Nature

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Prepare for some dark and stormy nights (and days). This year’s Atlantic hurricane season, which begins June 1 and lasts until November 30, will bring another wave of higher- than-average storm formation, following in the footsteps of 2020’s record-shattering season, according to the latest forecast by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). On Thursday (May 20),
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Previously undiscovered underwater currents can seriously increase the power of hurricanes, a new study shows, research which should make storm system forecasts more accurate in the future. The findings were made through detailed measurements of the 2017 Category 5 storm Hurricane Maria, taken from a suite of subsurface oceanographic instruments. The analysis revealed interactions between
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More than mere beautiful, coveted stones, diamonds hold another sort of wealth: fragments of Earth’s deep history.  From flaws within the mineral’s near-perfect lattice, scientists have just worked out how to extract long-hidden records of our planet’s past. “We like the ones that no one else really wants,” said geochemist Yaakov Weiss from Columbia University,
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A large-scale animal study has revealed something rather interesting about yawning: Vertebrates with larger brains and more neurons tend to have longer-lasting yawns. Researchers collected data on 1,291 separate yawns from zoo trips and online videos, covering a total of 55 mammal species and 46 bird species, and found “robust positive correlations” between how long
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A tiny, meat-eating dinosaur had superb low-light vision and hearing that was likely as good as an owl’s. And like an owl, the wee dinosaur probably used those exceptional abilities to stalk and catch its desert prey under the cover of darkness. Owl-like Shuvuuia (shu-VU-ya) was a theropod – a three-toed and bipedal carnivorous dinosaur. There’s only one known
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Sharks are known for their long-distance migrations – across thousands of kilometers – but what’s not clear is exactly how they navigate. An interesting new experiment involving swimming pools and magnetic fields may give us some big hints, however. Knowing that sharks are sensitive to electromagnetic fields, researchers ran tests involving 20 juvenile bonnethead (Sphyrna
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The sky is full of exceptional birds. Cardinals bedecked with half-male, half-female plumage; godwits that can soar 7,500 miles (12,000 kilometers) across oceans nonstop; parrots that can best Harvard undergrads in a classic con game (no student loans required). Then, there are birds whose only claim to fame is their ugliness – and, according to a new study, those may be the most
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When considering matters of intelligence among animals, it’s not irrational to assume size matters. Bigger bodies allow for bigger brains, after all, and bigger brains provide the potential real estate for developing better problem-solving skills. Yet neurons don’t work for free, a fact that constrains how nervous systems might evolve in size and complexity in
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Mantis shrimp wield a spring-loaded appendage that punches through water with explosive force – and their babies can start swinging just nine days after they hatch. In a new study, published Thursday (April 29) in the Journal of Experimental Biology, scientists studied larval Philippine mantis shrimp (Gonodactylaceus falcatus) originally collected from Oahu, Hawaii. The team also reared some
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Why did the sponge cross the seabed? It’s a legitimate question, especially since scientists have only just now discovered that these strange organisms may be significantly more sprightly than anybody ever realized. In a new study, researchers surveyed the deep Arctic seabed with a remotely operated submersible, looking for signs of life in the bottom
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Deep underground, in mysterious caverns that seem almost measureless to humans, caves have devised their own strange ways of keeping time as the eternities pass by. Over millennia, a ponderous exchange takes place so slowly, it makes the growing of grass look action-packed in comparison. Hanging from cave ceilings, downward-growing stalactites drip water containing chemicals
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Confirming a new species of octopus usually involves lab tests and dissections. Not so with the Grimpoteuthis imperator dumbo octopus that has just been identified, with non-invasive scanning doing almost all of the work. Discovered in the northern part of the Emperor Seamounts, an underwater mountain ridge in the northwest Pacific Ocean, researchers identified G. imperator through