Research into 430,000-year-old fossils collected in northern Spain found that the evolution of the human body’s size and shape has gone through four main stages, according to a paper published this week.
A large international research team including Binghamton University anthropologist Rolf Quam studied the body size and shape in the human fossil collection from the site of the Sima de los Huesos in the Sierra de Atapuerca in northern Spain.
As global population rises and finite resources dwindle, farmers need new, more sustainable ways to control pests. Now, ecologists have found a safe, sustainable and cost-effective new pest control. But rather than a high-tech compound or genetic technology, it’s a tiny, low-tech organism: the ant.
Their pregnancies are carried by the males but, when it comes to breeding, seahorses have more in common with humans than previously thought, new research from the University of Sydney reveals.
Seahorses are famed for being part of the only family in the animal kingdom (Syngnathidae) in which the male is responsible for pregnancy. What hasn’t been known until now is the degree to which male seahorses nourish and protect their embryos in their brood pouch during the 24-day gestation period.
The fossilized remains of a new species of ancient river dolphin that lived at least 5.8 million years ago have been found in Panama, and the discovery could shed light on the evolutionary history of these freshwater mammals.
Morning Edition this summer has been profiling scientists who explore the natural world by listening to it. We call the series Close Listening: Decoding Nature Through Sound.
But sometimes listening isn’t enough — scientists have to record animals and even talk back to them to figure out what they’re saying.
Several studies have demonstrated that auditory enrichment can reduce stereotypic behaviors in captive animals. The purpose of this study was to determine the relative effectiveness of three different types of auditory enrichment-naturalistic sounds, classical music, and rock music-in reducing stereotypic behavior displayed by Western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla). Three gorillas (one adult male, two adult females) were observed at the Buffalo Zoo for a total of 24 hr per music trial.
It started in late May.
When geoecologist Steffen Zuther and his colleagues arrived in central Kazakhstan to monitor the calving of one herd of saigas, a critically endangered, steppe-dwelling antelope, veterinarians in the area had already reported dead animals on the ground.
It appears that the standard tools used to identify chaotic signatures might be missing lots of hidden chaos — especially in systems that seem like they’re not chaotic at all.
Chaos theory is famously associated with so-called “strange attractors,” marked by a telltale butterfly-wing shape (see above). But according to a new paper by two University of Maryland mathematicians, sometimes chaos looks more like “a strange repeller,” or something else entirely.
The operators of a US$2-billion dark-matter experiment aboard the International Space Station are striving to figure out how to keep three crucial cooling pumps working after the failure of a fourth last year. The glitch raises the most serious concerns yet about whether the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), which probes cosmic rays for signs of dark matter being annihilated in deep space, will last until the space station’s planned retirement in 2024. Originally designed for a three-year mission, the AMS is in its fourth year with nine to go.
The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a particle collider for nuclear physics research at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, smashes large nuclei together at close to the speed of light to recreate the primordial soup of fundamental particles that existed in the very early universe. Experiments at RHIC—a DOE Office of Science User Facility that attracts more than 1,000 collaborators from around the world—have shown that this primordial soup, known as quark-gluon plasma (QGP), flows like a nearly friction free “perfect” liquid.
The lunar eclipse set to occur later this month has both skywatchers and some Christians excited, but for very different reasons.
John Hagee, founder and current leader of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, has been prophesying for months that the upcoming “blood moon,” so named for the reddish hue that the moon takes on as it is illuminated by sunlight passing through the Earth’s atmosphere, will bring calamity.
At the time of Sedna’s discovery in 2003, it was the farthest body ever seen in our planetary club. Its peculiar path—it never ventures near the giant planets—suggested an equally peculiar history. How did it get there? The sun may have snatched Sedna away from another star, new computer simulations show.
Scientists may be closer to solving the mystery of how Mars changed from a world with surface water billions of years ago to the arid Red Planet of today.
A new analysis of the largest known deposit of carbonate minerals on Mars suggests that the original Martian atmosphere may have already lost most of its carbon dioxide by the era of valley network formation.
Thanks to NASA’s history-making New Horizons mission we now know more about Pluto than ever before, including how its surface is dominated by icy plains and mountains.
The bright glint of alien oceans may be visible from afar, allowing astronomers to flag potentially habitable exoplanets.
As Earth travels around the sun, it moves through phases much like the moon when seen from afar. The planet’s oceans reflect a great deal of light, especially during the crescent phase. The same principle should apply to exoplanets, researchers say.
The next step in the exoplanet revolution may be an in-space “starshade” that lets alien worlds step out of a blinding glare.
Researchers are testing designs for a starshade, which would fly in formation with a future space-based telescope.
Many wasp species have chemicals in their venom that kill bacteria. In the last few years, researchers have found that some of these chemicals also kill cancer cells, though exactly how they work has remained a mystery.