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The world needs death and decomposition

The world needs death and decomposition

What if roadkill piled beside the road and never decomposed? What if massive fish kills washed up on beaches and remained for eternity? First off, it...

Scientists predict extinction risk for hard-to-track species

Species are going extinct all over the world: Scientists believe that Earth is losing between 200 and 2,000 species every year. That number is squishy,...

Most severe mass extinction on Earth occurred with no early warning signs

End-Permian extinction, which wiped out most of Earth’s species, was instantaneous in geological time. The most severe mass extinction in Earth’s history occurred with almost...

How phytoplankton survive in ocean gyres with low nutrient supplies

Subtropical gyres are huge, sustained currents spanning thousands of kilometers across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, where very little grows. With nutrients in short supply,...

558 million-year-old fat reveals earliest known animal

Scientists have discovered molecules of fat in an ancient fossil to reveal the earliest confirmed animal in the geological record that lived on Earth...
Earth's oldest animals formed complex ecological communities

Earth’s oldest animals formed complex ecological communities

A new analysis is shedding light on the earth's first macroscopic animals: the 570-million-year-old, enigmatic Ediacara biota. Ediacaran fossils have a slightly bizarre appearance not shared...

A single gene mutation may have helped humans become optimal long-distance runners

Two to three million years ago, the functional loss of a single gene triggered a series of significant changes in what would eventually become...

Scientists discover human gut bacteria can produce electricity

While bacteria that produce electricity have been found in exotic environments like mines and the bottoms of lakes, scientists have missed a source closer...
Seeds in space

Seeds in space: How well can they survive harsh, non-Earth conditions

Will we someday colonize space? Will our children visit other planets? To achieve goals like these, we’ll need to crack one crucial challenge: how to...
Why Earth has remained stable so long for life to evolve over billions of years

Why Earth has remained stable so long for life to evolve over billions of...

Famous theory of the living Earth upgraded to 'Gaia 2.0' A time-honored theory into why conditions on Earth have remained stable enough for life to...