Nature

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Monkeys, much like humans, could be engaged in the process of self-domesticating themselves, altering the course of their own evolution and physiology through the way they behave with one another, new research suggests. It’s long been recognised that domestication in animals promotes certain physical features that aren’t observed in their wild counterparts. This phenomenon –
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Matthew Kasson usually studies fungi that sicken trees and wipe out crops. But lately, he’s gotten into moldy desserts. A plant pathologist and mycologist at West Virginia University, Kasson tested how various types of fungi grow on marshmallow Peeps last year. So when he saw photos of strange-looking Twinkies on the Twitter account of former biology professor
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An international traveler just broke the world’s record for longest nonstop flight. Among birds that is. A bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica) just flew for 11 days straight from Alaska to New Zealand, traversing a distance of 7,500 miles (12,000 kilometers) without stopping, breaking the longest nonstop flight among birds known to scientists, The Guardian reported.  Bar-tailed
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At first glance the apparently barren expanses of the Sahel and Sahara deserts feature little greenery, but detailed satellite imagery combined with computer deep learning has revealed a different picture. In fact, some 1.8 billion trees dot parts of the West African Sahara and Sahel deserts and so-called sub-humid zone, a previously uncounted bounty that
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The world’s most indestructible critter just got even more indestructible. Not content with its existing abilities to survive extreme temperatures, pressures, and the airless vacuum of space, the humble yet seemingly unkillable tardigrade looks to have unlocked another amazing superpower: the ability to withstand lethal doses of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. While we have observed tardigrades
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An international team of scientists has helped to unravel a longstanding mystery about how rare earth element deposits form underground – and sometimes seem to disappear without a trace. Rare earth elements (REEs) are a set of 17 valuable chemical elements that are incredibly important in manufacturing technological devices, being used as critical raw materials
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Tarantulas don’t just come in brown and black. These large, hairy spiders can also display wonderful hues of blue, green, purple, and red. Yet tarantulas are most active at twilight, meaning they’re ‘crepuscular’ animals – where vibrant colours are significantly harder to see (at least for us). Until now, researchers didn’t know if they could even see
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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
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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,
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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).
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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
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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
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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