Nevada Petroglyphs Are Oldest In North America

It’s been a big week for scientific discoveries in the Americas. Not only have researchers found the first carnivore species to be discovered in the Western Hemisphere in the past 35 years (bonus: it looks like a teddy bear), but news of the unearthing of the oldest recorded petroglyphs in North America has also surfaced.

Don’t know what a petroglyph is? It’s a prehistoric drawing akin to Egyptian hieroglyphs, except etched into rock. The ones found on a reservation near Pyramid Lake in Nevada date back at least 10,000 years, and depict geometric designs and patterns.

“We initially thought people 12,000 or 10,000 years ago were primitive, but their artistic expressions and technological expertise associated with these paints a much different picture,” said Eugene Hattori, the curator of anthropology at the Nevada State Museum in Carson City

Since the petroglyphs were found on tribal lands, it’s unclear whether or not travelers will be able to see them with their own eyes any time soon. For now, check out these places where you can see Native American rock art in the United States.

Adorable New Teddy Bear-Cat Creature Discovered in South America

Researchers at the Smithsonian announced the discovery of a new species today, and it’s not the usual flower or insect. Instead, it’s the olinguito, an adorable teddy bear-like mammal that lives in the cloud forests of Ecuador and Colombia. At night, the animal leaps from tree to tree in the forest. And boy, it is ever cute!

Even the researchers seem smitten with the raccoon-sized species, which is the first carnivore species to be discovered in the Western Hemisphere in the past 35 years. “It looks kind of like a fuzzball … kind of like a cross between a teddy bear and a house cat,” said Kristofer Helgen, the Smithsonian’s curator of animals (talk about a dream job).

Most interestingly, researchers who went looking for the new species found it on the very first night they were in South America. They think there are thousands of olinguitos in the forests. But travelers: don’t expect to find one unless camping out in the middle of night is in the cards; these little guys are hard to spot unless you know exactly where to look.