Life

  1. Paleontology

    New fossil sheds light on dinosaurs’ diet

    Vestiges of soft tissue preserved in a 70-million-year-old Mongolian fossil suggest that some dinosaurs could have strained small bits of food from the water and mud of streams and ponds, just like some modern aquatic birds do.

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  2. Paleontology

    Completing a titan by getting a head

    When paleontologists unearthed the skeleton of a 70-million-year-old titanosaur in Madagascar in the late 1990s, they also recovered something that had been missing from previous such finds: a skull that matched the body.

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  3. Paleontology

    That’s no footprint, it’s got no toes

    The impressions near Isona, Spain, long thought to be fossilized dinosaur footprints may actually record the feeding behavior of stingrays.

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  4. Animals

    Big woodpeckers trash others’ homes

    Pileated woodpeckers destroy in an afternoon the nesting cavities that take endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers 6 years to excavate.

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  5. Animals

    When rare species eat endangered ones

    To cut down on their salmon smolt catch, Caspian terns were encouraged to move from one island to another in the Columbia River.

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  6. Animals

    Oops. New feathers turn out lousy

    Going to the trouble of molting doesn't really get rid of a bird's lice after all.

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  7. Animals

    Stinking decorations protect nests

    The common waxbill's habit of adorning its nests with fur plucked from carnivore scat turns out to discourage attacks from predators.

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  8. Animals

    20/20 lenses coat body of sea creature

    The skeleton of brittlestars doubles as an array of optically precise lenses that rival plastic microlenses designed by engineers.

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  9. Ecosystems

    Streamers could save birds from hooks

    A test on active longline fishing boats finds that an inexpensive array of streamers can reduce accidental deaths of seabirds by more than 90 percent.

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  10. Ecosystems

    Wanted: Reef Cleaners

    Nearly 18 years after a near total die-off of algae-grazing urchins in the Caribbean, those herbivores are poised for a comeback—which could help save area corals.

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  11. Animals

    Smart tags show unexpected tuna trips

    The first report on Atlantic bluefin tuna wearing electronic tags reveals much more dashing across the ocean than expected.

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  12. Paleontology

    A Ticklish Debate

    Paleontologists engaged in a contentious debate about the origins of feathers often reach interpretations that are poles apart, and they defend their views with fervor.

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