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Construction crews uncover tusk of Ice Age mammoth in Seattle

By Eric M. Johnson SEATTLE (Reuters) - Construction workers digging in a Seattle neighborhood have found the curved tusk of a mammoth, an ancient elephant relative that inhabited North America at least 10,000 years ago during the Ice Age. Seattle's Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture said its paleontologists were confident that the fossil, uncovered on Tuesday, came from an Ice Age mammoth.

Mass extinction happened fast

Something wiped out nearly all life on Earth more than 250 million years ago, and whatever unleashed this mass die-off acted much faster than previously thought, scientists said Monday. Based on an analysis of rocks in China, the end-Permian extinction occurred over the course of 60,000 years, give or take 48,000, researchers reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That is about 10 times faster than scientists believed up until now and a blink of an eye in geological terms.

Found: Prehistoric Indian Ocean mini-continent

Scientists said Sunday they had found traces of a micro-continent hidden underneath the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. The slab, dubbed Mauritia, was probably formed around 61-83 million years ago after Madagascar split from India, but eventually broke up and became smothered by thick lava deposits, they said. In a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience, scientists analysed beach sand on Mauritius that contained ancient zircons between 660 million and about two billion years old.

Asteroid may have killed dinosaurs quicker than scientists thought

* Asteroid impact preceded extinction by 33,000 years * Previous dating techniques flawed By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Feb. 7 (Reuters) - Dinosaurs died off about 33,000 years after an asteroid hit the Earth, much sooner than scientists had believed, and the asteroid may not have been the sole cause of extinction, according to a study released Thursday.

Asteroid strike did in the dinosaurs: study

Scientists said Thursday they are a step closer to proving the death blow for dinosaurs 66 million years ago was a gigantic comet or asteroid that struck near Mexico. Although a catastrophic impact has long been thought to be involved earlier work left doubts about just when the object, estimated at some six miles (10 kilometers) in diameter, struck in relation to when dinosaurs disappeared.
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