Earth news stories

Giant sea scorpions were the underwater titans of prehistoric Australia
6th July 2020 phys.org | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

Let’s turn back time. Before extinction knocked dinosaurs off their pillar, before the “Great Dying” extinction wiped out 95% of all organisms—we had the Paleozoic Era.

Greenland drilling campaign aims for bedrock to trace ice sheet’s last disappearance
4th July 2020 | sciencemag.org | Ancient, Earth

The effort could shed light on the timing of the asteroid or comet impact that gouged the Hiawatha crater, a 31-kilometer scar hidden under the ice, sometime within the past 3 million years. Some scientists think the event was recent and the trigger for a bout of global cooling 13,000 years ago known as the “Younger Dryas.”

How the Consumption and Extinction of Giant Animals Changed Human Evolution
2nd July 2020 | haaretz.com | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

Some think Homo erectus and its ilk dined chiefly on plants like latter-day hunter-gatherers. Israeli archaeologists argue that if they did, it wasn’t by choice.

Dinosaurs wiped out by asteroid, not volcanoes, researchers say
30th June 2020 | theguardian.com | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth, Space

A 66m-year-old murder mystery has finally been solved, researchers say, revealing an enormous asteroid struck the killer blow for the dinosaurs.

Citizen scientist strikes gold and makes major 460-million-year-old fossil find
28th June 2020 | abc.net.au | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth, Humans

Patrick Nelson did not know exactly what he was looking at, but he knew it was special.

How one teaspoon of Amazon soil teems with fungal life
28th June 2020 | bbc.co.uk | Earth, Humans

A teaspoon of soil from the Amazon contains as many as 1,800 microscopic life forms, of which 400 are fungi.

How DNA revealed the woolly mammoth’s fate – and what it teaches us today
26th June 2020 | weforum.org | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth, Humans

Dr Beth Shapiro is a paleo-geneticist who uses genomics techniques to understand how species became extinct to help conservation efforts today. By extracting DNA from a frozen lake on an Alaskan island, her team uncovered the secret of how its population of woolly mammoths died out.

Image from Flickr (Wiki Commons)

The Incredible Science Of Lake Baikal: The World’s Largest, Oldest, Deepest Lake
25th June 2020 | forbes.com | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth, Humans

Although practically all of Earth’s human population lives on dry land, our surface is 71% covered by water.

Image from PHG (Wikki Commons)

Gigantic wolverines, otters the size of wolves: Fossils offer fresh insights into the past
23rd June 2020 phys.org | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

Langebaanweg ‘E’ Quarry is a palaeontological wonderland dating back 5 million years. It has yielded one of the richest and best-preserved vertebrate fossils of the Neogene (a geological era dating from 23 million to 2.5 million years ago) to be found anywhere in Africa.

New fossil discovery shows 50 million-year-old Canada-Australia connection
15th June 2020 | eurekalert.org | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

The discovery of a tiny insect fossil is unearthing big questions about the global movement of animals and the connection to changes in climate and shifting continents across deep time.

Fossil tracks left by an ancient crocodile that ‘ran like an ostrich’
13th June 2020 | bbc.co.uk | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

Scientists have been stunned to find that some ancient crocodiles might have moved around on two feet.

Mushrooms are healing the earth, starting with Colorado’s forests
13th June 2020 theknow.denverpost.com | Earth, Humans

The mushroom project was initially inspired by Colorado’s wildfires.

ANCIENT ASTEROIDS CREATED THE INGREDIENTS FOR LIFE ON EARTH – AND POTENTIALLY MARS, SCIENTISTS SAY
8th June 2020 | independent.co.uk | Ancient, Earth, Space

Asteroids crashing into the ocean could have helped create the ingredients for life, scientists say. By firing different materials together using a propellant gun, they found that amino acids could form when meteorites crash into the water.

Are Magic Mushrooms a Gateway to a Better Life?
8th June 2020 plantsbeforepills.com | Earth, Humans

Every season brings new beginnings. As autumn sets in, mushrooms start to pop up from the ground in many parts of the world. Mushrooms are not just a source of nutrients, but also a source of medicine.

Image from magic mushrooms (Wiki Commons)

On the hunt for megafauna in North America
4th June 2020 phys.org | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth, Humans

Research from Curtin University has found that pre-historic climate change does not explain the extinction of megafauna in North America at the end of the last Ice Age.

Nevada home to 246M-year-old fossil of pregnant ichthyosaur
1st June 2020 phys.org | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

Autumn was closing in fast on northern Nevada when Martin Sander took one last look around the excavation site in the Augusta Mountains 150 miles (241 kilometers) east of Reno.

News stories covering the environment, plant life, and the Earth itself.