500-year-old skulls with facial modification unearthed in Gabon

Hundreds of valuable metal objects in the grave hint at the individuals’ importance and wealth. Men and women living in West Central Africa 500 years ago dramatically changed their looks by removing their front teeth, ancient skulls reveal. Archaeologists found the centuries-old altered skulls deep underground in a cave that could be reached only by rope, through a hole in the cavern’s roof. The harrowing vertical drop of 82 feet (25 meters) led to thousands of bones from at least 24 adults (men and women age 15 or older) and…

Bizarre dinosaurs rapidly shrank to become ant-eaters the size of a chicken

They were originally fierce predators the size of a small ostrich. A bizarre group of raptor-like dinosaurs, known as alvarezsaurs, drastically shrank around 100 million years ago, transforming from ostrich-size predators that hunted early mammals and baby dinos to ant-eaters the size of a chicken, according to paleontologists. Alvarezsaurs were slender theropods — a diverse group of two-legged dinosaurs with hollow bones and three-toed limbs, including Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor — that may have been feathered. There are 21 confirmed species of alvarezsaurs dating from between the late Jurassic period…