South America

The new Smithsonian show examines the foundational contributions of Latinos in shaping the history and culture of the United States. 

You Can Now Preview the Upcoming Latino Museum

New exhibition "¡Presente!" aims to show how Latinos shaped American history

The 15 freed hostages and their rescuers arrive at San José del Guaviare airport in July 2008.

The Daring Rescue Mission That Freed 15 Hostages Held in the Colombian Jungle for Years

A new exhibition at the International Spy Museum revisits Operación Jaque, a covert 2008 plot led by the Colombian military

A group of Chinchorro mummies, dated between 5000 B.C.E. and 3000 B.C.E.

Cool Finds

Can the World's Oldest Mummies Survive Climate Change and Other Threats in the Coming Decades?

Up to 7,000 years old, the mummified remains are treasured by local residents

Thanatosdrakon amaru flew around the planet for 20 million years before the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event wiped out the dinosaurs.

Paleontologists Find Biggest Pterosaur Species Ever Unearthed in South America

The ancient fossils with wingspans the size of school buses are estimated to be 86 million years old

When access to the interior of the statue is permitted, visitiors will be able to take in the surrounding views from the glass-encased heart at Jesus' chest.

A New Statue of Jesus Is the World's Tallest—for Now

"Christ the Protector" is taller than Rio de Janeiro's most famous monument

Members of the Portela samba school perform during Rio's Carnival parade.

Good News

Carnival Makes a Triumphant Return to Rio de Janeiro

Covid canceled the 2021 festival. Now, the Brazilian city is reclaiming its streets

An illustration of a mummification experiment shows a bound body's breakdown of soft tissue after three weeks, and after seven months.

Researchers Find Potential Evidence of Oldest-Known Mummification

Newly discovered photographs help researchers to re-analyze 8,000-year-old remains from burials in Portugal

Acid-spewing tawny crazy ants, formerly called raspberry crazy ants, have been spreading through the gulf coast in recent years.

A Killer Fungus Is Annihilating Invasive 'Crazy Ants' in the United States

Entomologists are hopeful the pathogen could slow the insects' spread through the country

New research shows that mass migration of ancient peoples from the south were essential to bringing maize cultivation to Maya communities in Central America. Scientists previously thought knowledge of farming techniques were shared by word of mouth between neighboring communities. 

New Research

New Study Finds Migrants Brought Maize to the Maya

DNA analysis of skeletal remains in Belize helps piece together how corn cultivation came to thrive in Central America

Analysis of historical documents showed no evidence of the site being called Machu Picchu until 1911.

Have We Been Calling Machu Picchu by the Wrong Name?

Historical records suggest the Inca called the 15th-century citadel Huayna Picchu, before an American explorer who "discovered" the site in 1911 renamed it

Flamingos in the Atacama region of Chile

Mining Lithium for Electric Vehicle Batteries May Threaten Flamingos, a Study Finds

A lake in Chile has seen decreases in two flamingo populations over the last 11 years, which researchers link to lithium mining

The mummified remains of eight children, who may have been sacrificed, was found near the tomb of an elite individual of pre-Incan society.

Cool Finds

Eight Mummified Children Found in Peru May Have Been Sacrificed in an Ancient Funeral Ritual

The remains were discovered in the tomb of an elite member of a pre-Inca city buried 1,200 years ago

The bat falcon in Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in Alamo, Texas

Bat Falcon Is Spotted for the First Time in the United States

Why the bird ventured so far north is a mystery, but the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service says the raptor's range seems to be expanding

Roughly 500 years ago, vertebrae were arranged on sticks in Peruvian tombs.

Why Did 16th-Century Andean Villagers String Together the Bones of Their Ancestors?

Researchers suggest the practice was a response to Spanish conquistadors' desecration of the remains

A roughly 2000-year-old mummified man of the Ansilta culture, from the Andes of San Juan, Argentina, had lice eggs and cement in his hair which preserved his own DNA

DNA Preserved in Lice Glue Reveals South American Mummies' Secrets

Remarkable samples from an ancient culture offer scientists a promising new way to study the past

Ankylosaurs were herbivores that lived during the Late Cretaceous period. 

New Species of Ankylosaur Unearthed in Chile Had a Flat, Weapon-Like Tail

About 80 percent of the skeleton was found intact and the specimen may reveal an early evolutionary split in the species

Researchers have yet to confirm the mummy's gender but say the deceased was likely a man who died between the ages of 25 and 30.

Archaeologists Unearth 800-Year-Old Mummy in Peru

Scholars are studying the remains in hopes of learning more about the Indigenous peoples who lived in the region prior to the rise of the Inca Empire

A Magdalena River turtle hatchling

Inside the Local Movement to Recover Colombia’s River Turtles

In river basins across the country, communities are working to protect the endangered and endemic reptiles

Most of the people buried at the site were woman and children.

Mass Grave of Women, Children Found in Pre-Hispanic City in Peru

Buried in the Chimú Empire capital of Chan Chan, some of the deceased were interred with needles and sewing tools

Chemical analysis of the glass identified minerals only found in extraterrestrial rocks and minerals, such as cubanite, troilite, pyrrhotite lath, or calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions. These minerals were also found in dust collected from the Wild-2 comet in 2004 by NASA during the Stardust mission.

Ancient Meteorite May Have Created Large Patches of Glittering Glass in South American Desert

An exploding comet may have transformed the sandy landscape into pieces of black and green twisted minerals

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