What evolved first—a dexterous hand or an agile foot?
Resolving a long-standing mystery in human evolution, new research from the RIKEN Brain Science Institute indicates that early hominids developed finger dexterity and tool use ability before the development of bipedal locomotion.
Alaska tundra shows surprising resilience after unprecedented fire
Despite the size and severity of the massive 2007 Anaktuvuk River fire on Alaska's North Slope, much of the arctic vegetation has recovered and the tundra is likely to return to its pre-fire condition according to University ...
New study shows use of tools supports learning in nonhuman species
(Phys.org) —Leave young children alone with a soccer ball or a plastic shovel, and they quickly begin to put the object to use, especially if they've observed adults kicking the ball or using the shovel to dig a hole.
Sea-floor microbes may be affected by ailing shrimp in acidified oceans
Disrupting just one process in the important relationship between microbes and bigger plants and animals that live in ocean floor sediment may have knock-on effects that could reduce the productivity of coastal ecosystems, ...
Carbon-sequestering ocean plants may cope with climate changes over the long run
A year-long experiment on tiny ocean organisms called coccolithophores suggests that the single-celled algae may still be able to grow their calcified shells even as oceans grow warmer and more acidic in Earth's near future.
Cracking how life arose on Earth may help clarify where else it might exist
Does life exist elsewhere or is our planet unique, making us truly alone in the universe? Much of the work carried out by NASA, together with other research agencies around the world, is aimed at trying to come to grips ...
Canny crows know their tools
(Phys.org) —Scientists at the University of St Andrews have discovered that New Caledonian crows, famous for their use of tools to extract hidden food, do not rely on guesswork when deploying one of their most complicated ...
Insight into marine life's ability to adapt to climate change
A study into marine life around an underwater volcanic vent in the Mediterranean, might hold the key to understanding how some species will be able to survive in increasingly acidic sea water should anthropogenic climate ...
Loss of African woodland may impact on climate, study shows
Deforestation in parts of Africa could be reversed with changes to land use, a study suggests.
Climate conditions determine Amazon fire risk
(Phys.org) —Using an innovative satellite technique, NASA scientists have determined that a previously unmapped type of wildfire in the Amazon rainforest is responsible for destroying several times more forest than has ...