The –est

  1. Anthropology

    Oldest humanlike hand bone discovered

    Found at Tanzania’s Olduvai Gorge, pinkie bone is 1.84 million years old.

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  2. ancient sperm
    Paleontology

    50-million-year-old fossil sperm discovered

    Ancient worm sperm preserved in 50-million-year-old cocoons from Antarctica set age record.

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  3. brightest galaxy
    Astronomy

    Brightest galaxy discovered

    The brightest known galaxy is about 350 trillion times as bright as the sun, and a supermassive black hole is to blame.

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  4. ancient species of wading bird
    Paleontology

    Oldest known avian relative of today’s birds found in China

    Fossil find suggests modern birds’ oldest avian relative lived about 6 million years before previous record holder.

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  5. concentration of rubidium atoms
    Physics

    Rubidium atoms used to record coldest temperature — ever

    A swarm of rubidium atoms has been cooled to about 50 trillionths of a kelvin, making it the coldest substance ever measured.

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  6. Rock-shelter in Sri Lanka
    Anthropology

    People moved into rainforests much earlier than thought

    People lived year-round in rainforests well before previous estimates, an analysis of teeth excavated in Sri Lanka suggests.

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  7. black hole
    Astronomy

    Monster black hole lurks in the early universe

    A black hole weighing the same as 12 billion suns is the most massive one known in the early universe.

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  8. Scholz star
    Astronomy

    Closest star approach to the sun

    Astronomers discover a binary system that made the closest known flyby of the sun.

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  9. giant boulder
    Climate

    Super typhoon shoved supersized boulder

    Typhoon Haiyan pushed a 180-ton boulder, the most massive rock ever seen moved by a storm.

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  10. HAT-P-11b exoplanet illustration
    Astronomy

    Water found on Neptune-sized world

    Just four times as wide as Earth, HAT-P-11b is the smallest exoplanet known to store water in its atmosphere.

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  11. Dreadnoughtus schrani illustration
    Paleontology

    World’s largest dinosaur discovered

    A plant-eating dinosaur named Dreadnoughtus schrani has claimed the record for most massive land animal discovered to date.

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  12. Two Antarctic midges mating
    Animals

    Antarctic midge sports tiniest insect genome

    Antarctic midge‘s genetic minimalism achieved by skipping a lot of repetitive stretches.

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