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Oldest broken bone reveals our ancestors’ switch to life on land

Posted on 20 May 2015 in Animal Behaviour, Earth Science, Evolution, Featured, Journalism, Palaeontology

It was one small fall for a tetrapod, but it signals one giant leap for tetrapod kind. A broken leg bone pushes back the emergence of our four-legged ancestors from water on to land by at least 2 million years. Image: 2015 Bishop et al.

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Rock-forming microbes may be suited for life on other planets

Posted on 6 May 2015 in Earth Science, Evolution, Journalism

They are, perhaps, the world’s deepest architects. Microbes living beneath the sea floor near methane seeps construct extensive rocky deposits – and then live inside them. The organisms may be representatives of a distinct lifestyle that could be well-suited to conditions on harsh, alien worlds. Image: dimsis

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Antarctica’s Blood Falls are a sign of life below ground

Posted on 29 Apr 2015 in Earth Science, Featured, Journalism

We already know that there is liquid water – and life – in some of the lakes beneath Antarctica’s ice. Blood Falls is a sign of something else: that the ground, too, holds liquid water, and that it may have extensive microbial activity. Image: DLR_de

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Miniature sea snails found in acidic sea near volcanic seeps

Posted on 20 Apr 2015 in Environment, Journalism, Life

It’s the survival of the smallest. As ocean acidification begins to bite, some marine species might adapt by shrinking – threatening the profitability of commercial fisheries. Image: Jason Hall-Spencer

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Baboon bone found in famous Lucy skeleton

Posted on 10 Apr 2015 in Featured, Human Origins, Journalism

Lucy, arguably the world’s most famous early human fossil, is not quite all she seems. A careful look at the ancient hominin’s skeleton suggests one bone may actually belong to a baboon. Image: Le Grand Portage

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