Complex landscapes affect animal cognitive evolution

Land animals are often smarter than aquatic animals but it is still unclear exactly how their cognition developed. In @NatureComms, @malcommaciver and #UgurcanMugan found that complex landscapes and the ability of land animals to see more in air compared to fish in water may have led to planning circuitry in the brains of land animals.
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Et tu, Okmok? Alaska’s Okmok Volcano Contributed to Fall of Roman Republic and the Ptolemaic Kingdom

As the Roman Republic began to fall, the Earth suffered from extreme cold and famine that helped push Rome’s instability to its ultimate collapse. The cause of the extreme climate? The eruption of an Alaskan volcano on the opposite side of the world. Continue reading Et tu, Okmok? Alaska’s Okmok Volcano Contributed to Fall of Roman Republic and the Ptolemaic Kingdom

Atmospheric Gases on Other Planets Could Help us Find Alien Life

by Kerry McGowen Have you ever wondered how scientists hunt for alien life on other planets? What are they looking for? Before jumping straight into the search for aliens, scientists look for planets that could support alien life in the first place. However, this is no easy task. In the Milky Way alone, which is the galaxy to which our eight-planet solar system belongs, there … Continue reading Atmospheric Gases on Other Planets Could Help us Find Alien Life

Insights from the Past: Lampreys give teeth to theories of vertebrate immune system evolution

by Aleks Prochera figures by Jovana Andrejevic Imagine wading through the fresh waters of the Paleozoic era over 300 million years ago. You bump into various ancient marine creatures from fishes adorned with horseshoe-shaped shields to aquatic scorpions the size of a modern-day seal. Around you, however, there also exists an unseen world teeming with microbes: viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Despite their deceivingly microscopic size, these organisms pose a … Continue reading Insights from the Past: Lampreys give teeth to theories of vertebrate immune system evolution