By studying the skeleton of this medieval pilgrim, researchers have been able to genotype leprosy. They also discovered that leprosy-causing bacteria have changed little over hundreds of years, possibly explaining the decline in the disease after it peaked in medieval Europe as humans developed resistance.
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The discovery of a species that lived 6.6 million years ago in southwestern China suggests that ancient otters had "wolf-like" proportions, and weighed roughly 100 Ibs. The creature -- whose skull was excavated in Yunnan province -- would have been twice the size of today's otters.
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The tail of a 99-million-year-old dinosaur was found entombed in amber in 2016, an unprecedented discovery that has blown away scientists. The amber adds to fossil evidence that many dinosaurs sported feathers rather than scales.
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The oldest known sample of the smallpox-causing variola virus was found within the DNA of a 17th century child mummy in 2016. The mummy was found in a crypt beneath a Lithuanian church. The finding shortens the timeline for how long smallpox may have afflicted humans.
Researchers found the first preserved dinosaur brain in history in 2016. They believe it was preserved due to the dinosaur dying in a swamp-like environment which mixed low levels of oxygen -- known to slow decay -- and acidity which can preserve soft tissue for long periods. It is 130 million years old.
Scientists reconstructed the genome of an ancient plague in 2016, which may shed new light on how certain diseases can either mysteriously disappear or continue to evolve and spread. An adult woman's skeleton (on left) and adult man's skeleton (on right) tested positive for the presence of Y. pestis, what researchers believe caused the Justinian Plague.
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Newly discovered fossils of humans and animals, as well as other evidence of their path through history, from around the world.