Curated by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, this collection of web sites offers such wonders as a visit to the painted cave of Lascaux, virtual reconstruction of 450,000-year-old Tautavel Man and tutorials on shipwreck excavation. Explore archeological sites dating from prehistory to the Middle Ages, all searchable by period and geography, and most available in both English and French. Although decidedly stronger in French locales than elsewhere, each interactive adventure is a treat, accompanied by stunning photographs and meticulously detailed timelines, diagrams and textual explanations.
The folks at Palomar College¿s Behavioral Science Department are here to make sure that all the anthro-info for which you could possibly hanker is only a mouse-click away. This site probes just about every nook and cranny of physical and cultural anthropology, delving into topics like chromosomal abnormality detection, incest taboos among Bedouin Arabs, and everything in between. When you¿re done reading, test your newfound knowledge with the diagnostic quizzes. It wouldn¿t be hard to wile away the whole weekend here.
It¿s Jurassic Park, only on your computer screen! Dinosaur enthusiasts will adore the colorful artists¿ reconstructions, skeletal diagrams, detailed descriptions of dino diet and period-specific plate tectonic maps¿a true kit-and-caboodle compilation of what would appear to be every fact available on our favorite prehistoric beasts. An index of dinosaur paleontologists, a list of misspelled dinosaur names and even a rotating artist exhibition round out the ultimate cross-referenced, ineffably detailed coffer available at DinoData. Be careful: This is the sort of site you never knew you needed until you happened upon it. There¿s so much info here you¿ll definitely want to bookmark and come back later for more.
Recognizing the disparity of theories in the study of human origins, this site does fine work in creating a synthesis of different views and establishing a common evolutionary model. Begin your journey with the Hominidae Project, a well-annotated evolutionary timeline, replete with attractive illustrations of early humans ranging from Ardipithecus ramidus right up to Homo sapiens, and an exhaustive bibliography. You may have difficulty sleeping after a visit to the eerie Hall of Skulls, a photo expos¿ of famous human fossils whose eye sockets seem to glare right at you from the computer screen. The site also boasts a huge glossary of all conceivable terms, from, as they put it, Australopithecus to zygomatic arch.
Oceans of Kansas
We¿re not in Kansas anymore--at least not the landlocked, prairie-as-far-as-the-eye-can-see Kansas we know today. During the Age of Dinosaurs, site owner Mike Everhart, adjunct curator of paleontology at the state¿s Sternberg Museum of Natural History, informs us, Kansas and the rest of the Midwest lay under the Western Interior Sea. This vast, frequently updated site is devoted to the denizens of that ancient ocean. Meet bizarre marine reptiles such as mosasaurs and plesiosaurs, bone up on the latest fossil shark discoveries, take a virtual tour of the Sternberg¿s fossil-filled halls. If you emerge bitten by the paleontology bug, you can join a fossil-hunting tour in the famed Smoky Hill Chalk formation of Western Kansas, which has yielded a number of the specimens discussed here.
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