Nature

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Hundreds of elephants that died mysteriously in Botswana’s famed Okavango Delta probably succumbed to natural toxins, the wildlife department said Friday. ​The landlocked southern African country has the world’s largest elephant population, estimated to be around 130,000. Around 300 of them have been found dying since March. ​Authorities have so far ruled out anthrax, as
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Not all volcanoes are suddenly explosive. Some spew steady rivers of gloppy, slow-moving lava for millennia on end, like those in the Hawaiian or Galápagos islands. These are what volcanologist Michael Stock from Trinity College Dublin in Ireland calls the ‘boring’ volcanoes – yet underneath their monotonous exterior, lurks a bombshell that Stock and his colleagues
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Similar to orcas and pilot whales, the enigmatic beluga whale has long been assumed to live out their lives in pods based around close maternal ties. But new research shows their social structures go far beyond sibling quid-pro-quo. By combining DNA profiling with mathematical network analysis, researchers have found belugas (Delphinapterus leucas) across the Arctic hang
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When microbiologist Jared Leadbeater returned to his office for the first time in months after a work trip, he found something strange. A cream-coloured manganese carbonate (MnCO3) compound, coating glassware he’d left soaking in his sink, had turned dark. Something had stolen some of its electrons. “I thought, ‘What is that?'” said Leadbeater, a researcher at the
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Scientists have identified an almost-complete skeleton of a 4.8-metre (15.7-foot) long dolphin ancestor that lived in what is now South Carolina during the Oligocene epoch around 25 million years ago. This ‘dolphin’ was the first known echolocating apex predator: as well as its large size, it would’ve had large, tusk-like teeth, and appears to have
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It seems almost certain that an asteroid impact wiped out the dinosaurs. But only almost. Another competing theory won’t completely go away: the extinction-by-volcano theory. A new study from the UK piles more evidence on the asteroid side of the debate, while adding a new volcanic twist. These researchers say that volcanic activity actually helped life recover