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Fossils discovered: Oldest African ape fossil found in Uganda

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Ugandan and French scientists have found a fossil of a skull of a monkey climbing tree about 20 million years in the Karamoja region of Uganda. Scientists discovered the remains as they sought fossil remains of an extinct volcano in Karamoja, a semi-arid region in north-eastern Uganda. This discovery will help shed light on how humans evolved. The scientists held that the preliminary analysis showed the tree-climbing herbivore was roughly 10 years old when it died. The skull is about the same size as that of a chimp, but it had a smaller brain.

Oldest Fossils on earth discovered

A group of scientist has found, what is claimed to be earth's oldest fossil in Australia. The researcher's team was led by Dr David Wacey of the University of Western Australia and Martin Brasier of Oxford University. The microscopic fossils show convincing evidence for cells and bacteria living in an oxygen-free world over 3.4 billion years ago. These tiny living cells were actually sulfur feeding bacteria, which didn't need any kind of oxygen to survive. The fossils were found in sandstone at the base of the Strelley Pool rock formation in Western Australia. These findings paint a vivid picture of life arising when the first land masses began to emerge in fragmentary fashion from the oceans. At the time, volcanic eruptions spewed gas and lava, while a blanket of thick cloud greyed the skies. The moon - much closer than it is today - pulled the oceans into vast tidal surges. There was no breathable oxygen. High-magnification images showed the fossils were spherical, oval and tubular, much like modern microbes, and were of a similar size, between 0.01mm and 0.02mm across.

Importance of the discovery: Unravelling the nature of the world's oldest organisms will help scientists write the first chapter of life on Earth, but it will also aid the search for life elsewhere. Future missions to Mars, for example, might focus on ancient beaches and river sands that may have turned to rock with traces of primitive life within them.

Largest 'Cheetah' fossil discovered by palaeontologists in Georgia

The skeleton of what is considered to be the biggest and bloodiest known 'Cheetah' which prowled over our planet thousands of years ago, has been unearthed by palaeontologists. The only remaining species of cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) represents the fastest creatures on land alive, long, sleek cats able to run up to 70 mph (113 kph). However, fossils suggest other species of cheetah, including burlier varieties, once stalked the planet. The fossils of the ancient Cheetah (Acinonyx Pardinensis) were discovered at a site in Dmanisi believed to be 1.8-million-year-old, inside the Republic of Georgia. It may be noted that the Dmanisi locale is one of the oldest sites known for ancient human species out of Africa. At this site even the fossils of a dirk-toothed cat and a related scimitar cat have previously been discovered. A cheetah fossil discovered in China was the oldest cheetah fossil known till date. The skull of this Acinonyx kurteni found in China indicated the animal lived anywhere from 2.2 million to 2.5 million years ago.