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News Story 1

Crocodile bites, ancient butchery, and human evolution

A study suggests that marks on ancient fossilized bones thought to have been inflicted by hominid butchers may instead be the result of animal biting and trampling.
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“Hominid butchers and biting crocodiles in the African Plio–Pleistocene,” by Yonatan Sahle, Sireen El Zaatari, and Tim D. White
10.1073/pnas.1716317114




News Story 2

Growth in the earliest trees

Researchers report remarkably well-preserved fossil tree trunks from Xinjiang, northwest China, approximately 374 million years old, suggesting that Earth’s earliest forest trees were able to achieve great size by a unique strategy that involved building a hollow cylindrical skeleton of interconnected, growing, woody strands that tore itself apart and collapsed under its own weight in a controlled manner as the tree’s diameter expanded.
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“Unique growth strategy in the Earth’s first trees revealed in silicified fossil trunks from China,” by Hong-He Xu, et al.
10.1073/pnas.1708241114




News Story 3

Face and color processing in humans

In a neurosurgical patient with intractable epilepsy who was temporarily implanted with electrodes, electrical stimulation of face-selective and color-associated brain regions while the patient viewed various objects led the patient to report seeing illusory faces and rainbows, respectively, suggesting that the corresponding brain regions may be specific to face and color processing.
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“Facephenes and rainbows: Causal evidence for functional and anatomical specificity of face and color processing in the human brain,” by Gerwin Schalk et al.
10.1073/pnas.1713447114




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