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Fossil kicks up primate debate

Lady Liberty re-opens her hat

Tickets to this weekend's reopening of the Statue of Liberty's crown sold out within hours. The crown will open Saturday for the first time in eight years after closing shortly after Sept. 11, 2001. The National Park Service denies the closing had anything to do with terrorism and says the statue's interior was in need of repair anyway. New York Congressman Anthony Weiner calls the eight-year closure "a partial victory for terrorists" and an "embarrassment for the federal government."

O no! Have we seen this logo before?

Controversy is brewing in Maine, where Les Otten, a Republican candidate for governor, has a logo that Democrats think borrows too much from another famous "O."

Otten says his logo was built from scratch by a Maine company and includes images alluding to his platform.

Democrats say Otten's logo looks way too much like the one that President Barack Obama used.

Otten reminds them that Obama's logo was once criticized for looking way too much like Pepsi's logo.

Great view, or weak knees?

The Sears Tower is offering a new way to push your fear of heights right over the edge: A glass ledge, actually, suspended from the building's 103rd floor Skydeck. The set of glass balconies opens to the public today. Sears Tower officials say the inspiration for the balconies came from the hundreds of forehead prints visitors left behind on Skydeck windows every week. Scared? Officials say the balconies can hold about five tons.

Fossils discovered in Myanmar could prove that the common ancestors of humans, monkeys and apes evolved from primates in Asia, rather than Africa, researchers contend in a study released Wednesday. The pieces of 38-million-year-old jawbones found in 2005 show typical characteristics of primates, said Dr. Chris Beard, a paleontologist at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. Beard and his team concluded that the fossils — which they dubbed Ganlea megacanina — came from 10 to 15 individuals of a new species that belonged to an extinct family of Asian anthropoid primates known as Amphipithecidae. Wear and tear found on the canine teeth suggest the tree-dwelling, monkey-like creatures used their teeth to crack open fruit to get to the pulp and seeds — behavior similar to modern South American monkeys. The team determined that the fossil was 38 million years old, making it several million years older than any anthropoid found in Africa and the second-oldest discovered in Asia. "We wouldn't claim Ganlea is missing link, but we know Ganlea is much more closely related to our ancestors than Ida," he said, comparing the new find to a previously found 47-million-year-old primate found. Other scientists said the finding won't end the debate over the origin of anthropoids.

Fossil kicks up primate debate 07/01/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 1, 2009 9:37pm]
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