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Skull casket holding human bones reveals weird burial rituals

Posted on 7 Dec 2016 in Archaeology, Featured, Journalism

Death was a complicated business in prehistoric Brazil. Cadavers were meticulously dismembered and put on public display. Some parts seem to have been cooked and eaten, and then the bones were carefully tidied up and buried. Image: Andre Strauss

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Can we predict when we will die?

Posted on 22 Jun 2016 in Evolution, Featured, Health, Journalism

Death is inevitable – but is it predictable? Some researchers think it might be. They say that experiments with fruit flies have revealed a new and distinct phase of life that heralds the approach of death. It’s a stage of life they call the death spiral. Image: Tamás Mészáros

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Competition drives marsupial males to suicidal sex

Posted on 7 Oct 2013 in Animal Behaviour, Evolution, Featured, Journalism

Male marsupial mice just don’t know when to stop. For Antechinus stuartii, their debut breeding season is so frenetic and stressful that they drop dead at the end of it from exhaustion or disease. It may be the females of the species that are driving this self-destructive behaviour. Image: Tim Collins Tasmania

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Mummified Inca child sacrifice gives up her secrets

Posted on 29 Jul 2013 in Archaeology, Featured, Journalism

Sitting cross-legged, a Mona Lisa half-smile playing on her lips, the Llullaillaco Maiden looks at peace. When she was unearthed in 1999, the lump of coca in her teeth and her icy mountaintop tomb were the only clues that she was part of an Inca child sacrifice ritual 500 years ago. Image: José Fontanelli

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Flowers have been at funerals for 13,000 years

Posted on 2 Jul 2013 in Archaeology, Journalism

Flowers have gone hand in hand with death for at least 13,000 years. The remains of colourful and fragrant blooms have been found in Stone Age Natufian graves, providing the latest evidence that the eastern Mediterranean culture marked a turning point in the birth of the modern society. Image: E. Gernstein

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