Were other humans the first victims of the sixth mass extinction?

Nick Longrich, University of Bath Nine human species walked the Earth 300,000 years ago. Now there is just one. The Neanderthals, Homo neanderthalensis, were stocky hunters adapted to Europe’s cold steppes. The related Denisovans inhabited Asia, while the more primitive Homo erectus lived in Indonesia, and Homo rhodesiensis in central Africa. Several short, small-brained species […]

Beluga whale filmed playing “fetch”

A beluga whale has been filmed playing “fetch” with South African rugby fans using an official 2019 Rugby World Cup ball near the Arctic Pole. In the video published on Facebook by Alon Kowen, a group of South African rugby fans can be seen throwing a 2019 Rugby World Cup ball out into the ocean. […]

Diver saves a whale shark trapped in a commercial fishing line

In a video published by the Smithsonian channel, a diver stumbles across a whale shark trapped in a commercial fishing line in a marine sanctuary that bans fishing and frees him by cutting the rope. The giant fish lies still while the rope is cut. The footage also shows the scale of a whale shark […]

Top 10 most extreme places where life can be found on earth

The Earth is the only planet we know of that can support life in the cold, vast space. It seems we’re so, so lucky because our planet has a lot of unique characteristics that made life possible on it. But, interestingly, it also seems “where life can evolve, it will”. The diversity in life our […]

Forget the Anthropocene: we’ve entered the synthetic age

One fact about our time is becoming increasingly well-known. No matter how far you travel, no matter in which direction you point, there is nowhere on Earth that remains free from the traces of human activity. The chemical and biological signatures of our species are everywhere. Transported around the globe by fierce atmospheric winds, relentless […]

Humanity’s birthplace: why everyone alive today can call northern Botswana home

Vanessa Hayes, University of Sydney Where was the evolutionary birthplace of modern humans? The East African Great Rift Valley has long been the favoured contender – until today. Our new research has used DNA to trace humanity’s earliest footsteps to a prehistoric wetland called Makgadikgadi-Okavango, south of the Great Zambezi River. Our analysis, published in […]