Nature

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A newly discovered hippo tooth reveals prehistoric hippopotamuses roamed Britain as early as 1.5 million years ago, far earlier than we thought, giving us new insights into the land’s ancient climate. “The tooth closely matches other fossils belonging to the extinct species Hippopotamus antiquus,” said University of Leicester paleobiologist Neil Adams on Twitter. Today’s Britain
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Within one of the lushest places on our planet, an unobtrusive green plant grows amongst many other… green plants. Although long used by the Indigenous Machiguenga people, the plant’s strange mish-mash of characteristics had scientists mystified for 50 years. “I didn’t really think it was special, except for the fact that it had characteristics of plants
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The remnants of DNA may lurk in 125 million-year-old dinosaur fossils found in China. If the microscopic structures are indeed DNA, they would be the oldest recorded preservation of chromosome material in a vertebrate fossil.  DNA is coiled inside chromosomes within a cell’s nucleus. Researchers have reported possible cell nucleus structures in fossils of plants and
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Not all ants are hard workers. Some in the colony slave away only so others can avoid pulling their weight. These freeloading hangers-on are known as social parasites, and they’ve essentially forged an evolutionary shortcut through the comforts of cooperative communities. Instead of building a communal network themselves, social parasites merely exploit ones that already
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As the climate crisis threatens millions of species worldwide, biodiversity conservation is now an all-hands-on-deck operation. Natural history collections play a critical role in this effort as repositories holding records of historical biodiversity shifts, like libraries made of biological specimens. In response to the extinction crisis, the call is out to scour Australia’s collections for
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An ecologist’s blunder led to the release of a ‘Russian doll’ set of stomach-bursting parasites onto a remote Finnish island, a new study has revealed. Thirty years ago, when ecologist Ilkka Hanski introduced Glanville fritillary butterflies (Melitaea cinxia) onto the island of Sottunga in the Åland archipelago, he planned to watch how a population of
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Scientists are working on rechargeable, glow-in-the-dark plant life that could one day replace some of the inefficient, energy-intensive electric lights that we currently rely on for modern-day living. The technology works through embedded nanoparticles that sit near the surface of leaves. A charge from an LED light lasting 10 seconds is enough for the plant
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The world’s longest known cave system just set a new record after surveyors spent hours mapping an additional 8 miles (13 kilometers) of the passageways at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. The corridors at Mammoth Cave now measure a whopping 420 miles (676 kilometers) in length, according to the National Park Service (NPS). That’s
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Ancient New Zealand has been home to an incredible array of absurdly large birds. This has included a waist-high parrot, nicknamed Squawk-zilla (Heracles inexpectatus) – the largest parrot ever known on Earth, possibly hunting for flesh around 20 million years ago. Two-meter-high flightless Moa also made their home there, along with their predator, Haast’s Eagles
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Some types of bacteria are hardy enough to survive in the most inhospitable of conditions – and that includes concrete, as a new study proves. Not only can microbes survive in this dry, inhospitable building material, they can actually thrive there too. The research shows that bacteria could provide early warnings of moisture-induced alkali-silica reactions