Category Archives: CANADA

The emergence of life on Earth could have occurred 300,000 million years earlier.

The emergence of life on Earth could have occurred 300,000 million years earlier.

An international team of scientists has identified mysterious filaments and tubes in fossils that were discovered several years ago in a fist-sized piece of ancient rock.

It is established that these traces were left by a biological form of life about 300 million years before life appeared on Earth, at least according to the generally accepted theory.

Initial discovery: Samples did not fit the generally accepted theories

These stone was discovered in 2008 in Quebec, Canada. Inside it, scientists found clearly visible comb-branched and parallel centimetre-sized filaments, consisting of red hematite. Some of them have curves, tubes, and various kinds of spheroids.

Initially, it was stated that the piece of rock contains the oldest fossils on Earth of microorganisms that lived on the seabed near hydrothermal vents and metabolized iron, sulfur, and carbon dioxide.

However, this statement immediately had opponents, since the age of the traces found did not fit into the generally accepted theory of the origin of life.

Age of the samples: When did life appear on Earth?

Already a preliminary analysis showed that these traces were left in the period from 3.75 to 4.28 billion years ago. And in itself, this conclusion challenges the generally accepted idea of ​​when life began.

After all, if this is true, then complex life on our planet appeared about 300 million years earlier than previously thought. In addition, it turns out that it appeared about 300 million years after the Earth itself was born.

“For more than 40 years, microbiologists have told us that the origin of life most likely occurred in hydrothermal vent environments, with microorganisms eating iron and probably sulfur, as we can infer from our own observations.”

Subsequent research concluded that this is the oldest evidence of life on Earth

Speaking of traces, opponents of the new theory argued that traces like biomarkers could also be created by non-biological materials. This is indeed possible. Therefore, the aim of the new study was to determine whether the disputed filaments and tubes are biological or not.

The conclusions made by the new research team suggest that traces were probably left by the most ancient bacteria ever discovered to date.

Certain structures could have been created by natural chemical reactions but the majority of the patterns should be the result of prehistoric iron-eating microbes.

The filaments you see in this microscope image indicate evidence of the oldest life forms on Earth.

In their work, the team also provides evidence that these ancient bacteria received their energy in different ways.

Apparently, they could do absolutely without oxygen and lived only at the expense of iron, sulfur, carbon dioxide, and light, which participated in biological processes in the form of photosynthesis.

In short, the new results, according to the researchers, suggest that diverse microbial life could have appeared on Earth as little as 300 million years after the formation of the planet. Geologically, it’s not just fast, it’s incredibly fast.

Fossil ‘balls’ are 1 billion years old and could be Earth’s oldest known multicellular life

Fossil ‘balls’ are 1 billion years old and could be Earth’s oldest known multicellular life

Scientists have discovered a rare evolutionary “missing link” dating to the earliest chapter of life on Earth. It’s a microscopic, ball-shaped fossil that bridges the gap between the very first living creatures — single-celled organisms — and more complex multicellular life.

Bicellum brasieri holotype specimen.

The spherical fossil contains two different types of cells: round, tightly-packed cells with very thin cell walls at the center of the ball, and a surrounding outer layer of sausage-shaped cells with thicker walls. Estimated to be 1 billion years old, this is the oldest known fossil of a multicellular organism, researchers reported in a new study. 

Life on Earth is widely accepted as having evolved from single-celled forms that emerged in the primordial oceans. However, this fossil was found in sediments from the bottom of what was once a lake in the northwest Scottish Highlands. The discovery offers a new perspective on the evolutionary pathways that shaped multicellular life, the scientists said in the study. 

“The origins of complex multicellularity and the origin of animals are considered two of the most important events in the history of life on Earth,” said lead study author Charles Wellman, a professor in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom.

“Our discovery sheds new light on both of these,” Sheffield said in a statement.

Today, little evidence remains of Earth’s earliest organisms. Microscopic fossils estimated to be 3.5 billion years old are credited with being the oldest fossils of life on Earth, though some experts have questioned whether chemical clues in the so-called fossils were truly biological in origin. 

Other types of fossils associated with ancient microbes are even older: Sediment ripples in Greenland date to 3.7 billion years ago, and hematite tubes in Canada date between 3.77 billion and 4.29 billion years ago. Fossils of the oldest known algae, ancestor to all of Earth’s plants, are about 1 billion years old, and the oldest sign of animal life — chemical traces linked to ancient sponges — are at least 635 million and possible as much as 660 million years old,  previously reported.

The tiny fossilized cell clumps, which the scientists named Bicellum brasieri, were exceptionally well-preserved in 3D, locked in nodules of phosphate minerals that were “like little black lenses in rock strata, about one centimeter [0.4 inches] in thickness,” said lead study author Paul Strother, a research professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Boston College’s Weston Observatory. 

“We take those and slice them with a diamond saw and make thin sections out of them,” grinding the slices thin enough for light to shine through — so that the 3D fossils could then be studied under a microscope, Strother .

The researchers found not just one B. brasieri cell clump embedded in phosphate, but multiple examples of spherical clumps that showed the same dual cell structure and organization at different stages of development. This enabled the scientists to confirm that their find was once a living organism, Strother said.

“Bicellum” means “two-celled,” and “brasieri” honors the late paleontologist and study co-author, Martin Brasier. Prior to his death in 2014 in a car accident, Brasier was a professor of paleobiology at the University of Oxford in the U.K., Strother said.

Multicellular and mysterious

In the B. brasieri fossils, which measured about 0.001 inches (0.03 millimeters) in diameter, the scientists saw something they had never seen before: evidence from the fossil record marking the transition from single-celled life to multicellular organisms. The two types of cells in B. brasieri differed from each other not only in their shape, but in how and where they were organized in the organism’s “body.” 

“That’s something that doesn’t exist in normal unicellular organisms,” Strother told Live Science. “That amount of structural complexity is something that we normally associate with complex multicellularity,” such as in animals, he said.

It’s unknown what type of multicellular lineage B. brasieri represents, but its round cells lacked rigid walls, so it probably wasn’t a type of algae, according to the study. In fact, the shape and organization of its cells “is more consistent with a holozoan origin,” the authors wrote. (Holozoa is a group that includes multicellular animals and single-celled organisms that are animals’ closest relatives). 

The Scottish Highlands site — formerly an ancient lake — where the scientists found B. brasieri presented another intriguing puzzle piece about early evolution. Earth’s oldest forms of life are typically thought to have emerged from the ocean because most ancient fossils were preserved in marine sediments, Strother explained. “There aren’t that many lake deposits of this antiquity, so there’s a bias in the rock record toward a marine fossil record rather than a freshwater record,” he added.

B. brasieri is therefore an important clue that ancient lake ecosystems could have been as important as the oceans for the early evolution of life. Oceans provide organisms with a relatively stable environment, while freshwater ecosystems are more prone to extreme changes in temperature and alkalinity — such variations could have spurred evolution in freshwater lakes when more complex life on Earth was in its infancy, Strother said.

Medieval Coin in Canada Challenges Story of North American Discovery

Medieval Coin in Canada Challenges Story of North American Discovery

A gold coin discovered in Newfoundland could “rewrite the history books.” Directly challenging the mainstream narrative of the discovery of North America, this coin suggests Europeans were in Newfoundland earlier than currently believed.

Exciting Discovery of Medieval Coin in Canada

This week the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador published a press release saying the controversial gold coin was found this summer by Edward Hynes, a local amateur historian.

Heralded as the oldest English coin ever discovered in Canada, this quarter noble was minted in London sometime between 1422 AD and 1427 AD, at which time it was valued at one shilling and eight pence, around $81 today.

Because this medieval coin was discontinued around 1470 AD, its discovery on a Canadian beach is presenting archaeologists with “a historical puzzle.” Is this coin the smoking gun proving European occupation in North America earlier than currently thought?

A Henry VI quarter noble, a medieval coin unearthed in Canada which was originally minted in London between 1422 and 1427.

The Big North American Discovery Question

Medieval Icelandic sagas said Leif Erikson rediscovered North America in 1001 AD, but archaeologists always disregarded these accounts as being mythological. However, that all changed in 1978 when archaeologists discovered an 11th century Norse settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows in Canada.

According to accepted history, the next European explorer in Newfoundland arrived in 1497 AD. This was John Cabot , the Italian navigator credited with the rediscovery of Newfoundland. However, the newly discovered medieval gold coin found in Canada predates John Cabot’s voyage by 70 years.

Jamie Brake, a Canadian Provincial archaeologist told CBC News that according to the accepted historical narrative, at the time this coin was minted “people in England were not yet aware of Newfoundland or North America,” and that is why the discovery is “so exciting.”

The researcher added that evidence of a pre-16th century occupation of the New World would be “pretty amazing and highly significant in this part of the world.”

This was a humble statement, for, in reality, such a discovery would demand a rewriting of the history, defaming John Cabot, and telling an entirely new origins story.

The Oldest English Medieval Coin Uncovered in Canada

This quarter noble gold coin dates back to the reign of King Henry VI in the 1420s AD. Thus, it is older than the “half groat” coin that was unearthed last year on the beach at the Cupids Cove Plantation provincial historic site, which dates to the 1490s.

The Henry VII “half groat,” or two-penny piece, minted in Canterbury, England sometime between 1493 and 1499 and discovered at the Cupids Cove Plantation Provincial Historic Site in Canada’s Newfoundland in 2021.

Because this is the oldest coin ever discovered in Canada, the location where it was discovered has not been disclosed for security reasons. Brake told CBC News that everyone concerned is being “really vague about the location.” However, he did disclose that it was “found on a beach near a registered archaeological site that dates to the 1700s .”

According to Paul Berry, the former curator of the Bank of Canada’s Currency Museum, the mystery of how the medieval coin came to be where it was discovered “is likely to remain for some time.”

Berry said that while the coin was probably no longer in circulation when it was lost “that doesn’t help provide answers as to how it got there.”

While Paul Berry suggests it was dropped “after” it was out of circulation, archaeologist Brake suggests it might have been dropped by someone “before” Italian explorer Cabot got here in 1479 AD. Who then might have dropped the gold coin before Cabot’s official discovery of North America 1497 AD?

Statue of John Cabot gazing across Bonavista Bay from Cape Bonavista, the place where, according to tradition, he first sighted land on the northeast coast of the island of Newfoundland.

Who Rediscovered North America? Elite Explorers, or Fishermen? 

According to Newfoundland Heritage , in 1481 AD English merchant John Day sailed one of two Bristol ships, the George and the Trinity, in search of the mythical island known as Brasile. Suspiciously loaded with salt, it is suspected the two boats had possibly discovered the cod-filled Grand Banks of Newfoundland, one of the world’s richest fishing grounds.

In a letter written by John Day to the anonymous “Lord Grand Admiral,” who many believe was Christopher Columbus , the merchant said the land John Cabot discovered was “the mainland that the Bristol men found” in 1481.

And so far as to why Day didn’t announce his discovery is concerned, it is thought that he might have tried to keep the whereabouts of the bountiful fishing grounds a secret for as long as possible.

Might one of the hundreds of Bristol merchants and navigators who sailed in the western sea before John Cabot have landed in Newfoundland? If so, did they perhaps acquire something from an indigenous trader and leave a gold coin behind?

The questions are many, but for now, there stands a chance this medieval coin is the smoking gun providing evidence of pre-Cabot Europeans in North America .

24,000-Year-Old Butchered Bones Found in Canada Change Known History of North America

24,000-Year-Old Butchered Bones Found in Canada Change Known History of North America

Archaeologists have found a set of butchered bones dating back 24,000 years in Bluefish Caves, Yukon, Canada, which are the oldest signs of human habitation ever discovered in North America. Until recently, it was believed that the culture that represented the continent’s first inhabitants was the Clovis culture.

However, the discovery of the butchered bones challenges that theory, providing evidence that human occupation preceded the arrival of the Clovis people by as much as 10,000 years.

For decades, it has been believed that the first Americans crossed the Bering Strait from Siberia about 14,000 years ago and quickly colonized North America.

A hallmark of the toolkit associated with the Clovis culture is the distinctively shaped, fluted stone spear point, known as the Clovis point. These Clovis points were from the Rummells-Maske Cache Site, Iowa

Artifacts from these ancient settlers, who have been named the Clovis culture after one of the archaeological sites in Clovis, New Mexico, have been found from Canada to the edges of North America.

However, the recent discovery of bones in Canada that show distinctive cut marks supports the perspective that there were other inhabitants of America that preceded the Clovis.

The finding was made in the Bluefish Caves in Yukon, which consists of three small caves that are now considered to hold the oldest archaeological evidence in North America. 

Researchers have found the bones of mammoths, horses, bison, caribou, wolves, foxes, antelope, bear, lion, birds and fish, many of which exhibit butchering marks made by stone tools.

Cut marks in the jaw bone of a now-extinct Yukon horse serve as evidence that humans occupied the Bluefish Caves in Yukon, Canada, up to 24,000 years ago.

The site was first excavated by archaeologist Jacques Cinq-Mars between 1977–87, and initial dating suggested an age of 25,000 before present.  This was dismissed at the time as it did not fit with the well-established Clovis-First theory.

However, a new study published in the journal PLOS One supports the initial dating, demonstrating that humans occupied the site as early as 24,000 years ago.

As part of the study, the research team analysed 36,000 mammal bones found in the caves. Carnivore tooth marks were observed on 38 to 56% of the bone material.

A total of fifteen bone samples with cultural modifications confidently attributable to human activities were identified, while twenty more samples with “probable” cultural modifications were also found.

“The traces identified on these bones are clearly not the result of climato-edaphic factors or carnivore activity,” the researchers report. “The presence of multiple, straight and parallel marks with internal microstriations observed on both specimens eliminates carnivores as potential agents.”

Bone sample from Bluefish cave showing cut marks made by humans.

The findings support the hypothesis that prior to populating the Americas, the ancestors of Native Americans spent considerable time isolated in a Beringian refuge during the Last Glacial Maximum [LGM], the last period in the Earth’s climate history during the last glacial period when ice sheets were at their greatest extension. As the researchers of the study concluded:

“In addition to proving that Bluefish Caves is the oldest known archaeological site in North America, the results offer archaeological support for the “Beringian standstill hypothesis”, which proposes that a genetically isolated human population persisted in Beringia during the LGM and dispersed from there to North and South America during the post-LGM period.”

Enormous Skull Found in Alaska May Belong to the Legendary King Bear of Inuit Mythology

Enormous Skull Found in Alaska May Belong to the Legendary King Bear of Inuit Mythology

An enormous, elongated polar bear skull emerged in 2014 from an eroding archaeological site southwest of Utqiaġvik in Alaska. Experts claim that it is quite different from most modern polar bear skulls and reassure that it is one of the biggest polar bear skulls ever found.

Inuvialuit Hunters and the “Weasel Bear”

Inuvialuit have been hunting polar bears – nanuq – in Canada’s Western Arctic for many decades. Passing knowledge and understanding of polar bear hunting from one generation to the next, based on experience, is the very foundation of Inuvialuit wisdom and tradition.

A polar bear.

Inuvialuit hunters have seen hundreds of bears during their lifetime and have taken high risks, since polar bear hunting is an extremely dangerous endeavor. However, their passion and need for survival doesn’t leave them many other choices.

If you get a chance to be around them, you will definitely hear them talking about “tiriarnaq” or “tigiaqpak” (meaning weasel bear), an incredibly unique polar bear that is enormous, narrow-bodied and moves fast like a demon.

Oral history and traditional knowledge in Inuit culture talks about “weasel” or “king” bears, and the huge, fully intact and unusually shaped polar bear skull that emerged in 2014 from an eroding archaeological site near Utqiaġvik has added more fuel to the fire.

Photo of 2014 excavations at the Walakpa site near Utqiaġvik, Alaska.

One of the Biggest and Most Distinct Polar Bear Skulls Ever Found

According to Anne Jensen, an Utqiaġvik-based archaeologist and leader of the excavation and research programs in the region, this is one of the biggest polar bear skulls ever found, and it appears to be different from most modern polar bear skulls. It is slender, elongated in the back and has uncommon structural features around the nasal and other areas.

“It looks different from your average polar bear,” said Anne Jensen , and added that after radiocarbon dating she and her colleagues estimate that the big bear skull comes from the period between the years 670 and 800 AD.

Despite looking different, scientifically it’s not determined yet what makes this skull differ from other found polar bear skulls and genetic testing is needed at this point to provide the scientists with more details.

“It could have been a member of a subspecies or a member of a different “race” in genetic terms — similar to the varying breeds that are found among dogs — or possibly something else entirely,” said Jensen as reports.

The large, unusually shaped polar bear skull [left] was found at the Walakpa site near Utqiaġvik, Alaska.

The Skull is Just One of the Many Newly Found Treasures

Even though the majority of the scientific world has focused almost entirely on the curiously enormous polar bear skull, the excavation of the now-eroding site, which is called Walakpa, has been successful in spotting a number of other archaeological treasures.

The excavation of the site uncovered another first for Alaska, four mummified seals, naturally preserved in an old ice cellar. Jensen’s team was able to recover one of them last summer, an adult female that was named Patou. 

Jensen said , “The excavated seal was much more modern than the polar-bear skull, dating back to only the mid-1940s. Still, it and the other seals amounted to a startling find: They are the only mummified seals ever discovered outside of Antarctica’s Dry Valley.”

A mummified seal, named “Patou”, found during excavations at an eroding bluff at the Walakpa site last summer.

Jensen also expressed her satisfaction with the new finds, since she was one of the many people who believed the Walakpa site had already been thoroughly excavated back in the late 1960’s, when Smithsonian anthropologist Dennis Stanford excavated the area for the first time.

As she says, “Everyone had the opinion — I was one of them — that he had pretty well excavated the site and there was nothing left to be done.”

Finally, the closed-up site was also considered to be intact and pretty much safe from erosion and thaw, which wasn’t the case at all – as Jensen and her colleagues told adn.

A panoramic image showing erosion at the Walakpa site

13,000-Year-Old Footprints Found in British Columbia Are the Oldest in North America

13,000-Year-Old Footprints Found in British Columbia Are the Oldest in North America

13,000 years ago, three people disembarked from their boat and headed up a beach, but they suddenly stopped to watch something. It’s amazing to think that part of their journey has been preserved until .

Those late Pleistocene footprints are the oldest of their kind in North America, but researchers expect the discovery may push others to search for more, perhaps even older ones.

In 2014, Duncan McLaren, an anthropologist at the Hakai Institute and University of Victoria in British Columbia, was exploring the shoreline of Calvert Island, British Columbia, Canada, with a team of colleagues and representatives from the Heiltsuk First Nation and Wuikinuxv First Nation.

 They were interested in finding archaeological deposits from when the sea level was about 2 to 3 meters (6 to 10 ft.) lower following the last Ice Age, 11,000 to 14,000 years ago.

View across the beach with Calvert Island in the foreground and Hecate Island in the background.

The Star reports that they never dreamed to make a find with such an impact – the earliest footprints found in North America to date. The first of 29 defined footprints pressed into light brown clay was unearthed in 2014.

2015 and 2016 digs expanded the muddy excavation pit and brought more footprints to light. The footprints vary in size and researchers believe they were made by two adults and a child – most of the discernable footprints were right feet and suggest the people were barefoot when they made the tracks.

 A PLOS One paper on the discovery states that the team are certain the tracks are human and not left by the hind paws of large black or grizzly bears (which are rare on the island, but not in the surrounding area and somewhat resemble human footprints) because of the “clear arch, toe and offset heel attributes.”

Photograph of track #20 with sediment displacement rim beside digitally enhanced image of same feature.

According to Newsweek, the team found many more footprints, but they were heavily trampled and couldn’t be measured. The clay footprints were probably preserved because they were filled in by sand and covered by thick gravel and another layer of clay.

Radiocarbon dating based on sediment found will some of the footprints and also two pieces of preserved wood from the same strata (archaeological level) date the marks to 13,000 years old.

While there are some older footprints which have been discovered in South America and other parts of the world , Michael Petraglia from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, who edited the PLOS One paper, told Newsweek, “This is a spectacular find as human footprints are rare in the archeological record. Often they are either not preserved or recognized by archaeologists.”

Photograph of track #17 beside digitally-enhanced image of same feature using the DStretch plugin for ImageJ.

The footprints were not made as a clear trackway, instead the researchers write they “more likely represent a congregation site […] This type of pattern results from people concentrating their activities in an area and may be centered around a focal point.”

Furthermore, they suggest “The footprints were impressed into a soil just above the paleo-shoreline, possibly by a group of people disembarking from watercraft and moving towards a drier central activity area to the north or northwest.”

McLaren told The Star, “As this island would only have been accessible by watercraft 13,000 years ago, it implies that the people who left the footprints were seafarers who used boats to get around, gather and hunt for food and live and explore the islands.”

Apart from the rarity of finding archaeologically significant footprints in general, the finding on Calvert Island also provides more support for the hypothesis that migration into the Americas varied . Specifically, it’s evidence that humans traveling from Asia followed the Pacific coastline and didn’t just push their way into the interior.

McLaren, said “This provides evidence that people were inhabiting the region at the end of the last ice age. It is possible that the coast was one of the means by which people entered the Americas at that time.”

Petraglia added , “It’s not only the footprints themselves that are spectacular and so rare in archeological context, but also the age of the site. It suggests an early entrance into the Americas .”

View of the 4 x 2 meter (13.12 x 6.56 ft.) excavation unit.

Evidence of a 14,000-year-old settlement found in western Canada

Evidence of a 14,000-year-old settlement found in western Canada

Teams of archaeologists and students from the Hakai Institute, University of Victoria in British Columbia, and the local First Nations have found the remains of a settlement that pre-dates the Egyptian pyramids in Giza.

According to Alisha Gauvreau, a student at the University of Victoria, the site on Triquet Island, about 300 miles from Victoria in western British Columbia, has produced relics that have been carbon-dated to 14,000 years ago, about 9,000 years older than the pyramids.

The settlement, now considered the oldest ever found in North America, contained tools, fish hooks, spears, and a cooking hearth still holding bits of charcoal that these ancient people presumably burned. The pieces of charcoal were an important find as they were easy to carbon-date.

What led them to this particular site? The university students had listened to an old story relating to the Heiltsuk band of people who were indigenous to the area. According to the story, there was a small piece of land that never froze, even during the last Ice Age. This ignited curiosity among the students, and they set out to find the spot.

A spokesman for the indigenous Heiltsuk First Nation, William Housty, says it “is just amazing” that the stories that were passed down from generation to generation turned out to lead to a scientific discovery. 

“This find is very important because it reaffirms a lot of the history that our people have been talking about for thousands of years,” he says. The stories described Triquet Island as a sanctuary of constancy due to the fact that the sea level in the area remained stable for 15,000 years.

The tribe has been in many clashes regarding land rights and Housty feels that they will be in a strong position in future situations with not only oral stories but also the scientific and geological evidence to back them up.

A pair of native Indian Heiltsuk puppets on display in the collection of the UBC Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, Canada.

The discovery may also lead researchers to change their beliefs about the migration routes of the early people in North America. It is generally believed that when humans crossed an ancient bridge of land that once connected Asia and Alaska, they migrated south on foot. 

But the new findings indicate that people used boats to traverse the coastal area, and the dry-land migrations came much later. According to Gauvreau, “What this is doing is changing our idea of the way in which North America was first peopled.”

Previously, the earliest signs of the Heiltsuk tribe in British Columbia were in 7190 BC, about 9,000 years ago—a full 5,000 years after the artifacts found on Triquet Island were dated.  In the 18th century, there were over 50 Heiltsuk villages on the islands in the area of Bella Bella.

They lived off the bounty of the sea and established trading with other islands. When Europeans established the Hudson’s Bay Company and Fort McLoughlin, the Heiltsuk people refused to be squeezed out and carried on trade with them. Now the tribe owns the land that the Hudson’s Bay Company claimed when its settlers arrived.


A student found an ancient Canadian village that’s 10,000 years older than the Pyramids

An ancients village dating back to before the Pyramids era was discovered by a team from Canadian Ph.D. students.

CTV reports that a team of students from the University of Victoria’s archeology department has uncovered the oldest settlement in North America.

This ancient village was discovered when researchers were searching Triquet Island, an island located about 300 miles north of Victoria, British Columbia.

The team found ancient fish hooks and spears, as well as tools for making fires.

However, they really hit the jackpot when they found an ancient cooking hearth, from which they were able to obtain flakes of charcoal burnt by prehistoric Canadians.

Using carbon dating on the charcoal flakes, the researchers were able to determine that the settlement dates back 14,000 years ago, making it significantly older than the pyramids of Ancient Egypt, which were built about 4,700 years ago.

To understand how old that truly is, one has to consider that the ancient ruler of Egypt, Cleopatra lived closer in time to you than she did to the creation of the pyramids.

Even to what we consider ancient people, the Egyptian pyramids were quite old.

This newly discovered settlement dates back more than three times older than the pyramids.

Alisha Gauvreau, a Ph.D. student who helped discover this site said, “I remember when we got the dates back, and we just sat back and said, ‘Holy moly, this is old.’”

She and her team began investigating the area for ancient settlements after hearing the oral history of the indigenous Heiltsuk people, which told of a sliver of land that never froze during the last ice age.

William Housty, a member of the Heiltsuk First Nation, said, “To think about how these stories survived only to be supported by this archeological evidence is just amazing.”

“This find is very important because it reaffirms a lot of the history that our people have been talking about for thousands of years.”

Researchers believe that this settlement indicates a mass human migration down the coast of British Columbia.

“What this is doing, is changing our idea of the way in which North America was first peopled, said Gauvreau.”

The students hope to continue to search nearby islands for more evidence of this migration.

110 Million-Year-Old Dinosaur ‘Mummy” Has Been Just Discovered By Mine Workers In Canada

110 Million-Year-Old Dinosaur ‘Mummy” Has Been Just Discovered By Mine Workers In Canada

Scientists are hailing it as the best-preserved dinosaur specimen ever discovered. That’s why you cannot see its bones – they remain covered by intact skin and armor.

Found accidentally by miners in Canada, this fossilized nodosaur is more than 110 million years old, yet patterns are still visible on the skin. According to the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta, Canada, which recently unveiled the find, the dinosaur is so well-preserved that instead of a ‘fossil’, we could safely call it a ‘dinosaur mummy.’

The holotype of Borealopelta on display at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta

The researchers examining the find were astounded at its nearly unprecedented level of preservation. The creature’s skin, armor, and even some of its guts were intact – something they’d never seen before.

“You don’t need to use much imagination to reconstruct it; if you just squint your eyes a bit, you could almost believe it was sleeping,” one researcher said.

Previously, only nodosaur skeletons have been discovered, which look like this.

Nodosaur bones at Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land, Fort Bend Co.

This dinosaur was built like a tank. A member of a newly discovered species called nodosaur, it was an enormous four-legged herbivore protected by a spiky, plated armor. It weighed approximately 3,000 pounds.

To give you an idea of how intact the mummified nodosaur is: it still weighs 2,500 pounds!

Nodosaur (armoured dinosaur) fossil discovered at the Suncor Mine near Fort McMurray by Government of Alberta

Although how the dinosaur mummy could remain so intact for so long remains somewhat of a mystery, researchers suggest that the nodosaur may have been swept away by a flooded river and carried out to sea, where it eventually sank to the ocean floor.

As millions of years passed, minerals could have settled on the dinosaur’s armor and skin. This might help explain why the creature was preserved in such a lifelike form.

Researchers have named the 5.5 metre (18-foot-long) nodosaur Borealopelta markmitchelli, in honour of Royal Tyrrell Museum technician Mark Mitchell, who spent over 7,000 hours carefully unearthing the fossil from its rocky grave.

Technician Mark Mitchell prepping the Nodosaur. Royal Tyrrell Museum

But how ‘lifelike’ is the specimen really? Well, apparently the preservation was so good that researchers were able to tell the dinosaur’s skin color by using mass spectrometry techniques to detect the actual pigments.

This way they found out that the nodosaur’s coloring was a dark reddish brown on the top of the body – and lighter on the underside. Since this dinosaur was an herbivore, its skin color must have played a role in protecting it from the enormous carnivores present at the time.

And the fact that we’re talking about a massive, heavily-armored dinosaur illustrates just how dangerous those predators must have been…

Robert Clark/National Geographic

The nodosaur was found by an unsuspecting excavator operator that uncovered the historic discovery while digging in an oil sands mine, according to the museum’s news release about the exhibit. 7,000 painstaking reconstruction hours later, the nodosaur was ready to meet the public.

As if the preservation of skin, armor, and guts weren’t impressive enough, the dinosaur mummy is also unique in that it was preserved in three dimensions, with the original shape of the animal retained.

According to one researcher, “it will go down in science history as one of the most beautiful and best preserved dinosaur specimens – the Mona Lisa of dinosaurs.”

‘Dinosaur Mummy’ Emerges From The Oil Sands Of Alberta

‘Dinosaur Mummy’ Emerges From The Oil Sands Of Alberta

The animal probably died as it lived — defying predators with its heavy armor and size — and after 110 million years, its face remains frozen in a ferocious reptilian glare.

Nodosaur fossil discovered in Alberta bitumen pit in 2022, about 110-112 million years old

How the animal, a land-dwelling, plant-eating nodosaur, died is not known, but somehow its body ended up at the bottom of an ancient sea. Minerals kept the remains remarkably intact, gradually turning the body into a fossil. And when it was unearthed in 2022, scientists quickly realized that it was the best-preserved specimen of its kind.

Composite of 8 images showing the fossil from overhead
Nodosaur’s armour ridges

“It’s basically a dinosaur mummy — it really is exceptional,” said Don Brinkman, director of preservation and research at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta.

The dinosaur, with fossilized skin and gut contents intact, came from the Millennium Mine six years ago in the oil sands of northern Alberta, once a seabed.

Ripple through the stone traces right shoulder bladea
Ribs in dark brown, osteoderms in light brown woven through with grey-blue stone

That sea was full of life, teeming with giant reptiles that grew as long as 60 feet, while its shores were traversed by massive dinosaurs for millions of years. The area has been coughing up fossils since the beginning of recorded time.

The right side of nodosaur’s head
Nodosaur sees what you did there

“The shovel operator at the mine saw a block with a funny pattern and got in touch with a geologist,” Dr. Brinkman said. “We went up and collected it.” The fossil, photographed for the June issue of National Geographic, went on display on .

Alberta law designates all fossils the property of the province, not of the owners of the land where they are found. Most are discovered after being exposed by erosion, but mining has also proved a boon to paleontologists.

Royal Tyrrell Museum technician Mark Mitchell frees foot and scaly footpad from surrounding rock

Dr. Brinkman said the museum was careful not to inhibit industrial activity when retrieving fossils so that excavators weren’t afraid to call when they found something.

“These are specimens that would never be recovered otherwise,” Dr. Brinkman said. “We get two or three significant specimens each year.”