonian planets”.
  • Was there a comet impact in AD 536? Maybe:  In AD 536, some sort of catastrophic event caused widespread famine and a drop in global temperatures, confirmed by tree ring data and what little historical accounts exist.  The most obvious suspect is a massive volcanic eruption, but other evidence suggests that a comet impact may be the culprit.  Emma at We are all in the gutter describes the controversy and the evidence on each side.
  • Those clever corvids:  Confirming my suspicion that birds are planning to take over the world, Mo at Neurophilosophy discusses the astonishing tool use of rooks, a relative of the crow.  The videos are not to be missed!
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