National Geographic paleoartist John Gurche used fossils from a South African cave to reconstruct the face of Homo naledi, the newest addition to the genus Homo. Photo by Mark Thiessen/National Geographic hide caption

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South African Cave Yields Strange Bones Of Early Human-Like Species

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An ancient stone tool unearthed at the excavation site near Kenya's Lake Turkana. It's not just the shape and sharp edges that suggest it was deliberately crafted, the researchers say, but also the dozens of stone flakes next to it that were part of the same kit. MPK-WTAP hide caption

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Chipping Away At The Mystery Of The Oldest Tools Ever Found

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The most recent common ancestor of all today's snakes likely lived 120 million years ago. Scientists believe it used needle-like hooked teeth to grab rodent-like creatures that it then swallowed whole. Julius Csotonyi/BMC Evolutionary Biology hide caption

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Earth's First Snake Likely Evolved On Land, Not In Water

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The skull of a chicken embryo (left) has a recognizable beak. But when scientists block the expression of two particular genes, the embryo develops a rounded "snout" (center) that looks something like an alligator's skull (right). Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar hide caption

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How Bird Beaks Got Their Start As Dinosaur Snouts

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Reconstruction of the giant filter feeder, scooping up a plankton cloud. Aegirocassis benmoulae was one of the biggest arthropods that ever lived. Family members include today's insects, spiders and lobsters. Marianne Collins/ArtofFact hide caption

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Think Man-Sized Swimming Centipede — And Be Glad It's A Fossil

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An artist's rendering of what Dearcmhara shawcrossi probably looked like in dinosaur times. Todd Marshall/University of Edinburgh hide caption

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Ancient Scottish Sea Reptile Not 'Nessie,' But Just As Cute

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Workers at the National Geographic Museum in Washington grind the rough edges off a life-size replica of a spinosaurus skeleton. Mike Hettwer/National Geographic hide caption

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Crocodile Meets Godzilla — A Swimming Dino Bigger Than T. Rex

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Love your hair. Artists' depictions of a Neanderthal man and woman at the Neanderthal Museum in Mettmann, Germany. Martin Meissner/AP hide caption

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Neanderthal Genes Live On In Our Hair And Skin

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A family of elephants in Kenya's Maasai Mara game reserve. Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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