Scientific American Podcast: 60-Second Science

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The Denisovans Expand Their Range Into China

Evidence of the ancient humans was limited to a cave in Siberia—but now, scientists have found genetic remains of the Denisovans in China. Christopher Intagliata reports.  Much like modern humans, the Neanderthals roamed widely throughout Europe. We know because they left behind extensive evidence, usually bones or tools.  But their cousins, the...

Undersea Earthquakes Reveal Sound Warming Info

Travel time differences for sound waves produced by undersea earthquakes in the same place at different times can provide details about ocean warming. To us humans, climate change feels like something that’s happening to the atmosphere. But most of the action is actually at sea—about 90 percent of the heat that gets trapped by greenhouse gases...

Duckbill Dino Odyssey Ended in Africa

A duckbill dinosaur jawbone found in Morocco means that dinosaurs crossed a large body of water to reach Africa.   In North America, fossils of duckbill dinosaur are abundant. So abundant that paleontologists sometimes ignore them in search of more exciting species, like T. Rex or Triceratops. “They were so common we often wouldn't collect them...

Early Mammals Had Social Lives, Too

Chipmunk-like animals that lived among the dinos appear to have been social creatures, which suggests that sociality arose in mammals earlier than scientists thought. Christopher Intagliata reports. Seventy-six million years ago, a group of small mammals huddled in a burrow, in what's now Montana. They were good diggers—most likely furry—and petite. ...

Divide and Conquer Could Be Good COVID Strategy

COVID might be fought efficiently with fewer shutdowns by restricting activities only in a particular area with a population up to 200,000 when its case rate rises above a chosen threshold.   Public health experts shake their heads at the chaotic political divisions and inconsistent policies that have undermined attempts to control the spread of...

Zebra Coloration Messes With Fly Eyes

Horseflies misjudge landing on zebra patterns compared with solid grey or black surfaces, which provides evidence for why evolution came up with the black and white pattern. Everyone loves zebras. No doubt it’s the natty stripes, no doubt. But recent research into why the stripes exist indicates that the markings may be something of a mixed blessing...

Science Sound(E)scapes: Head Banging and Howling in the Amazon

Need a break from politics and pandemic? You're probably not in the Amazon rainforest right now, but we can take you there in audio. Today, in part three of our three-part audio sound escape, we ascend into the trees where howler monkeys and crested-crimson woodpeckers rule the airwaves. JD: This is Scientific American's sixty-second science. I’m...

Science Sound(E)scapes: Head-Banging and Howling in the Amazon

Need a break from politics and pandemic? You're probably not in the Amazon rainforest right now, but we can take you there in audio. Today, in part three of our three-part audio sound escape, we ascend into the trees where howler monkeys and crested-crimson woodpeckers rule the airwaves. JD: This is Scientific American's sixty-second science. I’m...

Science Sound(E)scapes: Amazon Frog Choruses at Night

Need a break from politics and pandemic? You're probably not in the Amazon rainforest right now, but we can take you there in audio. Today, in part two of our three-part audio sound escape, we descend into a nighttime flood of frog music. JD: This is Scientific American's sixty-second science. I’m Jeff DelViscio.  Today, part two of our three-part...

Science Sound(E)scapes: Amazon Pink River Dolphins

Need a break from politics and pandemic? You're probably not in the Amazon rainforest right now, but we can take you there in audio. Today, in part one of our three-part audio sound escape, we listen to dolphins hunting among the trees. JD: This is Scientific American's sixty-second science. I’m Jeff DelViscio.  Today we're going to do something...

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