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Shireen Gonzaga
A front view of Lucy, based on a reconstruction by paleoartist John Gurche. Image credit: Smithsonian Institution Human Origins Initiative. http://humanorigins.si.edu/australopithecus-afarensis-lucy-adult-female-reconstruction-base-al-288-1-artist-john-gurche-front

Human ancestor Lucy a tree climber

Lucy lived 3.18 million years ago in what’s now Ethiopia. An analysis of high-resolution CT scans of her fossilized skeleton shows she was equipped for climbing trees.

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.

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.

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.

European earthworm species Lumbricus terrestris. Image courtesy of Simone Cesarz.

Earthworm invaders alter northern forests

Native plant diversity in forests of northern North America is declining due to an invasion by earthworms introduced hundreds of years ago from Europe.

A sample from the 3.7-billion-year-old stromatolite fossils. The stromatolites are small wave-like mounds in this image. Image via Allen P. Nutman/ Nature.

3.7-billion-year-old fossils show early life

Earth’s earliest lifeforms were single-celled microbes. The new fossil discovery places them on Earth even earlier than previously thought.

goblin-shark-video-still

Goblin shark video, Greenland shark news

Japanese scientists utilize dramatic video to understand how goblin sharks feed. Danish scientists show that Greenland sharks can live to be nearly 400 years old!

Several Indian Ocean rockskippers (Alticus monochrus), on a rock at the intertidal zone in Mauritius. Image via Georgina M. Cooke.

Many fish evolved to survive on land

“A fish out of water might seem an extraordinary thing, but in fact it is quite a common phenomenon,” said these researchers.

Lead study author Josh Stewart follows a giant oceanic manta ray at Bahia de Banderas off mainland Pacific Mexico. Image via Scripps Oceanography/ Octavio Aburto/ PBS

Surprise! Some mantas are homebodies

Oceanic manta rays have long been thought to migrate great distances. But Indo-Pacific mantas, at least, are more local commuters than long-distance travelers.

The first-born baby olm made its debut on May 30, 2016. Image credit: Postojna Cave.

Rare salamander eggs finally hatch

Four months ago, a rare salamander species known as an olm – once believed to be baby dragons – laid 60 rare eggs. Now the eggs have hatched!