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E.g., 02/23/2019
E.g., 02/23/2019
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  • pollen shapes
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Your search has returned 7105 articles:
  • Science Visualized

    Physics explains how pollen gets its stunning diversity of shapes

    Pollen grains sport a variety of snazzy shapes, from golf ball–like divots to prickly knobs or swirls that evoke a peppermint candy. But these myriad patterns may all be due to one simple trick of physics, scientists report in the Feb. 7 Cell.

    That trick: phase separation, in which a mixture naturally breaks up into separate parts, like cream floating to the top of milk (SN: 7/21/18, p....

    02/20/2019 - 07:00 Biophysics
  • 50 years ago, DDT pushed peregrine falcons to the edge of extinction

    Fierce and swift, steel blue in color and called the world’s most perfect flying machine, the peregrine falcon is heading toward extinction in North America. The reason: DDT. Perilously high levels of the pesticide and related chemicals have been found in the eggs, fat and tissues of the birds…. [The falcons] are not picking up the DDT directly, but get it by eating other birds which...
    02/14/2019 - 07:00 Animals, Conservation, Toxicology
  • News

    Photons reveal a weird effect called the quantum pigeonhole paradox

    Quantum pigeons don’t like to share.

    In keeping with a mathematical concept known as the pigeonhole principle, roosting pigeons have to cram together if there are more pigeons than spots available, with some birds sharing holes. But photons, or quantum particles of light, can violate that rule, according to an experiment reported in the Jan. 29 Proceedings of the National Academy of...

    02/13/2019 - 06:00 Quantum Physics, Numbers
  • The –est

    A rare, ancient case of bone cancer has been found in a turtle ancestor

    A 240-million-year-old case of bone cancer has turned up in a fossil of an extinct ancestor of turtles. Dating to the Triassic Period, the fossil is the oldest known example of this cancer in an amniote, a group that includes mammals, birds and reptiles, researchers report online February 7 in JAMA Oncology. 

    The fossilized left femur from the shell-less stem-turtle Pappochelys rosinae...

    02/11/2019 - 06:00 Animals, Paleontology, Health
  • News

    Dogs may have helped ancient Middle Easterners hunt small game

    Dogs that lived alongside Middle Eastern villagers roughly 11,500 years ago may have helped to transform how those humans hunted, researchers say.

    Fragmentary canine bones unearthed at Shubayqa 6, an ancient site in northeastern Jordan, date to a time when remains of hares and other small prey at the outpost sharply increased, say zooarchaeologist Lisa Yeomans of the University of...

    01/25/2019 - 09:56 Anthropology, Animals
  • News

    Male birds’ sexy songs may not advertise their brains after all

    After some 20 years of theorizing, a scientist is publicly renouncing the “beautiful hypothesis” that male birds’ sexy songs could indicate the quality of their brains.

    Behavioral ecologist Steve Nowicki of Duke University called birdsong “unreliable” as a clue for choosy females seeking a smart mate, in a paper published in the March 2018 Animal Behaviour. He will also soon publish...

    01/25/2019 - 07:00 Animals, Evolution
  • News in Brief

    Young emperor penguins brave icy, winter waters in their first year

    Only months after their first ocean swim, young emperor penguins are braving Antarctica’s treacherous winter seas. GPS trackers strapped to 15 young penguins showed the birds venturing north to warmer waters beyond Antarctica’s pack ice in December 2013, and returning a few months later as the waters chilled.

    That finding surprised some scientists, who thought the inexperienced juveniles...

    01/23/2019 - 17:07 Animals, Oceans
  • News

    A four-legged robot hints at how ancient tetrapods walked

    Orobates pabsti lived between 280 million and 290 million years ago, but it was pretty advanced at doing the locomotion.

    Using computer simulations, re-created skeletons, fossil trackways and a walking robot dubbed the OroBOT, scientists found that this ancient four-footed creature had a surprisingly efficient gait. The result suggests that developing a more advanced way of walking may...

    01/16/2019 - 13:27 Paleontology, Evolution
  • News

    How worm blobs behave like a liquid and a solid

    TAMPA, Fla. — Blobs of worms flow like a fluid, plop like a solid and fascinate scientists.

    A worm by itself is as solid as any other living animal. But a mass of aquatic California blackworms tangled together flows through a tube like a liquid. Pouring, heating and otherwise playing with blobs of worms shows that a tangled mass of them has properties of both fluids and solids, Saad...

    01/11/2019 - 13:11 Animals, Biophysics
  • News in Brief

    Floating seabirds provide a novel way to trace ocean currents

    Seabirds are like feathered buoys. Gently rafting on the ocean’s surface, these birds go with the flow, making them excellent proxies for tracking changes in a current’s speed and direction.

    Oceanographers traditionally use radar, floating buoys or autonomous underwater vehicles to measure ocean current velocities, which can affect the climate, ecosystems and the movement of important...

    01/10/2019 - 09:00 Oceans, Ecology