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Wednesday, Apr 16th

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At 4.4 Billion Years Old, Oz Crystals Confirmed As World's Oldest

oz crystalScientists have used a powerful new technique to prove that some tiny crystals found in Western Australia are indeed the oldest known materials formed on Earth.  Back in 2001, scientists reported that one of the zircon crystals was about 4.4 billion years old — so old that not everyone believed it.

"There have been challenges, because nothing in science goes without being questioned. It always has to be proven," says , a geochemist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

The crystals formed just tens of millions of years after an early proto-Earth was melted by a violent impact with a Mars-sized object. The crash created the moon and turned our young planet into a red ball of molten rock.

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Massive skull of 'strange-looking' dinosaur unearthed in Canada

fossil skull and CaliforniaA fossil find in Canada has revealed a "strange-looking" dinosaur with a skull the size of a small car, a paleontologist revealing it to the world said.

University of Calgary paleontologist Darla Zelenitsky, who discovered the skull of the Pachyrhinosaurus in Alberta, said it's one of the most complete ever found and of impressive size.

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African fossil reveals clues to evolution of ape-human lineage

fossil findScientists say evidence of an African environment inhabited by an ancient ape species provides insights into the early diversification of the ape-human lineage.

Knowledge of the environment inhabited by the early ape Proconsul can help in understanding and interpreting the connection between habitat preferences and that diversification, they said.

Proconsul and a primate relative, Dendropithecus, inhabited "a widespread, dense, multistoried, closed canopy" forest on Rusinga Island in Kenya, the researchers report in the journal Nature Communications.

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1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth, Survey Says

Americans think sun orbits earthA quarter of Americans surveyed could not correctly answer that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, according to a report out Friday from the .

The survey of 2,200 people in the United States was conducted by the NSF in 2012 and released on Friday at an annual meeting of the

To the question "Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth," 26 percent of those surveyed answered incorrectly.

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British police question CNN's Piers Morgan over phone-hacking

Piers MorganPiers Morgan, one of the biggest names in British media and a CNN television host, has been questioned by London police in connection with allegations of phone-hacking at the Daily Mirror tabloid he used to edit.

Morgan, a former judge on "America's Got Talent" show who replaced Larry King on CNN in 2011, said in a statement on Thursday he had been interviewed by officers after voluntarily attending a police station in December.

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Fossil captures moment of live birth in ancient marine reptile

Fossil birth evidenceA fossil of a giant marine reptile known as an ichthyosaur may show evidence of the oldest live reptilian birth ever seen, U.S. paleontologists say.

The partial fossil skeleton of an ichthyosaur, giant marine reptiles that evolved from land reptiles and moved to the water, was recovered in China and may show a live birth, Ryosuke Motani from the University of California, Davis, said.

The maternal skeleton was associated with three embryos and neonates: one inside the mother, another exiting the pelvis -- with half the body still inside the mother -- and the third outside of the mother, Motani and colleagues report in the journal PLoS ONE.

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Scientists find 800,000-year-old footprints in U.K.

800,00 year old footprintBritish scientists have discovered human footprints in England that are at least 800,000 years old — the most ancient found outside Africa, and the earliest evidence of human life in northern Europe.

A team from the British Museum, the Natural History Museum and the University of London uncovered imprints from up to five individuals in ancient estuary mud at Happisburgh on the country's eastern coast.

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