On December 6, Little Foot, the most complete, and possibly oldest, skeleton of a human ancestor ever found, made its debut at the Hominin Vault at University of Witwatersrand's Evolutionary Studies Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa. The ancient fossil’s public unveiling ends a painstaking journey of discovery and assembling that began in 1994, when paleoanthropologist Ron Clarke stumbled upon fragments of four left foot bones while rummaging through a museum box.
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Years of low rainfall and poor agricultural practices, such as livestock overgrazing, have transformed the Sahel region of Africa into a semi-arid desert. The lack of fertile soil along the almost 8,000-kilometer stretch extending east-west across the breadth of the continent from Senegal on the Atlantic coast to Eritrea on the Red Sea coast, is making it increasingly hard for the residents, who depend on farming, to survive.
Though pigs may never fly, a two-year-old hog in Franschhoek, South Africa is proving they sure can paint! Meet Pigcasso, the world’s first known pig artist whose masterpieces are selling thousands of dollars to benefit Farm Sanctuary S.A., Africa’s only registered shelter for rescued farm animals.
Ebola has been on the public health radar for quite some time. However, the most recent epidemic, the deadliest since the disease was identified in 1976, has brought the aggressively contagious viral illness to the forefront. Researchers from all over the world have been frantically trying to find a cure. Now there appears to be a breakthrough in the form of a safe vaccine that in initial trials has proven to be extremely effective in eliminating the risk of contracting the dreaded disease.
Like the rest of their species, the Southern Hemisphere humpbacks, or Megaptera novaeangliae, are not social animals. The baleen whales typically prefer to remain solo or amalgamate in small groups which disperse quickly. However, since 2011, researchers from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town have been observing a new phenomenon off the coast of South Africa — large swarms of whales, comprising anywhere from 20 to 200 individuals. Professor Ken Findlay and his team reported seeing 22 instances of the large groups on three different occasions in 2011, 2014, and 2015.
Though the initial panic caused by Ebola appears to have subsided, the disease is still alive and well in the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. As of December 3rd, the dreadful ailment has infected 15,000 people and claimed 6,202 lives. The frustrating part for experts is that most of these deaths could have been avoided had the locals been aware of the necessary precautions.
On October 20, British adventurer Tom Morgan soared over South Africa seated in a camp chair strapped to 100 helium balloons. During the two-hour flight, the balloonist covered 16 miles and reached heights of up to 8,000 feet. Though the daredevil later called the experience “unbelievably cool,” he did admit feeling “somewhere between terrified and elated” during the flight.
Most homeless resort to panhandling to make ends meet. However an enterprising young South African man has come up with an interesting alternative - he spends his days spreading the joy of reading and selling books written by his favorite authors. Meet Philani Dladla aka 'Pavement Bookworm'.