Shireen Gonzaga

Last known appearance of Homo erectus was in Ngandong, Java

New research shows that Homo erectus, an ancestor of human beings, lived as recently as 108,000 to 117,000 years ago in Ngandong, on the Indonesian island of Java.

Some of the fossilized roots uncovered at the quarry in New York. Via Cardiff University

Remains of Earth’s oldest forest found in New York

Scientists found fossilized root systems of ancient trees – from what’s now Earth’s oldest known forest – near Cairo, New York. They looked “surprisingly modern,” the scientists said.

Southern sea otters resting and napping among kelp fronds in Morro Bay. Photo by Ingrid Taylar via Flickr.

Will sea otters return to San Francisco Bay?

A new study shows that, if they can be returned to San Francisco Bay, California’s southern sea otter population can be tripled. There are now only about 3,000 of the otters left. But, first, they’ll need some help getting past the great white sharks.

Erupting volcano.

New Zealand volcano is on the Pacific Ring of Fire

Here’s information about New Zealand’s White Island volcano – which erupted on Monday, December 9 – in the context of the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Monarch butterfly on a milkweed flower. Image courtesy of Ryan Norris, University of Guelph.

What monarch butterflies prefer

Will our survival strategy for monarchs work? Initiatives emphasize milkweed plantings along roadsides. New research shows egg-laying monarchs much prefer off-road farmlands.

A depiction of the small rat-like mammals, that lived 145 million years ago, believed to be the earliest known ancestors of most modern mammals, including humans. Image courtesy of Dr Mark Witton, palaeo-artist, University of Portsmouth.

Scientists find teeth of early human ancestor

A remarkable find of fossil teeth from tiny, furry-tailed creatures – thought by scientists to be a human ancestor – dating back 145 million years.

A Carolina chickadee with a juicy caterpillar. Photo courtesy of Desiree Narango and Doug Tallamy.

Want birds in your yard? Plant native trees

A recently published study confirms that native trees are most effective in hosting caterpillars, an important food for birds.

A front view of Lucy, based on a reconstruction by paleoartist John Gurche. Image credit: Smithsonian Institution Human Origins Initiative.

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.