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Its official summer is over autumn has begun B

first_imgIt’s official: summer is over, autumn has begun. But rather than pine for beach barbeques and balmy nights, why not embrace autumn instead?Get out and enjoy the turning of the trees which brings fiery reds, golden browns and bright yellow blazes of colour to the mountains, hillsides and parks of the northern hemisphere.Skyscanner introduces ten of the best places to sample the trees in all their fall glory, not to mention the pleasures of autumn’s lower prices and lack of crowds.Maine, USANew England is one of the most popular fall foliage destinations in the United States. In Maine, fall colours come ablaze in the thick forests that cover much of the hilly, sometimes mountainous, landscape. The entire state can make for a perfect autumn getaway but certain places are extraordinary like the western foothills with its old-fashioned charm or the Atlantic coast and Acadia National Park, where you’ll find an interesting mesh of maritime and seasonal traditions. Find cheap flights to MaineSamedan, SwitzerlandAutumn in the Swiss Alps is an excellent time to visit; the summer crowds have gone home, the winter crowds are yet to arrive and the mountains are blessed with cool, crisp weather and fantastic foliage. As the larch forests begin to change, an impressive rainbow of colour is seen in the hills above the town, which offers hikers an ample choice of trails from short rambles to multiday treks. Find cheap flights to GenevaPrince Edward Island, CanadaPrince Edward Island on Canada’s east coast has a climate that allows for a very long fall foliage season. With the summer crowds gone, the island takes on an extra-relaxed persona in autumn, and visitors can bike, hike or horseback ride on the expansive network of uncrowded trails that wind through colourful woods. Visit Fall Flavours, a food and wine festival in and around Charlottetown that celebrates the culinary culture and harvest-time favourites of Canada’s smallest province. Find cheap flights to TorontoHigh Tatras, PolandThese eastern mountains are known for their skiing, but before the snow arrives, they explode into a world of colour as the birch, larch and oak trees put on their autumn garb. Zakopane, a pleasant mountain town makes the perfect base for excursions into the mountains, where visitors can enjoy glacial lakes, wildlife and a good range of hiking trails. Find cheap flights to PolandLake Bled, SloveniaAs if a crystal clear lake surrounded by wooded mountains, blessed with a solitary island upon which a fairytale church stands wasn’t quite picturesque enough, if you visit Lake Bled in the autumn you’ll also find the glacial waters reflecting the fiery blaze of the turning trees that surround it. Hire a rowing boat and take your lover for a tour – it doesn’t get much more scenic that this. Find cheap flights to LjubljanaVancouver Island, CanadaAnother Canadian location, but this time at the opposite side of the country, wineries in the south eastern end of Vancouver Island make for a fun stop, as the hillside ignite in harvest hues. Or visit Victoria, British Columbia’s capital, and witness the famous Butchart Gardens come alive with the rich colours of the season. For an escape to the wilderness, try Strathcona Provincial Park, in the centre of the island. Find cheap flights to VictoriaThe North Shore, Minnesota, USAMinnesota’s majestic North Shore region, which edges northeast along the most gigantic of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior, is an area that draws attention at all times of year, but becomes most spectacular in autumn. The hot colours of the trees paired with the deep, inky blue of the lake is a feast for the eyes, and combined with the crisp northern air is a real autumn treat. Find cheap flights to MinnesotaLot Valley, FranceCriss-crossed with walking, cycling and riding paths, the valley’s orchards and vineyards glow with golden leaves come autumn, making it an ideal spot for long walks through the wooded hills. Wildlife abounds here, with several species of birds of prey in abundance in this unspoilt region which is perfect for a quiet autumn retreat. Find cheap flights to ToulouseArizona Highlands, USAThink Arizona, and you might think deserts, canyons and cacti, but there are also mountainous regions that home forests of deciduous trees that turn brilliant colours as temperatures start to drop. The higher elevations around Flagstaff, the White Mountains at the eastern edge of the state, and Superior, with its notable Boyce Thompson Arboretum and nearby Pinal Mountains, are all sure bets for finding photo-worthy foliage. Find cheap flights to ArizonaBruges, BelgiumIt’s not just trees that are good for autumn viewing; Bruges’ vine covered buildings create an impressive display of the rich tones of fall in the heart of one of Europe’s most attractive cities. Stroll along the canals or hop on a boat to see the best of Bruges, and don’t forget to sample the beer whilst your there. Find cheap flights to BrusselsTop header photo: Central Park, New YorkReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedAutumn leaf peeping? Ask SkyscannerAutumn leaf peeping? Ask Skyscanner5 things to ‘fall’ in love with in Canada this autumn5 things to ‘fall’ in love with in Canada this autumnFall Fun: Skyscanner’s guide to the best Autumn colour spotsFall Fun: Skyscanner’s guide to the best Autumn colour spotslast_img read more

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11 MillionYearold Fossil of Early Human Ancestor Found

first_imgAn 11-million-year-old fossil of an extinct ape found in the Kutch region of Gujarat sheds new light on the evolution of the creatures into the great apes and ancestral humans. Apes, or hominoids, are a group of primates from Africa and  Southeast Asia that includes the gibbons and the great apes: chimps, orangutans, gorillas, and humans.Ancient ape remains from Miocene deposits in the Siwaliks of India and Pakistan have been crucial to understanding the evolution of great apes.The study authors said: “This is a landmark discovery.”Images of the 10.8-million-year-old upper jaw fragment of the Sivapithecus, an extinct ape, from Kutch, Gujarat. Photo by Journal Plos One CC BY SA 4.0The fossilized jaw bone belonged to a species known as Sivapithecus that was believed to have lived only in the lower Himalayas in India, Pakistan and Nepal. “This is the first discovery of a Sivapithecus from peninsular India, establishing the range extension for the species. It is important to understand the evolution of hominoids,” said Sunil Bajpai, a fossil hunter at the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, and one of the members of the team that discovered the relic.Research under the scorching heat of the Kutch basin proved successful — paleontologists discovered a fossilized upper jaw (maxilla). Further studies showed that the fossil find was highly significant: it is the oldest and the only known ape fossil discovered in peninsular India.Dr. Ansuya Bhandari from Birbal Sahni Institute, Lucknow stumbled upon the jaw in 2011 during a field survey with a group of paleontologists from the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun and IIT Roorkee.Miocene Fauna of North America, by paleoartist Jay Matternes.“Fossils of the Sivapithecus genus have been previously unearthed near the Siwalik hill range, spreading across Pakistan, Churia Hills in Nepal and around the Himalayas [Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh]. Now this finding, almost 1,000 km south from the previous finds has increased the geographic range of the genus” says Dr. Ansuya Bhandari from the Birbal Sahni Institute and first author of the paper recently published in PLOS ONE in an interview with The Hindu.“It also fills a time-window of approximately 11 million years in the evolutionary history of hominoid remains in India.”Dr. Bhandari explained that researchers believe that Sivapithecus is close to the modern orangutan of Southeast Asia or an ape that is part of an early radiation of fossil hominoids — the great apes, the chimps, gorillas and orangutans, and also humans.Jaw fragments of P. sivalensis. Photo by Ghedoghedo CC BY-SA 3.0Researchers from Duke University conducted the X-ray CT scans. They noted that as the unearthed jaw had a lot of iron in it due to its deposition in an iron-rich ancient soil, the radiation was not able to penetrate very deep into the specimen, thus preventing better analysis, according to The Hindu.“Kutch is a paradise for fossils. Many associated mammal fossils belonging to the Miocene age have been discovered here in the past, including whales and sea cows.”Archaeological dig at Dholavira, Kutch. Photo by Rama’s Arrow CC BY-SA 3.0“The new discovery will help us understand in detail the evolution of great apes,” said Professor Sunil Bajpai from the Department of Earth Sciences at IIT, Roorkee and former director of the Birbal Sahni Institute. He is one of the authors of the paper.The authors dated the specimen to the basal Late Miocene, around 10 million years ago, based on previous findings in the site.“In the last seven years, there were other research papers that established the age of the location based on where the specimen was found. We can now say that these ancient apes were not restricted to the Himalayas,” said Bajpai.Read another story from us: Greek Farmer Stumbles Upon Ancient Minoan Tomb Revealing Hidden ChamberAll sorts of primate discoveries have been made in India. Researchers dug up ancient and well-preserved bones in an Indian coal mine two years ago. The multi-million-year-old bones, those scientists say, come from rat-sized primates and appear to have been close relatives of our distant ancestors.last_img read more

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