Earth news stories

Ancient Fossil That Baffled Scientists For Decades Finally Reveals Its True Identity
18th February 2024 | sciencealert.com | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth, Weird

It’s called Tridentinosaurus antiquus, excavated in 1931, and considered a truly remarkable find. Dating to 280 million years ago, before the dinosaurs, it was thought to represent one of the oldest lizard fossils ever found…Well, now we know why we’ve never found another fossil like it: that soft tissue, according to a new, painstaking analysis, is not soft tissue at all. It’s paint. The research has been published in Palaeontology.

Pterosaur: Unique flying reptile soared above Isle of Skye Published
6th February 2024 | bbc.co.uk | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

A unique species of flying reptile, or pterosaur, that lived 168-166 million years ago has been discovered on the Isle of Skye…Scientists were surprised to find a pterosaur from this period off Scotland’s west coast – they were thought to mostly live in China.

AI helps scholars read scroll buried when Vesuvius erupted in AD79
6th February 2024 | theguardian.com | Ancient, Earth, Humans

Scholars of antiquity believe they are on the brink of a new era of understanding after researchers armed with artificial intelligence read the hidden text of a charred scroll that was buried when Mount Vesuvius erupted nearly 2,000 years ago.

An asteroid may have exploded over Antarctica about 2.5 million years ago
6th February 2024 | sciencenews.org | Ancient, Earth, Space

The evidence comes from a chemical analysis of more than 100 tiny pieces of rock entrained within the White Continent’s ice, researchers report in the Feb. 1 Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

‘We were gobsmacked’: 350 million-year-old tree fossils are unlike any scientists have ever seen
5th February 2024 | livescience.com | Ancient, Earth

Rare tree fossils preserved with their leaves have an architecture unlike any plant known today and represent the earliest evidence of smaller trees growing beneath the forest canopy. See the study, published in the journal Current Biology.

Antarctica mysteries to be mapped by robot plane
4th February 2024 | bbc.co.uk | Animal Life, Earth, Humans, Tech

The autonomous plane will map areas of the continent that have been out of bounds to researchers.

 

Sound makes soil fungi bloom & could restore damaged ecosystems
31st January 2024 newatlas.com | Animal Life, Earth, Weird

A study has found that playing a soundscape to a common, plant-promoting fungus found in soil caused it to grow more rapidly than fungi that weren’t exposed to sound. The novel ‘eco-acoustic’ approach has the potential to restore damaged ecosystems.

Image from: Plogeo (Wiki Commons)

 

 

‘This might be the seeds of life’: Organic matter found on asteroid Ryugu could explain where life on Earth came from
30th January 2024 | livescience.com | Earth, Humans, Space

A detailed investigation of asteroid Ryugu samples has provided further evidence that the organic molecules which gave rise to life to our planet were brought here by ancient comets.

Hell Chicken Discovery Could Tell Us Just How Doomed The Dinosaurs Were
29th January 2024 | sciencealert.com | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

Were dinosaurs already on their way out when an asteroid hit Earth 66 million years ago, ending the Cretaceous, the geologic period that started about 145 million years ago? It’s a question that has vexed paleontologists like us for more than 40 years.

Preparing For Death With the Guidance of Psychedelics
24th January 2024 doubleblindmag.com | Earth, Humans, Misc.

This story begins with a funeral. On my 33rd birthday in June, I entered my coffin on five grams of mushrooms, had it “nailed” shut, and listened while sixteen friends delivered eulogies as the soundtrack to my trip.

A Massive Tsunami Could Have Wiped Out Populations in Stone Age Britain
23rd January 2024 | sciencealert.com | Ancient, Earth, Humans

About 8,200 years ago, an underwater landslide known as the Storegga slide near Norway triggered a tsunami that engulfed parts of northern Europe. Around the same time, there was a massive dip in Britain’s population. See the research here.

The Forces That Drive Evolution May Not Be as Random as We Thought
20th January 2024 | sciencealert.com | Animal Life, Earth, Humans

The random nature of genetic mutation implies evolution is largely unpredictable. But recent research suggests this may not be entirely so, with interactions between genes playing a bigger role than expected in determining how a genome changes.

The ‘dark earth’ revealing the Amazon’s secrets
17th January 2024 | bbc.com | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth, Humans

Amid the discovery of a lost city in the Amazon rainforest, scientists are uncovering a different kind of relic underground – one that’s still being used today.

Mummified skin from creature that lived 290 million years ago is older than the dinosaurs
17th January 2024 | livescience.com | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

Crocodile-like skin belonging to an early species of reptile is the oldest fossilized skin ever discovered, dating back almost 290 million years — 130 million years older than the previous record holder.

Textbooks Need to Be Re-Drawn: Discovery Upends Understanding of Water’s Organization
17th January 2024 | sciencealert.com | Earth, Humans

As analytical methods get more sophisticated, existing scientific models are constantly reexamined. The latest to come under scrutiny is the way molecules are organized at the surface of a volume of salt water. See the research here.

Some of the oldest multicellular life accurately dated for the first time
16th January 2024 cosmosmagazine.com | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

Complex, multicellular life emerged on Earth 600-700 million years ago. For the first time, scientists have accurately dated some of the oldest examples of complex life. See the research here.

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