There’s a tree that once covered the whole of Australia, then dwindled to a dozen examples, and is now spread around the world. We call it the Wollemi pine (Wollemia nobilis), but you could call it the dinosaur tree.
For their first 100 million years on planet Earth, our mammal ancestors relied on the cover of darkness to escape their dinosaur predators and competitors. Only after the meteor-induced mass extinction of dinosaurs66 million years ago could these nocturnal mammals explore the many wondrous opportunities available in the light of day.
This summer, the fifth installment of the Jurassic Park franchise will be on the big screen, reinforcing a love of dinosaurs that has been with many of us since childhood. There is something awe inspiring about the biggest, fiercest, and “deadest” creatures that have ever walked the planet. But the films have had an additional benefit – they have sparked an interest in dinosaur DNA.
When it comes to bees, it seems that nothing really does matter. As shown in a paper published today, our research demonstrates that the honeybee can understand the quantitative value of nothing, and place zero in the correct position along a line of sequential numbers.
Marine zooplankton are tiny animals, roughly the size of insects you might see on a summer day, that drift with ocean currents. Many of them are lovely, but except for scientists who study them, few people are aware that they are among the most numerous – and important – animals on Earth.
Starting about 7,000 years ago, and extending over the next two millennia, recent studies suggest, the genetic diversity of men—specifically, the diversity of their Y chromosomes—collapsed. The collapse was so extreme it was as if there were only one man left to mate for every 17 women.
It is difficult to refer to what dogs, as a collective, like and dislike and how they behave. Just as humans do, dogs all have their own personalities and learned preferences and so can differ dramatically in how they approach life and what they take from it.
Around the world, large predators at the top of their respective food chains are on the move. Recently, animals like alligators, otters, killer whales, mountain lions, and wolves have turned up in new, surprising places.
Declines in bee populations around the world have been widely reported over the past several decades. Much attention has focused on honey bees, which commercial beekeepers transport all over the United States to pollinate crops.
Unfortunately, both mammoth and most of the mammoth steppe ecosystem today have long but disappeared. But a group of geneticists from Harvard are hoping to change this by cloning living elephant cells that contain a small component of synthesized mammoth DNA
The first animals emerged on Earth at least 541m years ago, according to the fossil record. What they looked like is the subject of an ongoing debate, but they’re traditionally thought to have been similar to sponges.
If you happen to be thirsty in the woods, there are a lot of things you can stick in your canteen to help clean up your drinking water. There are chlorine pills and filters (not crystals — never crystals). And now scientists have identified a certain kind of moss that could do it, too.
Earth’s crust is made up of fractured slabs of rock, like a broken shell on an egg. These plates move around at speeds of about 5cm per year – and eventually this movement brings all the continents together and form what is known as a supercontinent. The last supercontinent on Earth was Pangaea, which existed between 300-180m years ago.
Ohio State researchers found that corals that were more resilient to harsh ocean conditions also had more healthier microbiomes. Microbes may therefore be essential for to keep corals healthy under stressful conditions.
Genetic analysis reveals new evidence to explain how the hogfish uses its skin to “see.”The hogfish is a pointy-snouted reef fish that can go from pearly white to mottled brown to reddish in a matter of milliseconds as it adjusts to shifting conditions on the ocean floor.
The Global Seed Vault at the Svalbard archipelago is about to get some upgrades, Norway announced. Almost a decade since the vault opened, it now houses more than 850,000 seed samples donated by nations from all over the world for safekeeping.
If you go down to the shore today, you’re sure of a big surprise. Many will have witnessed the presence of a starfish or two when visiting the seashore or a public aquarium. Starfish come in an exciting range of colours and sizes, but have you ever given a thought to how this multi-armed wonder manages to exist in our oceans when it’s so unlike the other animals we know?
Pet owners will often swear their beloved pooch or moggie does wonders for their wellbeing, and now we have empirical proof. A new study has found dog ownership is linked to improved heart health for humans. This is an important finding, given heart disease is the leading cause of death globally.
Years ago, we believed that we weren’t animals and that animals were here solely for our use. Indeed, a cow was just a walking burger, steak of Sunday roast, keeping itself fresh and tasty ready for when we were hungry.
Maybe when you picture a university professor doing research it involves test tubes and beakers, or perhaps poring over musty manuscripts in a dimly lit library, or maybe going out into the field to examine new crop-growing techniques or animal-breeding methods. All of it’s good, solid research and I commend them all.
Humans have built high-rises since ancient Roman times, but it wasn’t until the 20th century that they became the default work space for a significant slice of the world’s workers. While these buildings are certainly efficient, they can cause real health issues.
Just six years ago, more than 40% of Britain’s electricity was generated by burning coal. Today, that figure is just 7%. Yet if the story of 2016 was the dramatic demise of coal and its replacement by natural gas, then 2017 was most definitely about the growth of wind power.
In Antarctica, a fleet of seven drones will embark on a year-long mission under the ice. If they survive, the data they collect could drastically improve predictions of future ice melting and sea level rises.
At approximately 3.5 billion-year-old, the oldest fossils on Earth have been uncovered in Western Australia. The microscopic fossils are the earliest direct evidence of life on Earth and — thanks to further analysis and study by researchers at UCLA and the University of Wisconsin-Madison —could deepen our understanding of the origins of life. The study was published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).