Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

Diversity

Antarctica yields oldest fossils of giant birds with 21-foot wingspans

Some of the largest birds in history, called pelagornithids, arose a few million years after the mass extinction that killed off the dinosaurs and patrolled the oceans with giant wingspans for some 60 million years. A team of paleontologists has found two fossils — each from individual pelagornithids with wingspans of 20 feet or more — that show this gigantism arose at least 50 million years ago and lasted at least 10 million years.

Modern computational tools may open a new era for fossil pollen research

(Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute) By integrating machine-learning technology with high-resolution imaging, scientists are improving the taxonomic resolution of fossil pollen identifications and greatly enhancing the use of pollen data in ecological and evolutionary research.

Endangered vaquita remain genetically healthy even in low numbers

The critically endangered vaquita has survived in low numbers in its native Gulf of California for hundreds of thousands of years, a new genetic analysis has found. The study found little sign of inbreeding or other risks often associated with small populations.

Tackling alarming decline in nature requires ‘safety net’ of multiple, ambitious goals

A ‘safety net’ made up of multiple ambitious and interlinked goals is needed to tackle nature’s alarming decline, according to an international team of researchers analyzing the new goals for biodiversity being drafted by the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Bat-winged dinosaurs that could glide

(McGill University) Despite having bat-like wings, two small dinosaurs, Yi and Ambopteryx, struggled to fly, only managing to glide clumsily between the trees where they lived, according to a new study led by an international team of researchers, including McGill University Professor Hans Larsson. Unable to compete with other tree-dwelling dinosaurs and early birds, they went extinct after just a few million years. The findings, published in iScience, support that dinosaurs evolved flight in several different ways before modern birds evolved.

Genome sequencing shows climate barrier to spread of Africanized bees

Since the 1950s, ‘Africanized’ honeybees have spread north and south across the Americas until apparently coming to a halt in California and northern Argentina. Now genome sequencing of hundreds of bees from the northern and southern limits shows a gradual decline in African ancestry across hundreds of miles, rather than an abrupt shift.

Microbial diversity below seafloor is as rich as on Earth’s surface

For the first time, researchers have mapped the biological diversity of marine sediment, one of Earth’s largest global biomes. The research team discovered that microbial diversity in the dark, energy-limited world beneath the seafloor is as diverse as in Earth’s surface biomes.

The GovLab launches collective intelligence to solve public problems

(NYU Tandon School of Engineering) A new report from The Governance Lab at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering examines global examples of how public institutions are using new technology to take advantage of the collective action and collective wisdom of people in their communities and around the world to address problems like climate change, loneliness and natural disaster response

In new strategy, Wellcome Trust will take on global health challenges – Science Magazine

With an endowment worth £28 billion, the Wellcome Trust is taking on goal-oriented global health challenges. Arcaid Images/Alamy Stock Photo By Kai KupferschmidtOct. 19, 2020 , 7:01 PM One of the world’s largest nongovernmental funders of science, the Wellcome Trust,…