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The Patagonian Land Penguin

Take a good look at the figure above, which comes from Mayr (2009). It shows the fossilised tarsometatarsus (the fused long bone of the foot) of a bird from the late Oligocene of Patagonia. This may be one of the single most mysterious specimens in the fossil record. Show More Summary

A nuclear ghost town in Japan welcomes back residents this week

Namie was evacuated in the aftermath of the meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station – six years later, people are being encouraged to return

Camponotus: A Sugary High

I think I may have said before that Australia is the land of ants. When travelling in Australia's arid regions (i.e. most of the continent), ants are often the most visible animals about. Perhaps the most visible of all Australia's ants are the meat ants (Iridomyrmex), but not too far behind them are the sugar ants of the genus Camponotus. Show More Summary

War by any means: The story of DARPA

With the nature of war changing fast, what goes on in the Pentagon’s most secretive research agency, asks the first insider to lift the lid in The Imagineers of War

Mind the gaps: The holes in your brain that make you smart

A map of the brain’s wiring reveals the spaces may be just as important as the connections – and you have the holes to thank for your most impressive mental feats

This bird has flown: Unravelling the mysteries of bird migration

The epic seasonal voyages of migratory birds have long confounded scientists – now satellite tracking technology is revealing precisely how they do it

Pay crash expected in online gig economy as millions seek work

Millions of people in South-East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa get income from online jobs. But as more get online, competition will spark a race to the bottom

How free speech can become censorship – and how to solve it

The more free speech, the better – or so we thought. But in a world of bots and misinformation, the online free-for-all is ruining debate

Moderate drinking may be heart healthy but exercise is safer

Another study has found that drinking 14 units or less a week is linked to better cardiovascular health. But drinking alcohol for health is a risky strategy

Ornithoscelida Rises: A New Family Tree for Dinosaurs

A novel phylogenetic hypothesis for Dinosauria!? Shock horror -- say it isn't so!! -- Read more on

7 foods you should avoid to help feed the world

We can all play a part by rethinking what we eat so that Earth’s limited resources are used more efficiently. So, which foods and drinks should we cut back on?

Electronic devices banned on US-bound flights from 8 countries

The US bans passengers flying from countries including Jordan and Saudi Arabia from bringing laptops and other electronics in their carry-on luggage

How dark matter lost its shine for me

Once an advocate of dark matter, Stacy McGaugh would happily do away with it. But, he says, his friend Vera Rubin – the "queen of dark matter" – didn't hold it against him

Special glasses give people superhuman colour vision

A pair of spectacles filter light to trick the eyes into seeing colour differently, letting people distinguish between hues that look the same but aren't

Disappearing buildings in the desert aren’t all they seem

Nine years ago, photographer Irenaeus Herok stumbled upon what looked like an abandoned movie set in Dubai. When he returned years later, it had all gone

Deadly, drug-resistant Candida yeast infection spreads in the US

So far, 53 Americans have been infected with Candida auris, which can cause organ failure. It is resistant to all three major classes of antifungal drug

Exposed: Soviet cover-up of nuclear fallout worse than Chernobyl

A first look at a top secret report shows that Moscow scientists studied the impacts of nuclear bomb tests on civilians, but the results were never made public

3D-printed bacteria could make bespoke graphene-like materials

3D-printing bacterial ink onto sheets of graphene oxide could make precise patterns of highly-conductive material in a cheaper and easier way

How we lost the world-changing power of useless knowledge

Intellectual freedom was the founding principle of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton – something we lack the confidence to do now, show two new books

How did the zebra get its stripes?

Why zebras have stripes has long been a mystery. In his latest book, Tim Caro gives a compelling explanation that is more inspiring than any fiction by Kipling

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