Friday, November 27, 2009

Hammerhead Shark Eyesight

The mystery of the shape of a hammerhead shark's head has been explained in a study that demonstrates not only superior binocular vision with an increase in head width but also nearly 360° vision in the vertical plane.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ancient Supervolcano Eruption

A recent study provides "incontrovertible evidence" for the eruption of the supervolcano Toba on the island of Sumatra 73,000 years ago, an event that deforested much of India and initiated an "instant Ice Age" lasting about 1800 years and which threatened the human race with extinction.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Young Brown Dwarf Seen

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has observed the youngest brown dwarf yet found, providing valuable insight into how these mysterious objects may form.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ancient Ocean on Mars

A new NASA map adds further evidence that an ancient ocean once covered up to one third of Mars' surface, with extensive valley networks that imply heavy rainfall that would feed such a large body of water.

Monday, November 23, 2009

New Deep Sea Creatures

In the latest update of the ten-year Census of Marine Life, about 5600 new species of deep-sea creatures have been identified living below the level where sunlight ceases, ranging from single-cell animals and tubeworms to large squid and crabs.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Termites Farm Fungus

Termites have been shown to farm certain species of mushrooms and raise them in sustainable monoculture farms for the benefit of their colonies, even to the point of becoming dependent upon their domestic farming production for food.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Three New Ancient Crocodiles

Three new prehistoric crocodile species have been discovered in Africa, two 20-foot-long predators (one with a flat pancake-like head) and one miniature "RatCroc" barely three feet long, revealing a much more diverse crocodilian world that existed 100 million years ago.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Water Found on Moon

NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission that smashed into the Moon's surface about a month ago has revealed evidence of water in the lunar soil—and a significant amount of water instead of just the trace that was expected.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Earth-Sized Stars with Oxygen

Two unusual Earth-sized dwarf stars have been found with oxygen-rich atmospheres, remnants of the collapse of massive supernovae and missing the hydrogen or helium envelopes that typically shield the oxygen from view.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

South African Dinosaur Found

Described as an evolutionary "missing link," a new dinosaur species (Aardonyx celestae) discovered in South Africa could provide insight into how some sauropods transitioned from walking on two legs to four, allowing them to grow to a massive size.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Prehistoric Site Beneath Oxford

A 3.7 hectare site has been discovered beneath Oxford University that includes a prehistoric settlement dating back to the Neolithic or Bronze Age, about 4000 years ago.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chaotic Planetary System

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has imaged a three-body planetary system surrounding the star HR 8799 that shows evidence of a cloud of fine dust kicked up by collisions among smaller bodies, possibly showing a system still in formation with planets yet to have settled into stable orbits.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Aftershocks from Last Century

The small, sporadic earthquakes experienced recently in the American Midwest states are actually long-felt aftershocks from the devastating New Madrid earthquakes of 1811 and 1812

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Iron on Mercury

NASA's Messenger probe has revealed much greater levels of iron and titanium on the planet Mercury than previously estimated, raising further questions about that planet's formation.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Galaxy Cluster Reveals Structure

A huge cluster of recently discovered galaxies some 60 million light-years long point to an underlying structure within the universe, a massive unexplained filament around which galaxies form.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Rift to Become New Ocean

Seismic models reveal that a 35-mile long rift that formed in the desert of Ethiopia in 2005 will eventually expand to form a new ocean within several million years.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

New Ankylosaur Discovered

A new species of armored ankylosaur, Tatankacephalus cooneyorum, has been discovered in early Cretaceous formations of central Montana.