Sid Perkins

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

All Stories by Sid Perkins

  1. illustration of a penis worm on the ocean floor

    ‘Penis worms’ may have been the original hermits

    Soft-bodied critters called penis worms inhabited abandoned shells — a la modern-day hermit crabs — by about 500 million years ago, a study suggests.

  2. image of earthshine

    Earth is reflecting less light. It’s not clear if that’s a trend

    A decrease in Earth’s reflectance shows our planet is absorbing more solar radiation, but it’s not clear if the trend will last.

  3. the bones of the famous skeleton Lucy arranged on a black background

    Radiometric dating puts pieces of the past in context. Here’s how

    Carbon dating and other techniques answer essential questions about human history, our planet and the solar system.

  4. ancient elephant footprint

    Fossil tracks may reveal an ancient elephant nursery

    Fossilized footprints at a site in Spain include those of an extinct elephant’s newborns, suggesting the animals may have used the area as a nursery.

  5. illustration of magnetic fields moving charged particles to Jupiter's poles where auroras form

    Jupiter’s intense auroras superheat its upper atmosphere

    Jupiter’s hotter-than-expected upper atmosphere may be caused by high-speed charged particles slamming into the air high above the poles.

  6. image of InSight Lander on Mars
    Planetary Science

    Marsquakes reveal the Red Planet boasts a liquid core half its diameter

    Analyses of seismic waves picked up by NASA’s InSight lander shed new light on the planet’s core and give clues to the thickness of the crust.

  7. image of Getz Ice Sheet in Antarctica

    Collapse may not always be inevitable for marine ice cliffs

    Runaway collapse of ice cliffs could dramatically boost sea level. But these cliffs may not be so vulnerable, new simulations suggest.

  8. 2004 tsunami in Thailand

    A new book uses stories from tsunami survivors to decode deadly waves

    In ‘Tsunami: The World’s Greatest Waves,’ two scientists chronical hundreds of eyewitness accounts to show the human cost of life at the water’s edge.

  9. an elephant takes a drink from a lake

    Newly recognized tricks help elephants suck up huge amounts of water

    New ultrasound imaging reveals what goes on inside a pachyderm’s trunk while feeding. It can snort water at the rate of 24 shower heads.

  10. head of T. rex fossil

    T. rex’s incredible biting force came from its stiff lower jaw

    T. rex could generate incredibly strong bite forces thanks to a boomerang-shaped bone that stiffened the lower jaw, a new analysis suggests.

  11. aerial image of melting glaciers in the Andes mountains

    Climate change may have changed the direction of the North Pole’s drift

    A mid-1990s shift in the movement of the pole was driven by glacial melt, in part caused by climate change, among other factors, a new study reports.

  12. 5 micrometeorites found in Antarctica
    Planetary Science

    Earth sweeps up 5,200 tons of extraterrestrial dust each year

    Thousands of micrometeorites collected from Antarctica come from both comets and asteroids, a new study suggests.