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Polynesians and Native South Americans Made 12th-Century Contact

Scientists have found snippets of Native South American DNA in the genomes of present-day Polynesians, and they trace the contact to the year 1150. Christopher Intagliata reports. In 1947, the Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl set sail from Peru, on a balsa wood raft called Kon-Tiki. As he explained a few years later in the documentary of the same...

Polynesians and Native South Americans Made 12th Century Contact

Scientists have found snippets of Native South American DNA in the genomes of present-day Polynesians, and they trace the contact to the year 1150. Christopher Intagliata reports. In 1947, the Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl set sail from Peru, on a balsa wood raft called Kon-Tiki. As he explained a few years later in the documentary of the same...

Young Great White Sharks Eat off the Floor

The stomach contests of young great white sharks showed that they spend a lot of time patrolling the sea floor for meals. The image of a dorsal fin cutting through the sea surface is iconic. But scientists studying the stomach contests of young great white sharks off the coast of Australia were in for a surprise when they learned that the predators...

Animals Appreciate Recent Traffic Lull

Researchers saw a third fewer vehicle collisions with deer, elk, moose and other large mammals in the four weeks following COVID-19 shutdowns in three states they tracked. Don’t worry about why the chicken crossed the road—the bigger question is whether it’ll make it at all. Every year, millions of animals get killed by vehicles in the U.S. But that...

Bat Says Hi as It Hunts

Velvety free-tail bats produce sounds that help them locate insect prey, but that simultaneously identify them to their companions. Each night, small groups of a species called velvety free-tail bats emerge from their roosts in the Panamanian rainforests to hunt for their insect prey, using echolocation. "When bats are hunting, especially when...

Bat Says Hi As It Hunts

Velvety free-tail bats produce sounds that help them locate insect prey, but that simultaneously identify them to their companions. Each night, small groups of a species called velvety free-tail bats emerge from their roosts in the Panamanian rainforests to hunt for their insect prey, using echolocation. "When bats are hunting, especially when...

Forests Getting Younger and Shorter

Old, big trees are dying faster than in the past, leaving younger, less biodiverse forests worldwide that store less carbon. They give us paper and fuel, as well as vital ecological services—like cleaning the air, storing carbon and providing habitat. We’re talking about trees, of course. But human changes to the environment appear to be causing...

Young Great White Sharks Eat Off the Floor

The stomach contests of young great white sharks showed that they spend a lot of time patrolling the sea floor for meals. The image of a dorsal fin cutting through the sea surface is iconic. But scientists studying the stomach contests of young great white sharks off the coast of Australia were in for a surprise when they learned that the predators...

Tweets Reveal Politics of COVID-19

Political scientists analyzed congressional tweets and observed how Republicans and Democrats responded differently to the virus. Christopher Intagliata reports.  The night of September 11th, President George W. Bush addressed the nation: "Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of...

Nature's Goods and Services Get Priced

The Gross Ecosystem Product, or GEP, tries to take into account the contribution of nature to the economy. Gross Domestic Product. The GDP is a simple way to describe the health of big, complicated economies. And for the last century, the goal of many countries has been to make their GDP go up. But concentrating only on GDP has had some downsides....

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