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New Dragon Species

New Dragon Species

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Corruption probes, presidential regrets, and other breaking news occupied headlines this week, but a mighty big science phenomena dwarfed those earthly concerns.

After a busy seven days, take a look at the latest—and some ancient news, too—in the Buzz Week in Review.

An eclipse to remember Earthlings won't see another solar eclipse like the one that darkened Asia this week for another 123 years, but that's soon enough for some.

Millions ventured outside to enjoy the six-minute plus blackout, with astronomy experts gathering in Shanghai (which reportedly offered the "best views"), Japanese party planners setting up a music festival for the occasion, and passengers chartering a plane in India for a closer view.

The prospect of being submerged in darkness, though, unleashed old superstitions, as some shut themselves indoors, cleansed their sins in the Ganges River, or prayed against bad omens.

The event may have come and gone, but video and photos abound.

Another new Dragon species? The Komodo dragon has had a busy year.

First, studies of its venomous bite upgraded the lizard to an elite poisonous group occupied only by the Gila monster and the Mexican beaded lizard.

Now the Komodo's got new kin: German scientists stumbled upon a new (to human beings) species of mangrove monitor lizard in the Talaud Islands.

The discovery of the Varanus lirungensis (which is also related to the crocodile monitor) points to a huge predator diversity in Indonesia.

So watch where you step! The other big bang? The theory about space rocks wiping out Ice Age species just got another boost: It turns out the first human inhabitants may have also been hit.

Rare "nano-sized diamonds" that form under extremely hot fires are evidence that space rocks hit the North American continent about 13,000 years ago.

Unfortunately, some pygmy mammoth (a smaller version of the woolly mammoth) and a group called the Clovis people happened to be in the line of fire.

The galactic slam, plus "overhunting and climate change," created what one researcher called a "perfect storm" that wiped out the Ice Age population.

The findings swelled searches on Yahoo! for the prehistoric "clovis people," so named because of artifacts first found in Clovis, New Mexico.

For more on the mastodon hunters and the first Americans, check out this 2007 LiveScience article.

Also buzzing this week...

China's been busy, caring for the first panda born from frozen sperm and making mice from connective tissue.

The world's biggest telescope: Coming in about a decade to a Hawaiian volcano near you...

Did a modern human accidentally kill a Neanderthal? The investigation continues...



http://buzz.yahoo.com/buzzlog/92849
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