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  • News

    Oxygen in Black Sea has declined by more than a third since 1955

    The Black Sea’s toxic underside is approaching the surface, new research finds.

    Comparing measurements collected from 1955 through 2013, researchers discovered that the sea’s oxygen-rich top layer shrank by more than a third from 140 meters to 90 meters deep. That oxygenated layer supports a marine ecosystem and separates the atmosphere from the world’s largest reservoir of poisonous...

    10/09/2015 - 11:28 Oceans, Climate
  • Science Ticker

    Widespread coral bleaching threatens world’s reefs

    Corals across the globe are experiencing widespread bleaching from high ocean temperatures, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration states in its latest Coral Watch Report. Stressful conditions in the Pacific and Caribbean...

    10/08/2015 - 16:57 Oceans, Animals, Ecosystems
  • Science Ticker

    Fish have had telescoping jaws for 100 million years

    For the last 100 million years, fish have steadily refined the art of tossing their own jaws forward.

    This hunting trick, known as jaw protrusion, helps bony teleost fish — the most abundant group of fish worldwide — snag their prey. When fish first tried the trick in the Late Cretaceous, they could stretch their jaws up to 8.16 percent of their own body length. Today, fish can...

    10/08/2015 - 12:45 Animals, Evolution
  • Wild Things

    How the giraffe got its long neck

    The neck of a giraffe isn’t all that different from any other mammal’s. There are seven neck vertebrae, like those of humans, but they are much bigger. (This is a different strategy than other long-necked creatures in history. Marine reptiles called plesiosaurs, for instance, had 38 to 42 vertebrae to lengthen their...

    10/07/2015 - 14:30 Animals, Evolution
  • Wild Things

    What happens to animals in a hurricane?

    After hammering the Bahamas, Hurricane Joaquin is now moving north, and, the latest path predictions show, is headed out to sea instead of directly for the U.S. East Coast. The storm’s track has been hard to pin down, which makes preparing for it rather difficult. If you live near the shore, you don’t know if...

    10/02/2015 - 12:33 Animals, Oceans
  • The Name Game

    Ceres mountains and craters named for food

    Tubers, maize and even eggplants are finally getting the astronomical recognition they deserve. Or at least that’s true for the deities that look after the crops and celebrations of their harvest. Fifteen craters and mountains on the dwarf planet Ceres were officially named on September 21 after various spirits and celebrations...

    10/01/2015 - 12:00 Planetary Science
  • News

    Lights at night trick wild wallabies into breeding late

    Artificial lighting at night delays wild tammar wallaby breeding, potentially pushing the nursing marsupial moms out of sync with their peak season for food.

    Tammar wallabies (Macropus eugenii) that live on the well-lit landscape of Australia’s largest naval base muddle the timing of their natural breeding season. Births peak in February — a month later on average than normal —...

    09/29/2015 - 19:05 Animals, Conservation
  • News

    Math describes sheep herd fluctuations

    View the video

    There’s something in the way sheep move.

    In a herd, Merino sheep follow a predictable pattern of spreading out and clustering together. Now scientists have developed equations that can describe those movements. The sheep’s choreography may allow them to balance their needs for food and protection,...

    09/28/2015 - 15:00 Animals
  • Wild Things

    Life in the polar ocean is surprisingly active in the dark winter

    Scientists have long thought that in the supercold, perpetually dark, polar winter, life pretty much shuts down. With no sunlight, there’s no photosynthesis, so phytoplankton wouldn’t be active. That would cut off the base of the marine food web, and there would be no energy entering the system. Everything else would have to enter a resting state, the theories suggested. That would include...

    09/28/2015 - 06:00 Animals, Plants, Earth
  • Scicurious

    How a fat hormone might make us born to run

    Last weekend, I ran the Navy-Air Force half-marathon. After pounding pavement for an hour or so, my legs began to feel light. Slightly numb. I felt fantastic. I had to remind myself to run, not to stop and dance, and that singing along to my candy-pop workout music — even at mile 10 — is not socially acceptable. It’s the hope of this euphoria — this runner’s high — that keeps me running.

    09/25/2015 - 10:58 Neuroscience