Nature

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How do you study the evolution of brains, without any ancient brains to study? It’s not a simple proposition, so it’s no surprise that scientists are excited to have scanned the very well-preserved skull of a 20-million-year-old monkey species, Chilecebus carrascoensis. “Human beings have exceptionally enlarged brains, but we know very little about how far back
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Echidna’s are one of Australia’s cutest and weirdest animals. The spiky creatures lay eggs even though they’re mammals, they eat termites but they’re not related to anteaters, and they evolved from an ancestor shared with the duck-billed platypus. And now we’ve learned they also have one of the most impressive bushfire strategies we’ve ever heard
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When scientists ran DNA analysis on a sediment core taken from the floor of the Arctic ocean back in 2010, they found something surprising. A previously unknown organism belonging to the strange domain of microbes called Archaea appeared to have genomic characteristics associated with a totally different domain – Eukaryota. They named their discovery Lokiarchaeota,
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Indian tiger numbers are up, according to one of the most detailed wildlife surveys ever conducted. Tiger populations have risen by 6 percent, to roughly 3,000 animals. The massive survey may set a new world standard in counting large carnivores. The encouraging results validate India’s impressive investments in tiger conservation. A mammoth effort Large, solitary
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When you think of loud sounds you probably imagine earsplitting screams or whole-body-vibrating booms. Not necessarily the abrupt pop that belongs to a tiny 29-millimetre marine worm (Leocratides kimuraorum). But when marine biologist Ryutaro Goto from Kyoto University and colleagues measured the sounds made by these polychaete worms they came in at a whopping 157
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They’re one of the weirdest, most incongruous-looking natural phenomena you could ever see on Earth’s surface: massive dagger-shaped blades of vertically aligned ice, assembled in mysterious flocks in the middle of the desert. These strange ice spire formations – called ‘penitentes‘ due to their resemblance to penitent, praying folk – take shape at high altitudes