January 10, 2023 – In many ways, Madagascar is a biologist’s dream, a real-life experiment in how isolation on an island can spark evolution. About 90% of the plants and animals there are found nowhere else on Earth. But these plants and animals are in major trouble, thanks to habitat loss, over-hunting, and climate change. […]
Fish have been swallowing microplastics since the 1950s
Forget diamonds–plastic is forever. It takes decades, or even centuries, for plastic to break down, and nearly every piece of plastic ever made still exists in some form today. We’ve known for a while that big pieces of plastic can harm wildlife–think of seabirds stuck in plastic six-pack rings–but in more recent years, scientists have […]
Study: When good governments go bad
October 16, 2020 – All good things must come to an end. Whether societies are ruled by ruthless dictators or more well-meaning representatives, they fall apart in time, with different degrees of severity. In a new paper, anthropologists examined a broad, global sample of 30 pre-modern societies. They found that when “good” governments–ones that provided […]
How much can 252-million-year-old ecosystems tell us about modern Earth? A lot.
Dec. 11, 2017 – A whopping 252 million years ago, Earth was crawling with bizarre animals, including dinosaur cousins resembling Komodo dragons and bulky early mammal-relatives, a million years before dinosaurs even existed. New research shows us that the Permian equator was both a literal and figurative hotspot: it was, for the most part, a […]