Planet Earth online is the free, companion website to the award-winning magazine Planet Earth published and funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). Planet Earth covers news from across the environmental sciences - whether research is funded directly by NERC or is carried out by NERC's research and collaborative centres. It also covers the work of partner organisations, such as through the £1bn "Living with Environmental Change" programme.
Trawling makes for skinny flatfish
Trawling the seabed doesn't just remove some of the fishes living there; it also makes some of the survivors thinner and less healthy by forcing them to use more energy finding less nutritious food.
Microscope hack could offer cheap disease testing
A new solution to measure cell movement could save scientists hundreds of thousands of pounds, says the researcher who developed the method to save himself time and money in the lab.
Bottlenose dolphins use specific whistles as names
Bottlenose dolphins in Africa use signature whistles to identify each other, say scientists investigating the animals communication.
Deep-sea asphalt mounds found off West African coast
Scientists have discovered a large area of the deep seabed strewn with mounds of asphalt off the coast of Angola, hosting rich animal life.
Seabed study shows inhabitants' diversity
The tiny creatures that live in seabed sediments are far more genetically varied than we thought – and they're spread around the oceans according to similar rules to those governing the distribution of bigger plants and ...
Scientists probe leak risk from seabed CO2 stores
A UK-led international research team has carried out the first experiment to recreate what would happen if CO2 started leaking after being stored deep under the sea floor. Their findings add weight to the idea that this could ...
Animal foraging tactics unchanged for 50m years
Animals have used the same technique to search for food that's in short supply for at least 50 million years, a study suggests.
Humans leaving a permanent mark on deep Earth
Human forays deep underground, such as boreholes, mines and nuclear bomb tests, are leaving a mark on the planet's geology that will last for hundreds of millions of years, say scientists.
Young smooth snakes rely on reptiles
A new way of using DNA analysis to find out what reptiles have been eating has revealed that the UK's rarest snake species may be under pressure because it needs very different kinds of food at different times in its life.
Prehistoric beads were made from British shells
A new technique to identify the type of shell used to make early, decorative beads could help archaeologists understand more about early human trading.