Sid Perkins

Sid Perkins is a freelance science writer based in Crossville, Tenn.

All Stories by Sid Perkins

  1. A photo of a fossil with two dark brown pieces attached to the shell.

    520-million-year-old animal fossils might not be animals after all

    Newly described fossils of Protomelission gatehousei suggest that the species, once thought to be the oldest example of bryozoans, is actually a type of colony-forming algae.

  2. An illustration of a Tillyardembia sitting on a plant.

    The oldest known pollen-carrying insects lived about 280 million years ago

    Pollen stuck to fossils of earwig-like Tillyardembia pushes back the earliest record of potential insect pollinators by about 120 million years.

  3. A photo of NASA’s Perseverance rover (whose wheel is seen at left) exploring Mars’ dusty Jezero crater on November 5.
    Planetary Science

    NASA’s Perseverance rover captured the sound of a dust devil on Mars

    A whirlwind swept over Perseverance while its microphone was on, capturing the sound of dust grains hitting the mic or the NASA rover’s chassis.

  4. A close up of orange bacteria on a yellow background

    Ancient bacteria could persist beneath Mars’ surface

    Radiation-tolerant microbes might be able to survive beneath Mars’ surface for hundreds of millions of years, a new study suggests.

  5. image of a tree canopy taken from below looking up

    The worldwide water-lifting power of plants is enormous

    The energy used per year by the world’s plants to lift sap rivals the amount of energy generated by all hydroelectric dams, a new study suggests.

  6. A view from space of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano eruption

    The Tonga eruption may have spawned a tsunami as tall as the Statue of Liberty

    A massive undersea volcanic eruption in the South Pacific in January created a tsunami that was initially 90 meters tall, computer simulations suggest.

  7. image of 430-million-year-old fossil of the fungus Prototaxites

    Earth’s oldest known wildfires raged 430 million years ago

    430-million-year-old fossilized charcoal suggests atmospheric oxygen levels of at least 16 percent, the amount needed for fire to take hold and spread.

  8. Small mammal crawling on a dinosaur's skeleton

    ‘The Last Days of the Dinosaurs’ tells a tale of destruction and recovery

    A new book takes readers back in time to see how an asteroid strike and the dinosaur extinction shaped life on Earth.

  9. Europa image
    Planetary Science

    Europa may have much more shallow liquid water than scientists thought

    Mysterious pairs of ridges scar Jupiter’s moon Europa. Analyzing a similar set in Greenland suggests shallow water is behind the features’ formation.

  10. images of comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein with its dust cloud and of its nucleus alone
    Planetary Science

    This is the biggest known comet in our solar system

    The nucleus of comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein is about 120 kilometers across — about twice the width of Rhode Island — and is darker than coal.

  11. illustration of a dinosaur fleeing a massive flood

    The Age of Dinosaurs may have ended in springtime

    Fossilized fish bones suggest that the massive asteroid strike at the end of the Cretaceous Period occurred during the Northern Hemisphere’s spring.

  12. aerial view of a large crater in Wyoming
    Planetary Science

    An ancient impact on Earth led to a cascade of cratering

    For the first time, scientists have discovered clusters of craters on Earth that were formed by the impacts of material thrown out of a larger crater.