Nature

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The Jurassic seas were a formidable place – home to sharks, crocodiles, sea monsters, and, apparently, piranha-like, flesh-eating fish. A nearly-complete fossil of a ray-finned bony fish with extra sharp teeth has scientists thinking they’ve found the piranha’s Jurassic equivalent.   If they’re right, this would be the oldest evidence of a flesh-eating bony fish
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Trying to imagine what dinosaurs actually looked like 66 million years ago is no easy task – it involves some painstakingly detailed fossil analysis, some intelligent guesswork, and a bit of creative imagination.   As scientific methods develop and new research is published though, our concepts of dinosaur appearances are getting better over time. Now
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Stinging trees grow in rainforests throughout Queensland and northern New South Wales in Australia. The most commonly known (and most painful) species is Dendrocnide moroides (Family Urticaceae), first named “gympie bush” by gold miners near the town of Gympie in the 1860s.   My first sting was from a different species Dendrocnide photinophylla (the shiny-leaf
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An international team of scientists has discovered evidence of common bacteria living so far underground and away from sunlight that we may have to re-evaluate the habitability of deep subsurface ecosystems – including those of alien worlds.   There’s a deep terrestrial environment – sometimes called the ‘dark biosphere’ – that extends hundreds of metres
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Animals don’t always stick to traditional menus, and they certainly don’t read the descriptions of their diets we include in textbooks. When it recently emerged that a notorious carnivore (a shark) was actually selecting the vegetarian option, scientists were intrigued.   We’ve known for some time that bonnethead sharks consume large quantities of seagrass, but
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A magnitude 7.5 earthquake has struck off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, triggering a 1.8-metre (6-foot) tsunami. The wave tore through several of the island’s coastal cities and towns, including the capital Palu, on Friday.   The devastating quake has been followed by multiple strong aftershocks, and comes shortly after a magnitude
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There’s been more scientific debate over the title of the world’s biggest bird than you might have realised, with many candidates coming and going down the years as new discoveries and new research has come to light.   Now though, we may finally have a winner. Presenting Vorombe titan, a new species of flightless elephant
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Clever and strange, octopuses are fascinating creatures with incredible problem-solving skills and breathtaking camouflage. But overall, they are short-lived, typically around for just one to two years.   That’s because they’re semelparous, which means they reproduce just once before they die. With female octopuses, once she’s laid her eggs, that’s it. In fact, the mother even
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Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, the nation’s largest protected area, stretches over half-a-million square miles of sea and land in Hawaii. It also includes wonderfully odd and stretchy critters, as a research team aboard the exploration vessel Nautilus observed Thursday.   The Nautilus, operated by the nonprofit Ocean Exploration Trust, has been streaming excursions online since 2012. (The Nautilus
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For centuries, humans have endeavoured to discover and describe the sum of Earth’s biological diversity. Scientists and naturalists have catalogued species from all continents and oceans, from the depths of Earth’s crust to the highest mountains, and from the most remote jungles to our most populated cities.   This grand effort sheds light on the
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Early on the night of May 5, a team of scientists snuck out onto the white beaches of south Florida to attach a transmitter in the shell of a nesting leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea).   They nicknamed her Isla, and for months, members of the non-profit organisation Florida Leatherbacks, Inc. have been following this turtle