Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

Evolution

Gerald Joyce elected to Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

(Salk Institute) Salk Professor Gerald Joyce, a pioneer in the field of in vitro evolution, has been elected to the prestigious Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences as a foreign member. The Royal Swedish Academy’s approximately 460 Swedish and 175 foreign members together represent some of the world’s foremost experts in the sciences.

Do toxic gases make advanced extraterrestrial life less likely?

A new study suggests that many exoplanets – worlds orbiting distant stars – might have an overabundance of toxic gases in their atmospheres. If so, that would make the evolution of complex life forms more difficult.

Beyond climate tipping points

Greenhouse gas levels exceed the stability threshold of the ice sheets by Andrew Glikson As the world keeps increasing its carbon emissions and exports, rising in 2018 to a record 33.1 billion ton per year, the atmospheric greenhouse gas level…

The science behind puppy dog eyes

You know that look your dog gives you, with the raised eyebrows, that melts your heart? A new study says that wolves don’t do it. It’s a part of how dogs have evolved to communicate with humans.

Dental microwear provides clues to dietary habits of lepidosauria

(Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz) High-resolution microscopic images of the surface of dental enamel of lepidosauria, which is a subclass of reptiles including monitor lizards, iguanas, lizards, and tuatara, allow scientists to determine their dietary habits. The enamel wear patterns reveal significant differences between carnivores and herbivores, but also allow finer distinctions, such as between algae-, fruit-, and mollusk-eating species. These findings are the result of research by a team led by scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

Scientists map huge undersea fresh-water aquifer off US Northeast

(Earth Institute at Columbia University) In a new survey of the sub-seafloor off the US Northeast coast, scientists have made a surprising discovery: a gigantic aquifer of relatively fresh water trapped in porous sediments lying below the salty ocean. It appears to be the largest such formation yet found in the world.

Narwhals and belugas can interbreed

A team of researchers has compiled the first and only evidence that narwhals and beluga whales can breed successfully. DNA and stable isotope analysis of an anomalous skull from the Natural History Museum of Denmark has allowed researchers to confirm the existence of a narwhal-beluga hybrid.

Spiders risk everything for love

(University of Cincinnati) A biology study finds that blue jays can easily spot wolf spiders engaged in their courtship rituals. The results demonstrate the powerful influence of sexual selection.