Nature


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Throughout its life, our planet has been pummelled by countless asteroids and comets – even more so than the crater-ridden Moon. Today, thanks to Earth’s continually changing surface, there are remarkably few scars left to tell the tale.   Australia’s relatively stable and ancient landscape not only harbours potentially the largest of those blemishes, scientists
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Scientists have reported on another devastating biological disaster, caused by a patch of abnormally warm water in the Pacific Ocean known as ‘the Blob’. This concentrated marine heatwave lingered in the northeast Pacific between 2013 and 2016, and researchers now think it was largely responsible for the death of almost a million common murres (Uria aalge),
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Tardigrades are tough little critters. When conditions get nasty, they can dry out, reconfigure their bodies and enter suspended animation – called dessication – for years. You can throw virtually anything at them: frozen temperatures, zero oxygen, high pressures, the vacuum of space, cosmic radiation, and even being boiled.   But new research has shown
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Swimming through petroleum-infested waters is not exactly good for a dolphin’s health, and if that dolphin is pregnant, the ramifications are even more dire. Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2011, successful pregnancies in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) plummeted, mainly from reproductive failures such as foetal mortality, distress and pneumonia, all of which are
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When giant pandas are born, they are not giant. In fact, they are almost comically small compared to their mums. Now, new research on baby panda skeletons has revealed that in almost any other mammal, the developmental stage of panda cubs when they’re born would be considered premature.   In short, giant panda bears are
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A new species of extinct penguin has been discovered. It’s helping us bridge the gap between modern penguins and their counterparts from the Paleocene epoch – the 10-million-year period following dinosaur extinction.   The world’s oldest known penguins existed only a few million years after the mass-extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs – except