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Being human: Big toe clung on longest to primate origins

Image copyright ValuaVitaly, Getty Scientists have found that our big toe was one of the last parts of the foot to evolve, a study suggests. As our early ancestors began to walk on two legs, they would also have hung about in trees, using their feet to grasp branches. They walked differently on the ground, […]

Palm oil: A new threat to Africa’s monkeys and apes?

Image copyright Getty Images Endangered monkeys and apes could face new risks if Africa becomes a big player in the palm oil industry. Most areas suitable for growing the oil crop are key habitats for primates, a study suggests. The researchers, who are examining palm oil’s possible effect on Africa’s biodiversity, say consumers can help […]

Next few years ‘may be exceptionally warm’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Staying cool has become a major concern in the current heat wave The next few years could be “anomalously warm”, according to a new study. Researchers have developed a mathematical model to predict how average global surface air temperatures will vary over the next few years. The results suggest […]

Palm oil: A new threat to Africa’s monkeys and apes?

Image copyright Getty Images Endangered monkeys and apes will almost certainly face new risks if Africa becomes a big player in the palm oil industry. That is the message of a study looking at how large-scale expansion of the oil crop in Africa might affect the continent’s rich diversity of wildlife. Most areas suitable for […]

Tax haven link to rainforest destruction and illegal fishing

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Investments that have caused deforestation in the Amazon have been linked to offshore tax havens Deforestation in the Amazon and widespread illegal fishing have both been linked to tax havens, according to a new study. Some 68% of the investments tracked in the Amazon came from companies based in […]

Winged reptiles thrived before dinosaurs

Image copyright Brigham Young University Image caption A 3D printed model of the pterosaur skull discovered in Utah Palaeontologists have found a new species of pterosaur – the family of prehistoric flying reptiles that includes pterodactyl. It is about 210 millions years old, pre-dating its known relatives by 65 million years. Named Caelestiventus hanseni, the […]

Parker Solar Probe: Nasa launches mission to ‘touch the Sun’

Media captionThe Parker Solar Probe spacecraft takes off on its mission to the Sun US space agency Nasa has launched its mission to send a satellite closer to the Sun than any before. The Parker Solar Probe rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The probe is set to become the fastest-moving manmade object in […]

Parker Solar Probe: Nasa delays mission to unlock Sun’s mysteries

Media captionParker Solar Probe: How Nasa is trying to ‘touch’ the Sun US space agency Nasa has delayed its mission to send a satellite closer to the Sun than any before. The Parker Solar Probe was set to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Saturday, but last-minute investigations have delayed it for 24 hours. It […]

The Meg: the myth, the legend (the science)

Image copyright Courtesy of Warner Bros. The Meg, Hollywood’s latest shark tale, is opening wide this week in anticipation of summer audiences in the mood for a scare. Proposing that the extinct Megalodon, a large prehistoric relative of the great white shark, has survived to the present day, the film follows its subsequent encounter with […]

Parker Solar Probe: Nasa’s daring mission to unlock Sun’s mysteries

Media captionParker Solar Probe: How Nasa is trying to ‘touch’ the Sun The American space agency (Nasa) is all set to launch one of the most daring ventures in its history. It’s going to send a satellite closer to the Sun than any mission has done before. The Parker Solar Probe will dip directly into […]