PATAGONIA - Gary Nabhan has written stacks of research papers about culture, archaeology and food for academic journals, and has authored at least a dozen books, some meant for popular consumption, others the academic kind whose titles have colons and subtitles that are longer than the main title.
But the gist of his high-minded, dense research is this: People lived here thousands of years ago and they must have eaten something.
To get that something, they didn’t go to the supermarket or big-box discount store. They grew and raised their foodstuffs on arid desert lands.
Nabhan, 59, has made it his life’s work to figure out what those foods were and, if possible, to bring those nearly extinct foods back to life.
In doing so, he has helped reintroduce a veritable shopping list of foods to Arizona: beans, nuts, grains, fruits, vegetables and meats. He also has made his academic work edible, encouraging home cooks and award-winning chefs to actually use these culinary archaeological finds. Read more.
The possible wasp cocoons found inside a fossilized dinosaur egg (coin shown for scale).
Scientists were recently investigating several roughly 70-million-year-old titanosaur eggs found in the Patagonia region of Argentina.
Titanosaurs belonged to a group of gigantic plant-eaters that included the heaviest creatures to ever walk the Earth. Titanosaur eggs were similarly large—up to almost 8 inches (20 centimeters) long.
Within one of the broken fossil eggs from Argentina, researchers found eight tiny, sausage-shaped structures about an inch (two to three centimeters) long and nearly a half-inch (just over a centimeter) wide.
The strange structures appear to be fossilized insect cocoons that are similar in size and shape to cocoons belonging to a number of modern wasp species. Read more.