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Fossil Bat Stories, Part 3: Bulldog Bats

The bulldog bat fossil record is... well, it’s not great. But it’s still a thing. -- Read more on

Huge underwater landslides and tsunamis may be caused by ooze

Layers of ooze in the seabed may be responsible for submarine “megaslides” that dwarf ordinary landslides and can cause tsunamis

Fossil Bat Stories, Part 2: What are Noctilionids? What are Noctilionoids?

More on the amazing and complex evolutionary history of bats... -- Read more on

Real-life Lord of the Flies experiment led us up the warpath

Muzafer Sherif’s notorious experiment with children is held up as proof that conflict is in our blood – but a look behind the scenes tells a different story

Walruses, Sea Lions and Fur Seals

Adaptation to a primarily aquatic lifestyle has happened numerous times within mammals, but some groups have radiated more in this environment than others. One particularly well-known group of marine mammals is the pinnipeds, the seals and sea lions. Show More Summary

Quantum computer could have predicted Trump’s surprise election

Quantum computers can improve election forecasts by taking into account how states affect one another, allowing one to predict Trump's slim 2016 election win

Facebook may guess millions of people’s sexuality to sell ads

Three-quarters of all EU users may have had sensitive data inferred about them by Facebook, including things like sexual orientation, religion and political leanings

Will a new wave of smart glasses make us ‘glassholes’ again?

A second round of mass-market facial computers looks less likely to inspire public anger than Google's Glass but it will be a fragile truce, says Jamais Cascio

Dirty talk: How pollution is snuffing out plants’ scent messages

Plants use a fragrant language but filthy air is messing with their communication lines, which might explain why insects are in decline and roses are losing their scent

Feedback: Does a robot in robes make a mechanical priest?

Plus: the ageing effect of skipping birthdays, why conservatives are more attractive, the lonely life of Nigel the gannet, and more

We thought gorillas only walked on their knuckles. We were wrong

Modern gorillas can walk in a variety of styles, not just the famous “knuckle-walking”, suggesting our common ancestor was similarly resourceful

Three photons stick together to create a new form of light

Photons don’t normally make friends, but now three have been bound together into a brand-new form of light by tricking them into acting like atoms

Shampoo is causing air pollution, but let’s not lose our heads

In Western cities, household products like deodorants and paints are a bigger source of air pollution than vehicle exhausts – so here’s what we need to do

People are slaughtering orangutans and wiping them out

The population of Bornean orangutans fell by almost half in just 16 years, and it was not a sad by-product of deforestation: many apes were killed deliberately


Shell of Turris crispa crispa, copyright H. Zell. At this point, I've made numerous references on this site to the gastropod family Turridae, discussing its members and non-members and alluding to its sordid history. So maybe I should...Show More Summary

Cape Town is about to run out of water – how did this happen?

Cape Town's water reserves are so low that it may soon have to turn off the taps. How did it get this bad, asks Michael Le Page

Oceans on alien worlds may form when the air explodes in flames

When hydrogen and oxygen combine in a planet’s atmosphere, they can ignite into a ball of fire and then leave behind liquid water oceans that would be good for life

Delicate solar panels of Martian lander are tested before launch

The arrays are due to open for real in November to power a two-year mission to probe the guts of Mars and reveal how rocky planets' core, mantle and crust form

Dark matter could be produced by twisted gravitational waves

If gravitational waves – ripples in space time – have a handedness, primordial particles could interact with them to form a dark matter superfluid that spreads through the cosmos

This record-breaking photo was taken from 6 billion km away

New Horizons is one of the furthest spacecraft from Earth. It sent back pictures of two objects in the Kuiper belt, the most distant photographs ever taken

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