Month: September 2020

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High above the Arctic Circle lies a group of remote Siberian islands where ivory traders and scientists brave sub-zero temperatures to search for extinct creatures preserved in the melting permafrost.   Those Lyakhovsky Islands just yielded an unprecedented find: a perfectly preserved adult cave bear – with its nose, teeth, and internal organs still intact. Scientists think
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A massive chunk of ice – larger than the city of Paris – has broken off from the Arctic’s largest ice shelf because of warmer temperatures in Greenland, scientists said Monday.   The 113-square-kilometre (43-square-mile) block broke off the Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden glacier in Northeast Greenland, which the scientists said had been expected given the rising average
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From bird feathers to fruit skins, the natural world has two main ways of displaying colour: through pigment substances that provide selective colour absorption, or through structural colour – the use of microscopic structures to control light reflection.   Now scientists have devised a computer model that explains why the brightest matte structural colours in
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Picking the kids up from school takes on a different meaning for crocodylian parents. In this photo, taken by India-based photographer Dhritiman Mukherjee, a male freshwater gharial shows us why. Bobbing in the waters of northern India’s National Chambal Sanctuary, the croc waits as more than 100 of his month-old children clamber onto his back for safe
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Often it’s the most minute scientific measurements that are the most important, and researchers have developed a new, super-small device that’s capable of detecting magnetic fields even when they’re extremely faint.   The device, a new kind of superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID), is just 10 nanometres high, or around a thousandth of the thickness of a
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“Zombie” wildfires that were smoldering beneath the Arctic ice all winter suddenly flared to life this summer when the snow and ice above it melted, new monitoring data reveal.   And this year has been the worst for Arctic wildfires on record, since reliable monitoring began 17 years ago. Arctic fires this summer released as much carbon in the
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Two hundred ancient mammoth skeletons have been discovered beneath an airport construction site north of Mexico City – the largest collection of mammoth bones ever found. Archaeologists at Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History first realised the area might hide mammoth remains after they found two human-dug mammoth traps in November as part of
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Our natural inclination to help others in need runs extremely deep within our mammalian heritage – there’s many examples of altruism in primates and it’s even been demonstrated in mice.   This generosity, prevalent across human cultures, has psychological and health benefits for us all as individuals. Now researchers have also found evidence that generosity helps people in societies
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You’d think a plant scientist would feel at home on a farm, but Neil Stewart was used to working with potatoes, not human cadavers.  Fascinated by environmental contaminants, Stewart was on tour at the University of Tennessee’s ‘body farm’ – more formally known as the Anthropology Research Facility – where forensic anthropologists study the effects
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Modern-day drone sensors can sometimes detect what’s invisible to the human eye, such as the remains of a historical city called Etzanoa or the ‘Great Settlement’ in the fields of Wichita, Kansas – remains that have been buried for hundreds of years.   Researchers think they’ve found what’s known as a ‘council circle’ monument in Etzanoa, and