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The photo illustrates the small size of the tarsier compared to a child. Imag via Thinkstock

Tiny tarsier is our distant cousin

This little guy looks like a big-eyed mouse, but a new genetic analysis puts tarsiers on the branch of the primate evolutionary tree that leads to great apes and humans.


What did dinosaurs sound like?

The discovery of the fossil vocal organ of an ancient Antarctic bird suggests that dinosaurs couldn’t sing, but maybe honked.

Photo via Forrest Mims III/ NOAA/ ESRL Global Monitoring Division.

The sound of climate change

Two scientists have set the CO2 record at Mauna Loa – world’s longest-running measure of atmospheric carbon dioxide – to music.

Brocken Spectre via Micheal Burke.

What is the Brocken Spectre?

The Brocken Spectre is your own shadow, cast on mists below you, when you are mountain climbing. The shadow may appear enormous and has a ring around it.

Photo via Daniel de Leeuw Photography

Why trees shed their leaves in the fall

Something to think about while raking.

The general flow of global ocean circulation, with warm surface currents in red, and cold deep ocean currents in blue.Warm salty surface water from the Caribbean moves to the northern Atlantic Ocean, releasing heat to the atmosphere in those far nothern latitudes, then sinks to continue its journey as a cold south-moving current. Image via USGS.

Warm ocean currents are slowing down

Satellite data and ocean sensors show a definite slowdown since 2004 in ocean currents that warm eastern North America and western Europe.

Soberanes fire. Photo via Matthew Henderson / onfirephotos.com

Wildfires in US West doubled in 30 years

A warmer climate has helped send thousands of square miles up in flames, says a new study, which links climate change with the wildfire increase.


Our future doesn’t have to be dismal

Scientists analyzed sustainability projects around the world and identified overarching trends that can potentially help create a more sustainable future.

Snowy Owl on a snowy day. Image via David Hemmings.

Lifeform of the week: Owls

In fact and in fiction, owls have always turned heads.

Scripps geologist Neal Driscoll taking measurements of the onshore sediment layers along the eastern edge of the Salton Sea. Image ivia Scripps.

New earthquake fault found in California

Scientists have discovered a new fault in the earthquake-prone region of Southern California that includes the greater Los Angeles area.

Earth's shadow and full moon rising via Birgit Boden.

When can you see Earth’s shadow?

You can see it any clear evening …

A rare fossil find from Messel Pit in Germany. See the annotated image below. Image via Springer Heidelberg/ Alpha Galileo.

Snake eats lizard eats beetle

Scientists have discovered a 48-million-year-old fossil food chain in Germany. It’s a snake with a lizard in its stomach, which in turn had eaten a beetle.

Canela (left) and Blanquita (right) don’t need symbols to express their opinions. Image credit: Dominique Brand.

How to ask a horse what it wants

Do you want a blanket? Norwegian researchers recently described how they trained horses to use symbols to answer that question.

Hermit crab colonised by zoanthid. Image via Robinson ROV-ERC

Microplastics found in deep-sea animals

Scientists were astonished to discover tiny bits of plastic inside the bodies of animals in the deep ocean.

Jim Grant caught this fogbow over Sunset Cliffs in San Diego. He wrote: "The skies were sunny and clear, and then the fog rolled in, and with it this beautiful fogbow."

What is a fogbow?

Fogbows are rainbows’ cousins – made in much the same process – but with the small water droplets inside a fog instead of larger raindrops.

A comet may have hit Earth 56 million years ago, leaving behind telltale glassy spheres in sediment cores. Image and caption via Science.

Comet strike after dinosaur extinction?

An extraterrestrial impact likely caused the dinosaur extinction 65 million years ago. Did a comet strike 10 million years later cause a global warming?

Donnehue's Cave in Indiana. Image Credit: Sam Frushour.

Clues to ancient earthquakes in caves

Stalagmites on the floors of caves in southern Indiana contain evidence of past earthquakes, scientists say.

Autumn 2016 in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Photo via Jessi Leigh Photography.  Thanks Jessi!

Why do leaves change color in fall?

In the fall, the leaves of some trees turn yellow, orange or red. The bright colors are wonderful to behold. But do they have some hidden purpose?


Are we in a sixth mass extinction?

This short video puts modern extinctions in context by comparing them with Earth’s 5 previous mass extinctions.

Great white shark and bluefin tuna, at Monterey Bay Aquarium. Courtesy of Niall Kennedy via Flickr.com

Shark and tuna convergent evolution

Lamnid sharks and tuna have similar physical traits that make them top ocean predators. But, a new study says, they took very different evolutionary paths.