Melting Glaciers Make More Salmon Rivers

Glaciers in the Pacific Northwest of USA and Canada are melting and turning into streams of flowing fresh water. Scientists from the University of Birmingham have studied some of these new rivers and found salmon had colonised them when migrating from the ocean into rivers in order to spawn. These scientists have joined with Kara […]

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Has Our Sun Lost Its Evil Twin?

A popular theory about the formation of stars is that most stars are formed in pairs or triplets. An article in Science Alert 9 December 2021 asks: “If most stars are born with a partner, where’s ours?” To answer this question the article refers to a study by two astronomers from UC Berkeley and the […]

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No Bears at Laetoli

In the mid-1970s a team of palaeontologists led by Mary Leakey found numerous footprints in a layer of solidified volcanic ash at Laetoli, Tanzania. Those found in a location called Site G have been studied in detail. They are so like human footprints that some scientists have commented they could have been made by people […]

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Bruno and Antonio – Two Italian Dinosaurs

An international group of scientists researching a fossil site at Villaggio del Pescatore in north-eastern Italy have found the remains of the “biggest and most complete dinosaur ever found in the country”. This specimen, nicknamed Bruno, along with a smaller specimen named Antonio have been identified as belonging to the species Tethyshadros insularis – a […]

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Tool Use and Language Improve Each Other

A group of researchers from French and Swedish institutions have studied brain activity patterns in people learning a manual task involving using a new tool and learning to analyse sentences with complex syntax. They found that learning the new tool-using task was associated with improvement in language skill, and training in analysing complex sentences improved […]

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Vulture Bees Lost and Gained Microbes

Almost all bees get their nutrients from flowers. Pollen provides protein and nectar provides carbohydrates. A group of scientists have found three closely related bees of the genus Trigona that feed off dead flesh, rather than flowers. These “vulture bees” get their protein by chewing pieces of flesh from dead animals and gain additional carbohydrates […]

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Birds Go Truffling

Truffles are underground fruiting bodies, i.e. reproductive structures, of fungi that live in a symbiotic relationship with trees. They have been described as underground mushrooms. They produce spores, but unlike mushrooms and toadstools they cannot release them into the air in order to be dispersed to a new location, where they can grow. Therefore, truffles […]

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Seagrass Symbiosis

Seagrasses are not seaweed. They are flowering plants, just like grasses that grow on land, but they grow on the sea beds in shallow coastal waters, and form an important food source and habitat for many sea creatures. Like land plants they need a good supply of nitrogen to grow well, and plants can usually […]

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New Zealand Goes Batty

Each year the conservation organisation Forest and Bird asks people to vote for New Zealand’s Bird of Year.  This year the organisers included the long tailed bat in the list of candidates.  The bat received 7,031 out of 56,733 votes, putting it almost 3,000 votes ahead of the next most popular choice, the kakapo.  The […]

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