Nature

0 Comments
For mouthless, lungless bacteria, breathing is a bit more complicated than it is for humans. We inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide; Geobacter - a ubiquitous, groundwater-dwelling genus of bacteria – swallow up organic waste and ‘exhale’ electrons, generating a tiny electric current in the process. Those waste electrons always need somewhere to go (usually into
0 Comments
It’s hard to fathom that carnivorous plants exist. When Charles Darwin first described how a Venus flytrap worked, calling it “one of the most wonderful [plants] in the world”, some people simply didn’t believe him. Today, just as we’ve come to appreciate the gruesome nature of these remarkable predators – which can capture and eat flies, rats,
0 Comments
Earth’s lost eighth continent, Zealandia, sank into the sea between 50 and 35 million years ago. Today, we know the tiny fraction of it that remains above the waves as New Zealand. But before most of Zealandia disappeared – about 60 million years ago – ancient penguins walked upon the 2-million-square-mile continent (5.18 million square kilometres).
0 Comments
It was 1952, and Alan Turing was about to reshape humanity’s understanding of biology. In a landmark paper, the English mathematician introduced what became known as the Turing pattern – the notion that the dynamics of certain uniform systems could give rise to stable patterns when disturbed. Such ‘order from disturbance’ has become the theoretical
0 Comments
Hundreds of elephants that died mysteriously in Botswana’s famed Okavango Delta succumbed to cyanobacteria poisoning, the wildlife department revealed on Monday. The landlocked southern African country boasts the world’s largest elephant population, estimated at around 130,000. More than 300 of the pachyderms have mysteriously died since March, with their intact tusks ruling out the hypothesis
0 Comments
The fall equinox comes this Tuesday at 9:30 am ET (1:30 pm UTC). Although not the best time to balance an egg (that’s an old wives’ tale), the equinox heralds the coming of autumn, cooler temperatures, and shorter days for the Northern Hemisphere, which houses about 90 percent of Earth’s population. For the Southern Hemisphere, it signifies the opposite: warmer
0 Comments
High above the Arctic Circle lies a group of remote Siberian islands where ivory traders and scientists brave sub-zero temperatures to search for extinct creatures preserved in the melting permafrost. Those Lyakhovsky Islands just yielded an unprecedented find: a perfectly preserved adult cave bear - with its nose, teeth, and internal organs still intact. Scientists think the
0 Comments
From bird feathers to fruit skins, the natural world has two main ways of displaying colour: through pigment substances that provide selective colour absorption, or through structural colour – the use of microscopic structures to control light reflection. Now scientists have devised a computer model that explains why the brightest matte structural colours in nature
0 Comments
Picking the kids up from school takes on a different meaning for crocodylian parents. In this photo, taken by India-based photographer Dhritiman Mukherjee, a male freshwater gharial shows us why. Bobbing in the waters of northern India’s National Chambal Sanctuary, the croc waits as more than 100 of his month-old children clamber onto his back for safe
0 Comments
According to ancient legend, a beautiful maiden named Ashima drowned in a river, and turned into stone. This, it has been said for centuries, is how China’s stunning Stone Forest of Shilin first took shape. According to new research, however, there’s another explanation for the phenomenon that gives stone forests their surreal and otherworldly forms,
0 Comments
Two hundred ancient mammoth skeletons have been discovered beneath an airport construction site north of Mexico City – the largest collection of mammoth bones ever found. Archaeologists at Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History first realised the area might hide mammoth remains after they found two human-dug mammoth traps in November as part of
0 Comments
A bubble of methane gas, swelling beneath Siberia’s melting permafrost for who knows how long, has burst open to form an impressive 50-metre-deep (164-foot-deep) crater. The giant hole was first spotted by a TV crew flying overhead, and, according to The Siberian Times, when scientists went to investigate, they found chunks of ice and rock thrown hundreds
0 Comments
Animals have been hibernating for a long, long time, a new study shows. Researchers have analysed 250 million-year-old fossils and found evidence that the pig-sized mammal relation, a genus called Lystrosaurus, hibernated much like bears and bats do today. Finding signs of shifts in metabolism rates in fossils is just about impossible under normal conditions – but