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Your search has returned 867 articles:
  • News

    Seven Earth-sized planets orbit nearby supercool star

    A nearby ultracool star harbors seven Earth-sized planets, three with orbits that potentially put them in a habitable zone. That makes the system, around a star called TRAPPIST-1, a prime target in the search for signs of alien life. Its discovery also hints that many more cousins of Earth may be out there than astronomers thought.

    “It’s rather stunning that the system has so many Earth-...

    02/22/2017 - 13:00 Exoplanets, Astronomy
  • News

    Hot nests, not vanishing males, are bigger sea turtle threat

    Worries about climate change threatening sea turtles may have been misdirected.

    Warming that could lead to far more female hatchlings than males isn’t the most immediate danger from climate shifts. Lethally overheated beach nests are more important, researchers argue February 8 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

    Climate change can meddle with sex ratios of the seven species of...

    02/07/2017 - 19:05 Climate, Animals, Conservation
  • Feature

    With dinosaurs out of the way, mammals had a chance to thrive

    For dinosaurs, the end of the world began in fire.

    The space rock that stamped a Vermont-sized crater into the Earth 66 million years ago packed a powerful punch. Any animal living within about a thousand miles of the impact zone was probably vaporized, says paleontologist Stephen Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

    “Everything would have been toast.”

    But...

    01/25/2017 - 14:30 Paleontology, Evolution, Animals
  • Feature

    Devastation detectives try to solve dinosaur disappearance

    Below the shimmering turquoise waters of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula lies the scene of a prehistoric mass murder. In a geologic instant, most animal and plant species perished. Drilling through hundreds of meters of rock, investigators have finally reached the footprint left by the accused: Earth’s most notorious space rock impact, Chicxulub. The dinosaur killer.

    Sleuthing scientists are...

    01/25/2017 - 14:30 Earth, Paleontology
  • News in Brief

    Earth’s last major warm period was as hot as today

    The last time Earth’s thermostat was cranked as high as it is today, sea levels were high enough to completely drown New Orleans (had it existed at the time), new research suggests.

    Ocean surface temperatures around 125,000 years ago were comparable to those today, researchers report in the Jan. 20 Science. Previous estimates suggested that this period, the height of the last warm phase...

    01/19/2017 - 14:00 Climate, Earth, Oceans
  • News

    Coastal waters were an oxygen oasis 2.3 billion years ago

    Earth was momentarily ripe for the evolution of animals hundreds of millions of years before they first appeared, researchers propose.

    Chemical clues in ancient rocks suggest that 2.32 billion to 2.1 billion years ago, shallow coastal waters held enough oxygen to support oxygen-hungry life-forms including some animals, researchers report the week of January 16 in the Proceedings of the...

    01/17/2017 - 16:23 Earth, Evolution, Paleontology
  • News

    Ancient enzymes adapted to a cooler Earth to keep life’s chemical reactions going

    Like lifelong Floridians dropped into a Wisconsin winter, enzymes accustomed to warmth don’t always fare well in colder climes. But ancient heat-loving enzymes forced to adapt to a cooling Earth managed to swap out parts to keep chemical reactions going, scientists report online December 22 in Science.

    By reconstructing enzymes as they might have looked billions of years ago, the...

    12/22/2016 - 14:00 Molecular Evolution
  • It's Alive

    An echidna’s to-do list: Sleep. Eat. Dig up Australia.

    With no nipples and reptilelike eggs, short-beaked echidnas look like a first draft of a mammal. Yet, as Australia’s other digging mammals decline from invasive predators, the well-defended echidna is getting new love as an ecosystem engineer.

    The only mammals today that lay eggs are the four echidna species and the duck-billed platypus. Eggs are probably a holdover from the time before...

    11/18/2016 - 12:00 Animals, Ecology
  • Feature

    Reef rehab could help threatened corals make a comeback

    Coral reefs are bustling cities beneath tropical, sunlit waves. Thousands of colorful creatures click, dash and dart, as loud and fast-paced as citizens of any metropolis.

    Built up in tissue-thin layers over millennia, corals are the high-rise apartments of underwater Gotham. Calcium carbonate skeletons represent generations of tiny invertebrate animals, covered in a living layer of...

    10/18/2016 - 05:30 Oceans, Conservation
  • News

    Nuclear blasts, other human activity signal new epoch, group argues

    Humankind’s bombs, plastics, chickens and more have altered the planet enough to usher in a new chapter in Earth’s geologic history. That’s the majority opinion of a group of 35 experts tasked with evaluating whether the current human-dominated time span, unofficially dubbed the Anthropocene, deserves a formal place in Earth’s geologic timeline alongside the Eocene and the Pliocene.

    In a...

    09/25/2016 - 06:00 Earth, Climate, Science & Society