All-purpose dinosaur opening reconstructed for first time

For the first time ever, a team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, have described in detail a dinosaur's cloacal or vent—the all-purpose opening used for defecation, urination and breeding.

Deep-sea volcanoes: Windows into the subsurface

Hydrothermally-active submarine volcanoes account for much of Earth's volcanism and are mineral-rich biological hotspots, yet very little is known about the dynamics of microbial diversity in these systems. This week in PNAS, ...

The four most promising worlds for alien life in the solar system

The Earth's biosphere contains all the known ingredients necessary for life as we know it. Broadly speaking these are: liquid water, at least one source of energy, and an inventory of biologically useful elements and molecules.

Researchers document the 'life cycle' of a volcano

Volcanoes are born and die—and then grow again on their own remains. The decay of a volcano in particular is often accompanied by catastrophic consequences, as was the most recent case for Anak Krakatau in 2018. The flank ...

Researchers unlock genomic secrets of scaly-foot snail

Despite an extreme environment characterized by high pressure, high temperature, strong acidity and low oxygen levels resembling living conditions in prehistoric times, hydrothermal vents harbor a diverse population of creatures, ...

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