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Planet Earth Online

Man-made nanoparticles in water slow fish down

Scientists think the nanoparticles damage the fish’s gills, causing oxygen deprivation in the internal organs including the brain.

Baby turtles don’t just go with the flow

With just a few hours of paddling a day, tiny loggerhead hatchlings navigate powerful currents, using the Earth’s magnetic field to orient themselves.

Ancient armored fish had the first teeth

First teeth – probably sharp – were on a fierce armored fish that lived roamed the world’s ocean around 430 to 360 million years ago, say researchers.

Snake venom discovery could aid drug development

Those who need drugs to treat cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure might soon have a reason to thank a snake.

Amazonian tree rings reveal past rainfall

Scientists used tree rings from just eight cedar trees in Bolivia to make a detailed picture of rainfall patterns across the Amazon basin over the last century.

How is pollution changing Lake Baikal?

Some unique life that’s evolved over millions of years in Earth’s oldest and deepest lake is in trouble.

Deforestation decreases tropical rainfall, says study

New research on the way air carries moisture confirms that deforestation has a major effect on tropical rainfall.

Massive methane gas stores could sit beneath Antarctica

If Antarctica’s ice sheets continue to thin as the climate warms, stores of the potent greenhouse gas could be released to the atmosphere, researchers say.

Antarctic Peninsula primed for melt after centuries of warming

What we are seeing is consistent with a human-induced warming on top of a natural one, say researchers.

Skin cancer found in fish for the first time

The disease is remarkably similar to that found in humans and the scientists think UV radiation from the sun is the likely cause.