Wall paintings previously discovered in three Spanish caves have now been dated to 65,000 years ago—some 20,000 years before Homo sapiens is thought to have arrived in Europe. Researchers say this find is the first clear evidence that Neandertals created art.
Half of the orangutans on the vast Southeast Asian island died between 1999 and 2015 as a result of hunting or habitat destruction by oil palm and other industries, a new study found. Another 45,000 of the great apes are predicted to die by 2050.
More than 70,000 new crops were added to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which brings the total number of crop varieties in the world's largest seed collection—an international effort to guard against the worldwide loss of plant diversity—to more than a million.
MYANMAR (FORMERLY BURMA)
Paleontologists found a 100-million-year-old spider trapped in amber in northern Myanmar. They think the ancient species, Chimerarachne yingi, lived in tropical forests and had a long tail that it may have used to sense prey and predators.
Ecologists analyzed 142 hydropower dams in the western Amazon basin and concluded that they are interfering with fish migration and sediment flow. If a proposed 160 more dams are built, they could cause similar cascading problems for the ecosystem.
Growth rings in “the loneliest tree on the planet,” an isolated Sitka spruce on Campbell Island, still bear traces of radioactivity from atomic bomb testing in the 1950s and 1960s. Climatologists suggest the traces could define the start of a proposed age of accelerated human impact on the planet.