“Spying on Earth’s Most Awesome Creatures” –Scientists Pursue Undiscovered Species of Whales Swimming Below Since the Eocene

 

“Once upon a time—in the Eocene epoch—whales were quadrupeds. They walked on land. One primitive cetacean ancestor, Pakicetus, is thought to have been a canine-size, shore-living creature with a doggy tail and clawed paws. It probably had fur (hair typically fails to fossilize, so on this point there is debate). With its tiny, wide-set eyes, Pakicetus displays a sheepish expression in many artists’ depictions—as if ashamed at having gone extinct.”

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“Endangered” –The Pando (Not the Blue Whale), Earth’s Largest Existing Organism

 

“If this were a community of humans, it would be as if a whole town of 47,000 had only 85-year-olds in it,” says Paul Rogers, an ecologist at Utah State University and Director of the Western Aspen Alliance. “It’s been thriving for thousands of years, and now it’s coming apart on our watch. Where is the next generation?”

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The Secret of the 700-Million-Year Gap in Earth’s History –“Life Appeared”

 

 

There is a 700-million year gap in Earth’s history, and in that time one of the most transformative events happened: life appeared. This missing epoch could hold not just the secret of humanity’s first ancestor, but could guide our search for life on other planets.

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“2100” –Beyond the UN Climate Change Report: ‘MIT Predicts Earth’s Point of No Return’

 

 

Our Blue Planet is in the grips of the Sixth Mass Extinction: The best-case scenario projects that humans will add 300 gigatons of carbon to the oceans by 2100, while more than 500 gigatons will be added under the worst-case scenario, far exceeding the critical threshold. In all scenarios, says Daniel Rothman professor of geophysics and co-director of MIT’s Lorenz Center, by 2100, the carbon cycle will either be close to or well beyond Earth’s threshold for catastrophe.

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“Earth’s Unseen Universe” –A Hidden World of Microbial Dark Matter

 

Scientists believe that as many as a quarter of the microbes on earth could come from the roughly 30 phyla–a classification between kingdoms and classes–of microbes that have never been grown in a lab culture and could be dominating nearly all the environments on Earth except for the human body. “All vertebrates, every single animal with a spine, are contained within a single phylum. So this means that we potentially have 30 different types of microbes that are each as different from any already known microbe as giraffes are from starfish.”

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