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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MAMMOTH11
06 Jul 2015

How the mammoth got its wool: Genetic changes are identified

Evolutionary change in a gene resurrected in the lab from the extinct woolly mammoth altered the gene’s temperature sensitivity and likely was part of a suite of adaptations that allowed the mammoth to survive in harsh arctic environments, according to new research.

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Credit: Giant Screen Films © 2012 D3D Ice Age, LLC
02 Jul 2015

First comprehensive analysis of the woolly mammoth genome completed

The first comprehensive analysis of the woolly mammoth genome reveals extensive genetic changes that allowed mammoths to adapt to life in the arctic.

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01 Jul 2015

Dagger-like Canines of Saber-toothed Cats Took Years to Grow

New research shows that the fearsome teeth of the saber-toothed cat Smilodon fatalis fully emerged at a later age than those of modern big cats, but grew at a rate about double that of their living relatives.

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crater
30 Jun 2015

Researchers calculate amount of undiscovered meteorite impact sites on Earth’s surface

The geologists Prof. Dr. Stefan Hergarten and Prof. Dr. Thomas Kenkmann from the Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences of the University of Freiburg have published the world’s first study on the question of how many meteorite craters there should be on the Earth’s surface.

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natural1
29 Jun 2015

Extreme makeover: Mankind’s unprecedented transformation of Earth

Human beings are pushing the planet in an entirely new direction with revolutionary implications for its life, a new study by researchers at the University of Leicester has suggested.

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Courtesy of Robin Wordsworth Caption: Conceptual rendition of the competing warm and cold scenarios for early Mars
29 Jun 2015

Unveiling the ancient climate of Mars

The high seas of Mars may never have existed. According to a new study that looks at two opposite climate scenarios of early Mars, a cold and icy planet billions of years ago better explains water drainage and erosion features seen on the planet today.

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This skull of a scarlet macaw (Ara macao) was excavated from Pueblo Bonito in New Mexico by researchers from the American Museum of Natural History in 1897. Credit : AMNH/D. Finnin
25 Jun 2015

Scarlet macaw skeletons point to early emergence of Pueblo hierarchy

New work on the skeletal remains of scarlet macaws found in an ancient Pueblo settlement indicates that social and political hierarchies may have emerged in the American Southwest earlier than previously thought.

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rabbit
09 Jun 2015

What rabbits can tell us about Neanderthal extinction?

When thinking about the extinction of Neanderthals some 30,000 years ago, rabbits may not be the first thing that spring to mind. But the way rabbits were hunted and eaten by Neanderthals and modern humans – or not, as the case may be – may offer vital clues as to why one species died out while the other flourished.

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flood1
09 Jun 2015

Floods as war weapons

A new study shows that, from 1500 until 2000, about a third of floods in southwestern Netherlands were deliberately caused by humans during wartimes.

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nut1
02 Jun 2015

Study explores how past Native-American settlement modified Western New York forests

A new study by University at Buffalo geographers explores how humans altered the arboreal make-up of Western New York forests before European settlers arrived in large numbers.

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