Nature


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Earth’s lost eighth continent, Zealandia, sank into the sea between 50 and 35 million years ago. Today, we know the tiny fraction of it that remains above the waves as New Zealand.   But before most of Zealandia disappeared – about 60 million years ago – ancient penguins walked upon the 2-million-square-mile continent (5.18 million square
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Hundreds of elephants that died mysteriously in Botswana’s famed Okavango Delta succumbed to cyanobacteria poisoning, the wildlife department revealed on Monday. The landlocked southern African country boasts the world’s largest elephant population, estimated at around 130,000.   More than 300 of the pachyderms have mysteriously died since March, with their intact tusks ruling out the
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The fall equinox comes this Tuesday at 9:30 am ET (1:30 pm UTC). Although not the best time to balance an egg (that’s an old wives’ tale), the equinox heralds the coming of autumn, cooler temperatures, and shorter days for the Northern Hemisphere, which houses about 90 percent of Earth’s population.   For the Southern Hemisphere, it signifies the opposite:
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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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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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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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A bubble of methane gas, swelling beneath Siberia’s melting permafrost for who knows how long, has burst open to form an impressive 50-metre-deep (164-foot-deep) crater. The giant hole was first spotted by a TV crew flying overhead, and, according to The Siberian Times, when scientists went to investigate, they found chunks of ice and rock thrown hundreds
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Animals have been hibernating for a long, long time, a new study shows. Researchers have analysed 250 million-year-old fossils and found evidence that the pig-sized mammal relation, a genus called Lystrosaurus, hibernated much like bears and bats do today.   Finding signs of shifts in metabolism rates in fossils is just about impossible under normal conditions –
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An international team of marine scientists have discovered 30 new species of invertebrates in deep water surrounding the Galapagos, the Ecuadoran archipelago’s national park authorities announced Monday.   The deep-sea experts discovered fragile coral and sponge communities including 10 bamboo corals, four octocorals, one brittle star and 11 sponges – as well as four new