This Week In History News, May 20 – 26

Published May 25, 2018
Updated May 31, 2018

Researchers find hidden pages in Anne Frank's diary, scientists say octopuses have alien origins, ancient fossil rewrites crocodile family tree.

Hidden Pages In Anne Frank’s Diary Revealed — And They’re Filled With Sex Talk And Dirty Jokes

Anne Frank Writing

Wikimedia CommonsAnne Frank in Amsterdam, 1940.

The Diary of a Young Girl remains one of the most powerful and poignant firsthand accounts of the Holocaust ever written. But these newly-revealed pages are not at all what you’d expect.

More than 70 years after Anne Frank wrote in her diary for the last time while hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam, the Anne Frank House has announced that they’ve finally been able to decipher two hidden pages.

For decades following her 1944 capture and death at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp the year after, researchers had been aware of these pages. But Frank had covered them up with brown adhesive paper — and now we have a pretty good idea of why she did.

Read more here.

Today’s Octopuses Have Alien Origins, New Scientific Paper Suggests

Octopus Alien 2

istockOctopuses evolve in a way no other organisms do.

Octopuses do something that no other organism does: they edit their own bodies. In evolution, genetic mutations cause DNA to change in a way that’s beneficial to the host. Octopuses routinely edit their RNA to adapt to their environments.

Octopuses’ weirdness was enough for 33 scientists from respected institutions to follow a different train of thought. In an extensive study, summarizing decades of research, and published in the peer-reviewed journal Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, these scientists say the advanced biology of octopuses isn’t an enigma. Instead, it says octopuses came from outer space.

Dig deeper here.

180-Million-Year-Old Fossil Is Missing Link In Crocodile Family Tree

Magyarosuchus fitosi

Marton Szabo/EurekAlertAn artists rendition of Magyarosuchus fitosi.

A new study has shed light on how ancient crocodiles have evolved into dolphin-like creatures.

The study, published in the PeerJ journal, revolved around a specimen discovered in 1996 in north-west Hungary. The fossil was the first of its kind and a major breakthrough for the team of paleontologists that took over the research.

The fossilized specimen, named Magyarosuchus fitosi, represents one of the missing links in crocodile evolution, and a missing branch on their family tree, so to speak.

See more here.

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