Archive for April, 2003

Cannibalism Normal for Early Humans?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 10, 2003   View Article

Genetic markers commonly found in modern humans all over the world could be evidence that our earliest ancestors were cannibals, according to new research. Scientists suggest that even today many of us carry a gene that evolved as protection against brain diseases that can be spread by eating human flesh.

Are Flashy Male Birds Threats to Their Own Species?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 8, 2003   View Article

For bird species whose males and females differ in color, guys with the brightest feathers tend to have the greatest lady luck. This natural mating game however puts entire local populations at risk of dying out, according to a new study.

The finding confirms the idea that the extraordinary lengths an animal will go to woo a mate, such as the peacock who spends time and energy to maintain his extravagant tail feathers, comes at a price in terms of survival.

Dinosaur Cannibal: Fossil Evidence Found in Africa

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 2, 2003   View Article

“Eat or be eaten” may have been the mantra for Majungatholus atopus, a large, two-footed carnivorous dinosaur with a bump on its head that roamed Madagascar, the island off the southeast coast of Africa, about 65 million years ago.

Analysis of bones scored by tooth marks suggests Majungatholus was a cannibal that regularly dined on members of its own species and other dinosaurs. The rare, tooth-marked bones are the best evidence to date for a behavior probably common among dinosaurs but difficult to prove.

April Fools’ Special: History’s Hoaxes

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 1, 2003   View Article

At first glance, the headlines sound plausible: Shark leaps from ocean to attack a hovering helicopter. Mild winter brings Swiss a bumper spaghetti crop. Taco Bell Corporation purchases Liberty Bell from U.S. Government. Alabama legislature votes to change the value of the mathematical constant pi. But they are all lies.

Happy April Fools’ Day. In celebration of the day, National Geographic News has compiled a listing of some of the greatest hoaxes in history. They are the lies, darned lies, and whoppers that have been perpetrated on the gullible and unsuspecting, probably since humans evolved the art of speech.

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