Great Barrier Reef

Barrier Reef ‘Re-Cover Up’

A survey of the Great Barrier Reef by the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) has found the northern and central reef regions have the highest coral cover seen since the regular surveys began 36 years ago. The Great Barrier reef is not one single reef but a large series of reefs along the coast […]

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Red Algae

Pollination in the Sea

A group of European researchers have studied a seaweed named Gracilaria gracilis that grows in the tidepools around Europe.  This seaweed is in a class of red algae known as Florideophyceae, and has separate male and female forms.  Unlike many marine organisms the females do not release their eggs into the water to be fertilised, […]

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Trilobites

Trilobite Eyes Inspire Bifocal Lenses

Researchers from China and the USA have studied the eyes of a trilobite named Dalmanitina socialis.  These creatures had ‘bifocal’ eyes consisting of two lenses that bent light at different angles, enabling them to see both close up and far away objects at the same time. The researchers were “inspired by the optical structure of […]

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Mushrooms on Forest Floor

Slugs Ferry Fungal Spores.

Fungi are important for breaking down leaf litter and wood debris in forests, and some form symbiotic relationships with trees and shrubs, which helps nourish both the trees and the fungi.  Mushrooms and other visible fungi are the fruiting bodies, or reproductive structures, of fungi that live in the ground.  They release spores into the […]

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Octopus

10-Armed Octopus Ancestor?

Palaeontologists at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) and Yale University have studied the fossil of soft-bodied creature with 10 arms and claim to have found the oldest known vampyropod – the group of animals that includes octopuses and vampire squids. The fossil was found in the Bear Gulch Lagerstätte of Montana, USA, a […]

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Millipede

Giant Millipedes Roamed Northern England

A group of researchers in the UK have studied the fossil of a giant millipede found after a rock fall on the Northumberland coast in north eastern England. The fossil is a portion of a creature named Arthropleura, and is dated at 326 million years old. There is enough of the creature preserved to enable […]

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Crab on Beach

Modern Crab in Dinosaur Age Amber

Modern crab in dinosaur age amber found entombed in amber from Burma. A group of scientists led by Javier Luque of Harvard University and Lida Xing, China University of Geosciences, Beijing, have studied the fossil crab and found it was complete, and so exquisitely preserved they were able to study it in detail using micro […]

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Phacops Trilobite Eye

Trilobite “Hyper-Eyes”

Trilobite “hyper-eyes” found according to ScienceDaily 30 September 2021, Science Alert 3 October 2021 and Scientific Reports 30 September 2021 doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-98740-z. Trilobite eyes have long been known for precision optics, and now one kind of trilobite has been found to have more complex eyes than previously thought. Trilobites of the suborder Phacopina have two […]

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Horsshoe Crabs

Horseshoe Crab Brains Haven’t Changed

Horseshoe crab brains haven’t changed, according to a report in Science Alert 28 July 2021, Natural History Museum (NHM) Science News 5 August 2021, and Geology, doi: 10.1130/G49193.1, published online 26 July 2021. An international group of scientists from Australia, UK and USA have studied an “exceptionally preserved” fossil horseshoe crab named Euproops danae, found […]

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Crinoid Fossils

“Jurassic Pompeii”

“Jurassic Pompeii” found by amateur rock sleuth Neville Hollingworth, who scoured old maps and records looking for ‘lost’ UK fossil sites. The huge number of sea creatures and land plants in the rocks reminded him of Pompei according to BBC News 22 July 2021. Enter palaeontologists at the Natural History Museum (NHM), London who are […]

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