Carolyn is the Earth & Climate writer at Science News. Previously she worked at Science magazine for six years, both as a reporter covering paleontology and polar science and as the editor of the news in brief section. Before that she was a reporter and editor at EARTH magazine. She has bachelor’s degrees in Geology and European History and a Ph.D. in marine geochemistry from MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She’s also a former Science News intern.

All Stories by Carolyn Gramling

  1. an illustration of a mammal ancestor, with a rodent-like head and long furry body, exhaling hot air on a cold night

    Mammal ancestors’ shrinking inner ears may reveal when warm-bloodedness arose

    An abrupt shift in inner ear shape of mammal ancestors 233 million years ago, during a time of climate swings, points to evolution of warm-bloodedness.

  2. An illustration of Meraxes gigas, a large dinosaur with a big head, fearsome teeth and tiny arms similar to a T. rex, roaring, with other dinosaurs in the background

    A newfound dinosaur had tiny arms before T. rex made them cool

    A predecessor to Tyrannosaurus rex, Meraxes gigas had a giant head and puny but muscular arms, suggesting the limbs served some purpose.

  3. illustration of a feathered theropod dinosaur eating a small furry mammal

    Feathers may have helped dinosaurs survive the Triassic mass extinction

    New data show that dinosaurs were able to weather freezing conditions about 202 million years ago, probably thanks to warm feathery coats.

  4. illustration of Vampyronassa rhodanica in pink with a blue background

    Vampire squid are gentle blobs. But this ancestor was a fierce hunter

    New fossil analyses of 164-million-year-old ancestors of today’s vampire squid show the ancient cephalopods had muscular bodies and powerful suckers.

  5. painting of a bouquet of flowers that includes a yellow rose near the center

    A pigment’s shift in chemistry robbed a painted yellow rose of its brilliance

    The degradation of an arsenic-based paint stripped shadows and light from a still life flower in a 17th century work by painter Abraham Mignon.

  6. Illustration of the ancient beaverlike mammal Kimbetopsalis simmonsae

    How mammals took over the world

    In the book The Rise and Reign of the Mammals, paleontologist Steve Brusatte tracks the evolutionary innovations that made mammals so successful.

  7. illustration of megalodon about to eat a pod of toothed whales

    Great white sharks may have helped drive megalodons to extinction

    Analyzing zinc levels in shark teeth hints that megalodons and great whites competed with each other for food.

  8. a wave flows into a parking lot with the Miami skyline in the background and palm trees face extreme wind

    Scientists hope to mimic the most extreme hurricane conditions

    A $12.8 million NSF grant is funding the design of a facility that can generate winds of at least 290 kilometers per hour and towering storm surges.

  9. the city of Otsuchi, Japan after a devastating earthquake

    Machine learning and gravity signals could rapidly detect big earthquakes

    Large earthquakes make speed-of-light adjustments to Earth’s gravitational field. Researchers have now trained computers to detect the signals.

  10. cows grazing on a patch of cleared rainforest

    Replacing some meat with microbial protein could help fight climate change

    Just a 20 percent substitution could cut deforestation rates and land-use CO2 emissions by more than half by 2050, a new study suggests.

  11. illustration of Tupandactylus imperator

    Pterosaurs may have had brightly colored feathers on their heads

    The fossil skull of a flying reptile hints that feathers originated about 100 million years earlier than scientists thought.

  12. a fossil spider, with an inset showing the fossil in ultraviolet light that revealed a substance possibly produced by diatoms

    Glowing spider fossils may exist thanks to tiny algae’s goo 

    Analyzing 22-million-year-old spider fossils from France revealed that they were covered in a tarry black substance that fluoresces.