Nature


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Our attempts to ‘seed’ clouds with extra snow or rain may actually be working, a new study suggests, although perhaps not quite as much as some had hoped. It may sound like something straight out of science fiction, but cloud seeding has been around since the 1940s. Despite the fact that this form of ‘weather
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Ancient canine craniums, discovered at a 28,500-year-old fossil site in Czechia, may represent one of the earliest stages of animal husbandry. Or, they could just be wolves. Today, all modern dogs (Canis familiaris) are descendants of Eurasian grey wolves (C. lupus), which were likely the first animals humans domesticated.   Over millennia, a gradual series
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A long, long time ago, the Indigenous Gunditjmara people – the traditional owners of lands in southwest Victoria, Australia – are said to have witnessed something truly remarkable.   An ancient oral tradition, passed down for countless generations, tells of how an ancestral creator-being transformed into the fiery volcano, Budj Bim. Almost 40,000 years later,
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A species of jellyfish hunts its prey by hurling venom grenades to create “stinging water”, researchers said Thursday, solving a long-standing mystery as to how they gather food without tentacles.   The upside down jellyfish (Cassiopea xamachana), found in shallow waters around Florida, the Caribbean and Micronesia, is a frequent nuisance to snorkelers and surfers who
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Sifting through a soup of genes sampled from many environments, including human saliva, animal poop, lakes, hospitals, soils and more, researchers have found hundreds of giant viruses – some with abilities only seen before in cellular life.   The international team, led by scientists from University of California, Berkeley, has discovered entire new groups of
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Ebola. SARS. Rabies. MERS. Most probably even the flourishing new coronavirus, COVID-19. There’s one animal that innocently and unwittingly gifts all these virulent scourges to humanity. Bats.   Why is that? According to new research, it’s because bats may be the ultimate incubator, courtesy of a fiercely effective and robust immune system that seems to,
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Three years ago, the identification of Zealandia as a continent made global headlines. Now, newly published results from our scientific drilling expedition reveal the largely submerged Zealandia continent, which stretches across five million square kilometres beneath the southwest Pacific Ocean, was shaped by two tectonic events.   First it was ripped away from Australia and
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They were the largest animals to ever walk the Earth: sauropods, a dinosaur clade of such immense size and stature, they’re sometimes dubbed ‘thunder lizards’. These towering hulks – including Brontosaurus, Brachiosaurus, and Diplodocus among others – needed four thick, powerful legs to support and transport their massive bodies. At least, most of the time.
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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