1- Fossils reveal stories of life long past, and sometimes a story is unexpected
Fossils help scientists peel back the layers of time to reveal stories of life from eras long past. Sometimes the story goes in an unforeseen direction; other fossils have a “wow” factor simply because they were discovered at all.
The scientist in this image, for instance, is unearthing a 250 million-year-old crocodile species in northern Niger that was much different from any other of its time, suggesting that the animal world of that era was more diverse than previously thought.
2- Hobbit discovery could rewrite human history
The discovery of the fossilized skeleton of a diminutive humanlike creature on the Indonesian island of Flores, could rewrite the history of human evolution.
Some scientists say the creature, dubbed the “hobbit,” represent a new species called Homo floresiensis. If so, it would mean the hobbit species, which dates to about 18,000 years ago, was marooned on the island as humans were spreading around the world. Other scientists, however, dispute the claim of a new species.
Instead, they propose theories about island dwarfing or a range of genetic diseases that might explain why the fossils are actually from modern humans even though they look different.