Earth news stories

Traces of ancient rainforest in Antarctica point to a warmer prehistoric world
2nd April 2020 | | Ancient, Earth

Researchers have found evidence of rainforests near the South Pole 90 million years ago, suggesting the climate was exceptionally warm at the time.

Tree rings could pin down Thera volcano eruption date
31st March 2020 | Ancient, Earth, Humans

Charlotte Pearson’s eyes scanned a palm-sized chunk of ancient tree. They settled on a ring that looked “unusually light,” and she made a note without giving it a second thought. Three years later, and armed with new methodology and technology, she discovered that the light ring might mark the year that the Thera volcano on the Greek island of Santorini erupted over the ancient Minoan civilization.

How cannabis and humans evolved together
31st March 2020 | | Ancient, Earth, Humans

For tens of thousands of years, Homo sapiens has been developing mutually beneficial relationships with other species, from dogs and cats to bacteria and breadfruit. These interactions have allowed our different life forms to evolve and flourish together. These relationships are examples of mutualistic coevolution, which happens when multiple species beneficially affect each other’s progress over time.

Nature can be source of solace in crisis, says David Attenborough
30th March 2020 | | Animal Life, Earth, Humans

The natural world can be a source of solace during times of crisis, Sir David Attenborough has said. Speaking about the climate, the broadcaster and naturalist, 93, said the world was at an unprecedented point.

Frogs’ skulls are more bizarre (and beautiful) than you ever imagined
27th March 2020 | | Earth, Weird

Frogs’ heads may look smooth and rounded on their surfaces, but peek under the skin of some species and you’ll find skulls that resemble the heads of mythical dragons, studded with spikes, spines and other bony structures.

Scientists Agree: Younger Dryas Impact Event Wiped Out Ancient Civilization | Ancient Architects
23rd March 2020 | Ancient, Earth, Humans

A new research paper has been published in Scientific Reports regarding an ancient civilisation in what is modern-day Syria that was wiped out by the cataclysm, as academics finally come round to the idea that yes this event did happen.

Ancestor of all animals identified in Australian fossils
23rd March 2020 | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

A team led by UC Riverside geologists has discovered the first ancestor on the family tree that contains most familiar animals today, including humans.

Diamond samples in Canada reveal size of lost continent
21st March 2020 | | Ancient, Earth, Humans, Tech

Canadian scientists have discovered a fragment of an ancient continent, suggesting that it was 10% larger than previously thought. They were studying diamond samples from Baffin Island, a glacier-covered land mass near Greenland, when they noticed a remnant of North Atlantic Craton.

How fungi’s knack for networking boosts ecological recovery after bushfires
21st March 2020 | Earth, Humans

The aftermath of wildfires can make landscapes appear devoid of life. Yet under the ash beds lies a vast living network of fungi.

Darkness, not cold, likely responsible for dinosaur-killing extinction
21st March 2020 | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

New research finds soot from global fires ignited by an asteroid impact could have blocked sunlight long enough to drive the mass extinction that killed most life on Earth, including the dinosaurs, 66 million years ago.

Fish sprouted fingers before they ventured onto land, fossil shows
19th March 2020 | | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth, Humans

A 380-million-year-old fossil of a fish has revealed that fingers evolved in vertebrates before the creatures wriggled out of the sea and evolved into land-dwelling creatures, as a new study describes.

Scientists ‘prove Darwin’s survival of the fittest theory’
19th March 2020 | | Animal Life, Earth, Humans

Scientists have proved one of Charles Darwin’s theories of evolution – survival of the fittest – for the first time. A researcher at St John’s College, University of Cambridge, found that mammal subspecies play a more important role in evolution than previously thought.

How to clear the oil spills of the Amazon rainforest
18th March 2020 | | Animal Life, Earth, Humans

For decades, pits of waste crude oil have dotted the Amazon rainforest in northern Ecuador. Now people are using resilient plants, fungi and bacteria to try to clean them up.

Roger Phillips: ‘Fungi will have a role in ridding the world of plastic
16th March 2020 | | Earth, Humans, Misc.

Britain’s original forager on his eight decades of adventures in wild food and why mushrooms were once associated with witchcraft.

These microbial communities have learned to live at Earth’s most extreme reaches
14th March 2020 | | Earth, Humans, Tech

At the bottom of the Indian Ocean, in one of the deepest layers of Earth’s crust ever explored, researchers are finding life. An analysis of rock samples from Atlantis Bank, part of a seafloor mountain where deep crustal rock is exposed close to the surface, has revealed microbes adapted to life within nutrient-poor, hairline fractures in the earth.

Earth’s mantle, not its core, may have generated planet’s early magnetic field
12th March 2020 | Ancient, Earth

New research lends credence to an unorthodox retelling of the story of early Earth that was first proposed by a geophysicist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California.

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