South America

The cranium of an adult male, likely 25 to 30 years old, shows healed trauma affecting the upper jaw. The injury was probably caused by a punch from another individual in a fight.

Human Remains From the Chilean Desert Reveal Its First Farmers Fought to the Death

Three thousand years ago desert dwellers fatally stabbed and bashed each other, possibly due to diminishing resources

Previous research has largely drawn on texts created by Spanish colonizers.

New Research

Machu Picchu Is Older Than Previously Thought, Radiocarbon Dating Suggests

New research indicates that the Inca settlement was in continuous use from at least 1420 to 1530

Many videos and photos shares on social media showed areas dusted with up to an inch of snow and trees slicked with thick ice. Pictured: Sao Joaquim Brazil

Rare Snowfall Blankets Cities Across Brazil

Some parts of the country are seeing snow for the first time in decades, and its threatening crop production

All members of the community interviewed for this story say the indigenous groups of the region have always known about the murals and recognize them as part of their cultural heritage.

When Claims of 'Discoveries' in the Amazon Ring False

When news broke worldwide of an incredible find in Colombia, local experts and guides say their knowledge was misrepresented

This pre-Inca chest ornament dates to between roughly 800 B.C. and 1 A.D. In 1986, the City of Cusco selected the disc's design as its official symbol and coat of arms.

A Golden Symbol of National Identity Returns to Peru

The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian has sent an ancient, pre-Inca breastplate back home

A wild giant otter photographed in the Bermejo River in Argentina's El Impenetrable National Park. This is the first time the species has been seen in Argentina in more than 30 years.

Planet Positive

Giant River Otter Spotted in Argentina for First Time in Decades

The first wild sighting of the species in Argentina since the 1980s, this surprise offers hope to conservationists looking to bring the otters back

The 516 Arouca surpasses the previous record holder—Switzerland’s 1,621-foot Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge—by about 70 feet.

World's Longest Pedestrian Suspension Bridge Opens in Portugal

The 1,693-foot overpass hangs 570 feet above a roaring river and wobbles as people walk across it

Decades before Teotihuacán's conquest of Tikal in 378 A.D., the two cities may have enjoyed a friendly relationship.

Cool Finds

Were These Ancient Mesoamerican Cities Friends Before They Became Foes?

Ruins found in the Maya metropolis of Tikal appear to be an outpost of the distant Teotihuacán

A new study suggests the lush, hyper-diverse rainforests of South America were shaped by the asteroid impact that killed off the dinosaurs.

How the Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid Spurred the Evolution of the Modern Rainforest

New evidence from fossil plants shows today’s South American rainforests arose in the wake of Earth’s fifth mass extinction

The imported parrots and scarlet macaws were mummified between 1100 and 1450 A.D.

Cool Finds

Mummified Parrots Found in Chile Suggest Vast Pre-Hispanic Trade Network

People in South America likely kept the birds as exotic pets whose feathers were prized for their use in headdresses and hats

Retouched composite image of the mural and its surroundings

Cool Finds

3,200-Year-Old Mural of Knife-Wielding Spider God Found in Peru

Local farmers accidentally destroyed 60 percent of the shrine complex that houses the ancient Cupisnique painting

Leafhoppers are known for devastating crops like potatoes and grapes. But they can be a benign presence within a balanced jungle ecosystem.

Planet Positive

The Wild World of a New Nature Preserve in Ecuador

Scientists have already begun discovering new species in the hotbed of biodiversity

Only the flower on the far left is real. The rest are made of fungus.

New Research

This Fungus Makes Convincing Fake Flowers From Scratch

The yellow, flower-shaped growths lure in pollinator insects to spread the fungus’ spores

Seabird guano covers a small island off the coast of Peru.

Ancient South American Civilizations Bloomed in the Desert Thanks to Seabird Poop

Prehistoric farmers fertilized their crops with the waste, which they imported from the coast

Archaic Age people—like the ones who made these blades—arrived in the Caribbean around 6,000 years ago.

What Ancient DNA Reveals About the First People to Populate the Caribbean

New study suggests a group of migrants almost totally replaced the islands' original population

Arranged in symbolically significant ways with no clear hierarchy, the villages’ circular layouts may reflect their Indigenous inhabitants’ conceptions of the cosmos.

Cool Finds

These Amazonian Villages Were Laid Out Like Clock Faces

Scientists used LiDAR to investigate the ruins of 14th- to 18th-century Indigenous communities in Brazil

Ancient artists created the works between 12,600 and 11,800 years ago.

Cool Finds

Tens of Thousands of 12,000-Year-Old Rock Paintings Found in Colombia

The images—heralded by researchers as "the Sistine Chapel of the ancients"—depict animals, humans and geometric patterns

The 74-day clash found Argentina and the United Kingdom battling for control of the Falkland Islands, an archipelago in the South Atlantic.

Based on a True Story

A Brief History of the Falklands War

The latest season of Netflix's "The Crown" dramatizes the 1982 clash between Argentina and the United Kingdom

Black-and-white tegus are more resistant to cold than most reptiles because they can raise their body temperature about 50 degrees Fahrenheit above that of the environment

These Four-Foot Lizards Will Eat Anything—and They're Invading the Southeastern U.S.

Tegus first appeared in the wild of southern Florida a decade ago, but now they're in Georgia and South Carolina, too

Most people will tell you that the average temperature for the human body is 98.6 degrees. But a growing body of research is challenging that idea, suggesting peoples' bodies now run a bit cooler on average.

New Research

Even in the Bolivian Amazon, Average Human Body Temperature Is Getting Cooler

A new study finds the average body temperature among Bolivia’s Tsimane people dropped by nearly a full degree in just 16 years

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