Complete left tusk of an ice-age Woolly Mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) from the Siberian Arctic on the Taimyr Peninsula. Each individual discovery increases our knowledge about the past distribution of these Ice Age giants. © R.-D. Kahlke/ Senckenberg Weimar
27 Aug 2015

Widest distribution of mammoths during the last Ice Age

Ice Age paleontologist Prof. Dr. Ralf-Dietrich Kahlke of the Senckenberg Research Station for Quaternary Paleontology in Weimar recorded the maximum geographic distribution of the woolly mammoth during the last Ice Age and published the most accurate global map in this regard.

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ice11
27 Aug 2015

New research sheds light on end of Snowball Earth period

The second ice age during the Cryogenian period was not followed by the sudden and chaotic melting-back of the ice as previously thought, but ended with regular advances and retreats of the ice, according to research published by scientists from the University of Birmingham in the journal Nature Geoscience.

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HUNTER
21 Aug 2015

Humans as predators: An unsustainable appetite for adults and carnivores

Humans are just one of many predators in this world, but a new study highlights how their intense tendency to target and kill adult prey, as well as other carnivores, sets them distinctly apart from other predators. As humans kill other species in their reproductive prime, there can be profound

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his is a large intact specimen of the fossil, Montsechia. Usually only small fragmentary pieces of the fossil are found. Credit : David Dilcher
17 Aug 2015

IU paleobotanist identifies what could be the mythical ‘first flower’

Indiana University paleobotanist David Dilcher and colleagues in Europe have identified a 125 million- to 130 million-year-old freshwater plant as one of earliest flowering plants on Earth.

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sabre2
13 Aug 2015

Humans responsible for demise of gigantic ancient mammals

Early humans were the dominant cause of the extinction of a variety of species of giant beasts, new research has revealed.

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This image shows one of the last remaining amastrid land snail species on O'ahu, Laminella sanguinea, in the Waianae Mountains. Credit - Robert Cowie, PBRC
11 Aug 2015

Research shows catastrophic invertebrate extinction in Hawai’i and globally

Hawai’i has been called the “extinction capital of the world.” But, with the exception of the islands’ birds, there has until now been no accurate assessment of the true level of this catastrophic loss.

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darwin
10 Aug 2015

How 16th Century observations paved the way for Darwin’s landmark study

Documents dating back to the 16th Century provide a unique insight into one of Darwin’s landmark studies – according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

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stock1
06 Aug 2015

Natural selection, key to evolution, also can impede formation of new species

An intriguing study involving walking stick insects led by the University of Sheffield in England and the University of Colorado Boulder shows how natural selection, the engine of evolution, can also impede the formation of new species.

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Credit : Alan Levine
05 Aug 2015

Origins of life: New model may explain emergence of self-replication on early Earth

When life on Earth began nearly 4 billion years ago, long before humans, dinosaurs or even the earliest single-celled forms of life roamed, it may have started as a hiccup rather than a roar: small, simple molecular building blocks known as “monomers” coming together into longer “polymer” chains and falling apart in the warm pools of primordial ooze over and over again.

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Credit : Mahala Kephart
05 Aug 2015

4 million years at Africa’s salad bar

As grasses grew more common in Africa, most major mammal groups tried grazing on them at times during the past 4 million years, but some of the animals went extinct or switched back to browsing on trees and shrubs, according to a study led by the University of Utah.

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CC-BY. Credit: Zanna Clay/Lui Kotale Bonobo Project
04 Aug 2015

Flexible vocalizations in wild bonobos show similarities to development of human speech

From an early age, human infants are able to produce vocalisations in a wide range of emotional states and situations – an ability felt to be one of the factors required for the development of language. Researchers have found that wild bonobos (our closest living relatives) are able to vocalize in a similar manner. Their findings challenge how we think about the evolution of communication and potentially move the dividing line between humans and other apes.

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E1
03 Aug 2015

Earliest evidence of reproduction in a complex organism

Researchers led by the University of Cambridge have found the earliest example of reproduction in a complex organism. Their new study has found that some organisms known as rangeomorphs, which lived 565 million years ago, reproduced by taking a joint approach: they first sent out an ‘advance party’ to settle in a new area, followed by rapid colonisation of the new neighbourhood. The results, reported today in the journal Nature, could aid in revealing the origins of our modern marine environment.

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glac1
03 Aug 2015

120 year data record shows glacier melting speeding up

The World Glacier Monitoring Service, domiciled at the University of Zurich, has compiled worldwide data on glacier changes for more than 120 years.

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FISH1
30 Jul 2015

New study exposes negative effects of climate change on Antarctic fish

Scientists at University of California Davis and San Francisco State University have discovered that the combination of elevated levels of carbon dioxide and an increase in ocean water temperature has a significant impact on survival and development of the Antarctic dragonfish (Gymnodraco acuticeps).

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algae1
28 Jul 2015

Plant light sensors came from ancient algae

The light-sensing molecules that tell plants whether to germinate, when to flower and which direction to grow were inherited millions of years ago from ancient algae, finds a new study from Duke University.

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Diana Udel, UM Rosenstiel School Communications Office
27 Jul 2015

Abrupt climate change may have rocked the cradle of civilisation

New research reveals that some of the earliest civilizations in the Middle East and the Fertile Crescent may have been affected by abrupt climate change. These findings show that while socio-economic factors were traditionally considered to shape ancient human societies in this region, the influence of abrupt climate change should

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Credit: Photo Julien Soubrier
27 Jul 2015

What killed off the megafauna?

Rapid phases of warming climate played a greater role in the extinction of megafauna in the Late Pleistocene than did human activity, a new study shows.

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CREDIT: PHOTO KIEREN MITCHELL, UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE
27 Jul 2015

Mammoths killed by abrupt climate change

New research has revealed abrupt warming, that closely resembles the rapid man-made warming occurring today, has repeatedly played a key role in mass extinction events of large animals, the megafauna, in Earth’s past.

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EARTH1
22 Jul 2015

Why we live on Earth and not Venus

Compared to its celestial neighbours Venus and Mars, Earth is a pretty habitable place. So how did we get so lucky? A new study sheds light on the improbable evolutionary path that enabled Earth to sustain life.

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chimp1
22 Jul 2015

New evidence of cultural diversification between neighboring chimpanzee communities

For centuries it has been thought that culture is what distinguishes humans from other animals, but over the past decade this idea has been repeatedly called into question.

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PLA
19 Jul 2015

Plate tectonics may have driven the evolution of life on Earth

When Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution by natural selection in 1859, the world hadn’t even heard of plate tectonics. The notion that continents drifted on molten rock currents deep in the Earth’s mantle was unimaginable.

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ice1
17 Jul 2015

New Ice Age may begin by 2030

The arrival of intense cold similar to the one raged during the “Little Ice Age”, which froze the world during the XVII century and in the beginning of the XVIII century, is expected in the years 2030–2040.

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