Beth Geiger

All Stories by Beth Geiger

  1. Illustration of a carnivorous erythrosuchid (looks like a cross between a dinosaur and a crocodile) reaching for tiny gliding reptiles in a forest

    Extreme climate shifts long ago may have helped drive reptile evolution

    The end-Permian extinction left reptiles plenty of open ecological niches. But rapid climate change may be what kick-started the animals’ dominance.

  2. columns of ice mixed in with pebbles and dirt

    Here’s how ice needles sculpt patterns into cold, rocky landscapes

    Striking stone patterns decorate remote, frigid landscapes. The recipe for these naturally forming stripes and swirls: Freeze, thaw, repeat.

  3. Islands of the Four Mountains

    An enormous supervolcano may be hiding under Alaskan islands

    A geologic game of connect the dots reveals hints that Mount Cleveland, the Aleutians’ most active volcano, may sit on a giant undersea crater.

  4. Algeria

    You’re living in a new geologic age. It’s called the Meghalayan

    The newly defined Meghalayan Age began at the same time as a global, climate-driven event that led to human upheavals.

  5. open baobab forest in Senegal

    Earth’s dry zones support a surprising number of trees

    A Google Earth-based estimate of dryland forests adds serious leafage to Earth’s total tree count.

  6. false-color map of seafloor showing tracks of icebergs

    Stunning images reveal glacial landscapes under the oceans

    The most detailed atlas of the seafloor ever compiled offers colorful imagery and ghostly glimpses of Earth’s glacial past.

  7. Mt. St. Helens

    Mount St. Helens is a cold-hearted volcano

    Geophysics reveals that deep beneath Mount St. Helens, there’s no source of hot magma, just a wedge of cold serpentinite rock. Where is the missing heat?

  8. lava cliff

    Remnants from Earth’s birth linger 4.5 billion years later

    Shaken, not stirred: Tungsten isotopes reveal that mantle convection has left some remnants of ancient Earth untouched for 4.5 billion years.

  9. Timurlengia euotica

    New tyrannosaur bridges gap from medium to monstrous

    Horse-sized Timurlengia euotica had a brain and ears like its bigger relative Tyrannosaurus rex, which lived millions of years later.

  10. chert

    3.5 billion years ago, oceans were cool, not hot

    Extensive new evidence from South Africa suggests that 3.5 billion years ago, Earth was locked in a cold spell, with isolated blasts of hydrothermal heat that may have helped incubate life.