Killer Crocodiles Rip Prey to Shreds, but are Themselves Vulnerable

by Christopher Trejo, age 12

Crocodiles are huge reptilian killer machines with tails, bones, and jaws built to hunt.

Crocodiles were around when the dinosaurs ruled the Earth 65 million years ago, and scientists believe they have not changed much since then. People often confuse crocodiles with their cousin, the alligator. The two are distinct, however, in that crocodiles have a pair of teeth that stick out over their top jaws, while alligators have wider, shorter snouts.

Mother crocodiles scoop up their young in their mouths to carry them from their nests to the water. Crocodiles lay 10 to 60 eggs at a time, and the eggs hatch after two to three months. Once hatched, the young crocodiles measure about seven to 10 inches. [read more]

Driving Mosquitoes to Extinction Would Irrevocably Alter the Ecosystem

by Shreya Shrestha, age 16

What would happen if scientists had the ability to eliminate diseases transmitted to humans, like malaria?

For years, female mosquito hosts have carried malaria and transmitted it to humans. According to the World Health Organization, this disease caused 400,000 fatalities in 2015 alone.

Specifically, scientists created a gene mutation in female mosquitoes that renders them unable to produce offspring. But critics of this plan, including Andrea Crisanti, a physician and scientist at Imperial College in London who has studied molecular biology for over three decades, suggest that the best way to get rid of mosquitoes is to kill them off—not the malaria parasite within them. [read more]

Lab-Grown Diamonds Offer an Affordable Alternative to Mined Gems

by Yani Thoronka, age 11

Diamonds are notoriously beautiful, expensive, and luxurious. And now, they're also lab-made. Yes, that's right—that sparkling gem found deep within the Earth can now be produced by scientists.

The International Gemological Institute Office, a nonprofit organization, is where you’ll find director David Weinstein, who has worked with diamonds for 30 years. He is one such scientist producing lab-grown gems. Recently, advances in technology have made it possible for scientists like Weinstein to produce gems in a pure white color, rather than with a yellow tint like in decades past. Now these diamonds are starting to show up in exclusive retailers like Barneys, which advertise them as a high-tech, eco-friendly alternative to mined diamonds.

Even though the diamonds are grown in a lab, “when you compare them to alternatives for the same budget, they are definitely nicer,” said Yarden Tsach of WD Lab Grown Diamonds. In fact, lab diamonds are actually 30 percent cheaper than mined diamonds are. [read more]

Plants are Either Vascular or Non-vascular

by Yarianie Rodriguez, age 10

You might just think that plants are pretty and nice to smell.

But they also create the oxygen that allows us to breathe and survive. These life-giving creatures are separated into two main categories: vascular and non-vascular.

All vascular plants have unique compositions. For example, inside a stem of a vascular plant there are two sets of tubes. The xylem, the first set of tubes, moves water and minerals from the plant's roots to its leaves. The phloem, the second set of tubes, moves sugar all around the plant. These tubes help the plant function. [read more]

More Recent Science Articles

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‘‘It really looked like it was flying,’’ said a professor at Barry University in Florida and marine biologist Silvia Maciá. She was referring not to a bird, but to a squid. Squid are usually expected to live near the bottom of the ocean, and considering, Marcia’s statement seemed quite odd. [read more...]
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Mildred Dresselhaus, “Queen of Carbon” and famous physicist, died at the age of 86 on February 20, 2017. She was beloved by professors and students at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology and remembered as the school's groundbreaking first fully-tenured female professor. Dresselhaus mentored many and achieved a number of great feats before her death. [read more...]
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Woolly mammoths lived during the Ice Age and disappeared from the Earth around 4,000 years ago. Some scientists are now claiming that they are on the verge of bringing these animals back to life, but in a modified form. Using genetic engineering, these scientists will attempt to resurrect woolly mammoths. [read more...]
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People all over the world took notice when Neil Armstrong became the first man to step on the moon in 1969. However, a far smaller population knows of Margaret Hamilton’s contribution to the Apollo 11 mission and moon landing. Recent national interest in understanding the historic role of women in science has generated new enthusiasm for Hamilton’s work. [read more...]
Crocodiles are huge reptilian killer machines with tails, bones, and jaws built to hunt. [read more...]
Albert Einstein was a renowned physicist and remains one of the most famous scientists to this day. His findings, especially his General Theory of Relativity, completely re-shaped the way the world views the universe. [read more...]
What would happen if scientists had the ability to eliminate diseases transmitted to humans, like malaria? [read more...]
Diseases prevent the body from working properly, but you might not know you have a disease until you start experiencing symptoms. [read more...]
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Diamonds are notoriously beautiful, expensive, and luxurious. And now, they're also lab-made. Yes, that's right—that sparkling gem found deep within the Earth can now be produced by scientists. [read more...]
You might just think that plants are pretty and nice to smell. But they also create the oxygen that allows us to breathe and survive. These life-giving creatures are separated into two main categories: vascular and non-vascular. [read more...]
Because of the Clean Air Act of 1970, Wisconsin has some of the cleanest air in the world, said Tracey Holloway, University of Wisconsin-Madison environmental studies professor. To monitor the chemicals in the air, NASA launched the Health and Air Quality Applied Sciences Team, led by environmental studies professor Holloway. Staffed with experts from prestigious institutions across the nation, their project aims to make environmental satellite data more accessible to people around the world. [read more...]
Nicholas Brandley, a teacher at the Colorado College, ran an experiment to find out why the black widow spider sports a bright red belly. [read more...]
Although the Sun and Moon may appear to be similar from a distance, the two are actually very different. The Sun is a large ball of gas that is full of energy and heat. Seventy-three percent of the Sun is made of hydrogen, while 25 percent of it is helium. The remaining two percent is made up of traces of approximately 60 other elements. [read more...]
Although the Sun and Moon may appear to be similar from a distance, the two are actually very different. The Sun is a large ball of gas that is full of energy and heat. Seventy three percent of the Sun is made of hydrogen, while 25 percent of it is helium. The remaining two percent is made up of traces of approximately 60 other elements. [read more...]
There are many planets in the universe, but there aren’t many that can sustain life. Recently, scientists and astronomers have started looking for and finding planets that are potentially habitable. [read more...]
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At the University of Minnesota (UM) in Dakota County, agricultural researchers set up an eight- armed drone to send 200 feet in the air to begin its task. The drone is on the front line of their scientific explorations. Scientists at the UM are testing low-flying drones for their ability to find aphids, a grasshopper-like bug that ravages plants in the Upper Midwest. [read more...]
For thousands of years, humans have been watching the sky. They’ve mastered the patterns of the stars and can easily find constellations like the zodiacs, Pleiades, the Big Dipper, Orion, and many other star clusters. Ancient people knew their way around the night sky; if you want to learn to be as skilled in astronomy and stargazing as they were, follow these tips below. [read more...]
In the world of technology, black Americans are at a disadvantage. According to Information is Beautiful, an online infographic text, there are significantly fewer black Americans than white Americans working in the top U.S. companies. This statistic is evident in the texts list of the racial diversity in said companies, including Instagram, YouTube, and Google. [read more...]
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New research shows that dyslexia is not just about language and reading, but more related to brain functions. Dyslexia is a disability that can cause confusion while reading and writing. [read more...]
On December 8, 2016, America bade farewell to an American legend. John Glenn, senator, lifelong pilot, decorated war veteran, and one of NASA’s first astronauts passed away in his home state of Ohio. [read more...]
Did you know that the force of gravity travels at the speed of light? Gravity is the invisible glue that pulls us down to the ground. It was first discovered and named by Isaac Newton in the 17th century. Since this time, many scientists, and researchers have theorized about gravity. In 1937, for example, physicist Paul Dirac suggested that gravity itself might actually be changing very slowly over time. [read more...]
Wisdom teeth can be a real pain when they try to squeeze into your mouth. Most people end up getting them removed. So the big question is, why do humans even have these pesky teeth in the first place? [read more...]
The Sun is one of the largest stars in our galaxy. It lies 149.6 million kilometers away from Earth. Unlike other stars, the sun is not seen as a little point of light in the sky. Made out of large amounts of gases—92.1 percent hydrogen and about eight percent helium—the Sun gives life to all creatures on the Earth. We see this important star so differently than many others because it's actually a lot closer to us than the majority of other stars. [read more...]
Did you know that Louis Pasteur helped get germs out of milk? Louis Pasteur, French chemist and microbiologist, was born on December 27, 1822, in Dole, France. He lived with his father in Arbois, France. Not a very good student but an excellent artist, Pasteur earned a bachelor’s degree in arts in 1840, and another one in science in 1842. He received his doctorate from the École Normale in Paris. Pasteur spent years researching and teaching at Dijon Lycée before he became a professor of chemistry at the University of Strasbourg. [read more...]
German Shepherds are one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the United States. They are friendly, strong, protective, and loyal. German shepherds are big dogs. They generally grow to be around two feet wide, if measuring from the shoulder blade, and they weigh somewhere between 50 and 90 pounds. They have large pointy ears, which usually stand up straight. Their fur color is mostly tan and black, or reddish and black. They have a double coat of fur which keeps them warm. [read more...]
Scientists suspect that the Milky Way may have dwarf galaxies all around it. One of these galaxies is known as "Segue 2." Segue 2 is an abnormally small galaxy located right outside of our galaxy, the Milky Way. This dwarf galaxy only has 1,000 stars; they are held together by a clump of dark matter. First discovered in 2009, Segue 2 is primarily known for its unique size. [read more...]
Drawing a heart shape may seem easy, but the real heart is a complex organ. [read more...]
Fungi are such unique organisms that they have their own kingdom. Different types of fungi care found throughout the world, in places such as Antarctica, the Amazon Jungle, in the rainforest, the Gobi desert, and even in our own backyards. Fungi are advantageous and disadvantageous: some are used to treat and help cure diseases, but others are the cause of some diseases. [read more...]
Scientists use various techniques to save endangered animals that will, or could, become extinct. [read more...]
The ocean is home to many different animals from big to small. Leafy sea dragons, one aquatic species, are fish that look a lot like seaweed. They are not strong swimmers, which is why they float with the current of the ocean. They are found in shallow coastal waters around Australia and feed on sea lice and other tiny creatures. They can also lay up to 250 eggs at a time. [read more...]
Every moment, millions of signals pass through the brain and carry all kinds of messages. The brain controls feelings, emotions, and motion. It also receives information from the senses and helps to put them together into thoughts and memories. [read more...]
Robots can do many things humans can, and many things human cannot. For example, robots can deal with dangerous substances and explore outer space. Depending on how they're programmed they can be gentle enough to hold glass or strong enough to lift a car. They have been programmed to assemble a computer and perform surgery using artificial intelligence. [read more...]
Can you imagine printing your dinner? 3D printing technology might soon have the power to do just that—and so much more. [read more...]
The element carbon is one of the most abundant elements on Earth. People have known about its existence since ancient times, and it still has many uses today. [read more...]
Teenagers today are known for their irritable, impulsive behavior and constant craving of gratification. Teen minds are wired to be impatient. But why? [read more...]
In 1901, astronomer A. E. Douglas had an idea about how to study the effect of sunspot cycles on the Earth. Little did he know that this very idea would ultimately lead to some important discoveries. [read more...]
Quasars are huge, energetic, mysterious objects in space. Modern technology has allowed humans to understand these objects better. Quasars create a massive amount of light, allowing them to be seen from great distances. [read more...]
Did you know that the largest and heaviest reptile is the Komodo dragon? The only place you can find this wild beast is on Indonesia's Lesser Sunda Islands. [read more...]
Pluto used to be characterized as the ninth planet but, in 2006, scientists revoked Pluto’s full-fledged planet status. Instead they classified it as a dwarf planet. True to this new name, Pluto’s diameter is 1,432 miles, which makes it more than 1,500 miles smaller in diameter than Mercury, the smallest planet. [read more...]
There are many fun things to do during winter, such as snowmobiling and skiing. However, it is possible for winter sports enthusiasts to misjudge weather conditions and get hurt or killed by an avalanche. Today, avalanches kill about 30 people each year; where in the 1950s, this number was much smaller – only four a year. [read more...]
En un lago disecado en el desierto del Sahara en el Chad, hay restos de peces milenarios a punto de empezar su viaje a la selva amazónica. Los científicos han descubierto que el viento fuerte de Chad lleva restos de estos peces en un viaje transtlatico. Este aire que contiene el polvo de los huesos y escamas de los peces, provee apatita, fósforo, y fosfato, elementos importantes para la vegetación amazónica. El fósforo de los peces muertos ayuda avanzar y a alimentar a los árboles y plantas de la selva. Esta transmison de nutrición también traerá más oxigeno. [read more...]
In the early 1960s, President John F. Kennedy told Americans that it was time to go to the moon. Nine years later, Neil Armstrong was the first human to ever walk on the moon. [read more...]
Some studies suggest that technology is mentally and physically isolating us from each other and this view has certainly gained momentum in the 21st century. On a daily basis, humans often communicate with the touch of a finger or by bringing a device to their ears. But are our devices eliminating our most basic communication skills? Have we become so attached to technology that it has begun to overshadow and even eliminate our face-to-face interactions? [read more...]
An earthquake can occur at any moment with little to no warning. But where, how, and why do these frightening phenomena happen? California was once the state with the most earthquakes. Now, however, Oklahoma has stolen this reputation. In 2014, the number and magnitude of earthquakes in Oklahoma increased due to both natural and unnatural causes. [read more...]
Frogs are a very interesting species. Some odd frogs include the turtle frog, the turquoise poison dart frog, and the South American horned frog. While these frogs are all part of the same species, each sub-species has its own unique qualities. [read more...]
Technology in cars has advanced throughout the decades, with improvements in fuel-efficiency and design. But the evolution of car engines has brought about a controversial enhancement: fake engine noise. [read more...]
We've all heard of Galileo Galilei, but how did he become a famous inventor in the first place? Galileo was born in Pisa, Italy on February 15, 1564. At the age of 10, he was sent to school at the Monastery of Vallombrosa. His father, Vincenzo, took him out of school at the age of 14, because he worried that his son would become a poor man. Vincenzo then sent Galileo to Florence to spend a few years with tutors. [read more...]
Found in between Mars and Jupiter, many asteroids are made up of rocks and left over metal. They have a dusty layer of shattered rock on their cratered surfaced, and they can be as big as 567 miles in diameter. [read more...]
Saturn's rings are among the most beautiful things in the solar system. There have been different opinions about Saturn's rings, over the years. When astronomer Galileo Galilei thought that Saturn’s rings were two large moons. Christiaan Huygens, another astronomer, thought the so-called “moons” were an encircling ring structure. [read more...]
Volcanoes are one of the world’s most fascinating natural features. Although they are majestic and breathtaking, their beauty comes with destruction. Volcanoes have a lot going on outside and inside of them. Volcanologists study seismic data, ground deformation, and minerals in erupted lava to determine the classification of volcanoes. For example, a ‘fissure and rift volcano’ is a linear crack in the Earth from which magma has erupted. A ‘rift volcano’ is caused by eruptions that alternate from side to side. [read more...]
Humans have inhabited the Earth for millions of years, but how did we gain the ability to stand on two feet? Many would think the answer to “human bipedalism” – our ability to walk and stand on two feet – lies in the study of feet. Shockingly, however, recent research actually suggests that the trait may connect back to a tiny fish known as the threespine stickleback. [read more...]
The ground we walk on is only one level of the many-layered planet Earth. Each of the Earth's layers have different thicknesses and unique qualities. The surface of Earth is called the crust and stretches four miles beneath the oceans and 22 miles beneath land. The crust is on top of the lithosphere, which lies on top of the mantle [read more...]
The Megalodon, a much larger and scarier version of the Great White Shark, was the largest meat-eating fish that ever lived. These creatures existed about 20 million years ago and went extinct about two million years ago. [read more...]
Water pollution is unarguably one of Wisconsin’s biggest environmental problems. The state prides itself on clean lakes and rivers, yet many Wisconsinites are appalled at the findings in a recent report by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). In a report, the DNR disclosed Wisconsin’s inability to enforce laws protecting drinking water due to a number of pollutants contaminating lakes and rivers. The pollutants are generated by concentrated animal feeding operations, also known as CAFOs. [read more...]
Did you know that a good apology has six different components? A new study completed by Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, revealed the ingredients of an effective apology. The study shows that those who incorporate more of these components into their apologies have a better chance of being forgiven. [read more...]
Have you ever dreamed about soaring through the sky? Using the flying rocket belt, better known as the jet pack, these dreams can become a reality. [read more...]
Scientists have recently discovered a way to predict facial features using a sample of DNA. The new technology, called DNA phenotyping, is used by law enforcement officials to 'reverse engineer' physical characteristics and as such, to catch a potential criminal. [read more...]
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), which consists of repetitive cycles of depression, can lead to temporary and even permanent brain damage. According to a recent study by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, nearly 14.8 million American adults suffer from MDD annually. [read more...]
Wind—we cannot see it, but we can feel it. This natural phenomena is created by warmer air levitating to the sky and colder air sinking down. Warm air is lighter than cold air. Both warm air and cold air rotate as the cold air gets warm and begins to rise. This process creates wind. [read more...]
Germs are everywhere – on every surface we touch, on the foods we eat, and everywhere we go. But because they are invisible to the naked eye, we don't think of them until we get aches, chills, sore throats, or other ailments. Although we may not realize it, we've all been affected by either a bacterium or a virus--these are the germs that make us sick. Bacteria are so small that more than 1,000 of them can fit on the head of a pin. Viruses are even smaller; 10,000 of these can fit on the head of a pin. [read more...]
Malaria is a disease that has a lasting impact on people worldwide. It is estimated to affect more than 200 million people a year and of those, kills at least 660,000—most of whom are children. To solve this tropical and sub-tropical killer, a new vaccine is being launched by the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). [read more...]
Over time, people have made clothes out of many varieties of material: cotton, silk, wool, and others. Recently, the MIT Media Lab took the art of making clothes to the next level. They invented a new type of material that uses bacteria to react to body moisture. [read more...]
Magnetism is an invisible force. It can affect metal materials, such as iron or steel, but does not affect non-metal materials like wood, paper, or plastic. All magnets have two sides. One side is called the north magnetic pole, and the other is the south magnetic pole. Magnets attract when a north magnetic pole faces a south magnetic pole. If two like poles face each other, they cancel out each other’s magnetism and do not attract. [read more...]
Does the language one think in or speak in determine how one perceived events? Does it affect how one notices things? A debate has raged on for over 70 years about whether language affects how people think. [read more...]
Wolves are ferocious, dangerous animals. These animals have 42 deadly teeth and powerful jaws, which they use when hunting together in packs. [read more...]
Bloodsuckers, bloodsuckers, bloodsuckers. They live all around the world—maybe even in your house. [read more...]
Plants don’t eat the way we do. Instead of heading to a grocery store, plants make their own food with sunlight. The complex process of turning sunlight into food energy is called photosynthesis. [read more...]
Ticks are feared throughout the states because of the diseases they carry, such as Lymes disease in the East and Rocky Mountains and spotted fever in the West. Now, thanks to a growing population of certain tick species, contracting one of these scary diseases may become more common. [read more...]
Animals, plants, birds, and insects display many different colors; blue, red, yellow, green, and more. Some living creatures are patterned, while others are multicolored. Their colors serve to ensure the survival of their species. [read more...]
Long gliding reptiles appeared more than 260 million years ago. [read more...]
Not Impossible Labs, a new high technology team in Venice, California, has invented the Brainwriter. The Brainwriter is a machine that will eventually allow people with paralysis to communicate through a laptop, using only their minds. [read more...]
For years, scientists have been asking why beluga whales blow bubbles. Though they are not sure of the answer, several theories have been formed over time. [read more...]
It is well known that humans have unique fingerprints. But did you know that our chins also set us apart? In fact, the only other species with a chin is the elephant. So why do we have a chin? And how did it get there in the first place? [read more...]
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Polar bears are in a crisis due to Arctic Ice melting in Canada, a 2016 study published by Canadian researchers in Arctic Science suggests. Three decades of melting ice has caused substantial weight loss among the Earth’s most southern group of polar bears, the study indicates. [read more...]
In the animal kingdom, different species have unique characteristics and tactics for survival. Some animals in particular rely on their shells. [read more...]
Human beings have been using energy from fire for thousands of years. There is evidence that late age stone cave dwellers kept their caves warm with fires which were kept alight for months or even years. These early people relied on fire, even though they did not know where it came from. In fact, they thought it was magic. [read more...]
Rare, pretty little stones, pearls have held the attention of people for centuries. [read more...]
Bivalves are well-known marine organisms. There are many bivalves that cover the ocean floor. Some types are clams, scallops, quahogs, oysters, mussels, and cockles. [read more...]
Ants of the Formica Fusca species have discovered a way to fight off harmful fungal infections. They have discovered that hydrogen peroxide, though normally very dangerous to them, can sometimes be salubrious or, good for their health. [read more...]
Regardless of what parents may think, a recent study shows a strong possibility that playing video games could make you smarter. The study tested 152 adolescents who played at least 12.6 hours a week. The study found that video game play is associated with greater “cortical thickness,” meaning greater density in specific brain areas that affect decision-making. [read more...]
According to a study from Northwestern University, music and audiobooks reduce pain in most patients after surgery. The study started with adults, but will be repeated to young adults and children. [read more...]
Billions of galaxies exist across the universe. Our home, Planet Earth, is located in a galaxy called the Milky Way. [read more...]
Lenses are used to see and visually document the world around us. The two main types of lenses are convex and concave. They are used in many different tools, reflecting and bending light to produce an image. Lenses work by moving light in different directions using refraction, forming a smaller or larger image. A beam of light may diverge or converge depending on the shape of the lens. [read more...]
Dinosaurs were huge animals that lived millions of years ago. Some of the dinosaurs were Tyrannosaurus Rex, the Ankylosaurus, the Torosaurus, and the Anototitans. [read more...]
Siberian Tigers, also known as Panthera Tigris Altica, are the biggest of the big cats. These creatures are among the most ferocious predators in the animal kingdom. They live in north-eastern China and North and South Korea. Like the closely related Snow leopard, Unicia unicia, Siberian Tigers thrive in extremely cold weather. [read more...]
Giraffes are like snowflakes – no two look alike. But giraffes share characteristics; they have huge hearts and tongues, to they only give birth to one calf and their “vulnerable” status. On average, giraffes tend to live 20-25 years. Like any other mammal, they have vertebrae. [read more...]
Did you know that the word “hippopotamus” is Greek for river horse? The horse and hippopotamus certainly have many similarities like wide nostrils and small ears; however, the hippopotamus more closely resembles a really big pig. [read more...]
What’s black, white, and fishy all over? The Short-Beaked Common Dolphin species, that’s who. The Short-Beaked Common Dolphins’ scientific name is Delphinus Delphi. Dolphins live in temperate and warm waters. They can reach six and a half to eight and a half feet in length and typically weigh 155 to 250 pounds. [read more...]
Spring has finally sprung. Hello flowers, bees, and honey! But how is honey made? Honey is a very versatile food. People use it to sweeten drinks and foods, eat it plain, or put it on food as a topping. However, there is a long process before this sweet goo ends up on your plate. [read more...]
Have you heard of the famous meat-eating plant? It’s called the Venus flytrap. Insects are attracted to the Venus flytrap for several reasons. The unique shape of its leaves appears inviting and safe. It also offers nectar. As soon as an insect nears the plant, its quick leaves spring to life. [read more...]
For years, spider silk was known as the strongest biological material, but a recent discovery has changed that. A new substance found in nature is five times stronger than spider silk: limpet teeth. Limpets are aquatic snails with extremely strong teeth. [read more...]
Deep inside planet Earth, stones are being formed into priceless gemstones. Whatever crystal or stone the Earth is making, it is regarded as a gemstone if worn as jewelry. [read more...]
Simpson Street Free Press is known for hosting academic panels and events throughout the year. Especially vital to the Free Press curriculum is our “Women in Science, Math, and Technology” series. This April, two nuclear engineering students from University of Wisconsin-Madison’s American Nuclear Society (ANS) came to SSFP’s South Towne newsroom to deliver another event in this series. [read more...]
Most people know to run at the first site of black and yellow stripes accompanied by a buzzing noise – the warning sound of your common bee. A recently discovered bee species, the Samba Turkana, comes without the tell-tale stripes, however. [read more...]
Paleontologists have argued over the years about whether dinosaurs were cold-blooded or warm-blooded. Due to varying evidence, multiple theories have emerged. [read more...]
Autism is a mysterious and complex disorder that affects one in 166 children annually. Its unknown origin makes it difficult to study. Autism is unique because of the way it alters the brain’s behavior. However, new research suggests the gut and the immune system are also hugely affected by autism. These findings suggest eating habits could be clues leading to the diagnosis of autism. [read more...]
Bananas are not just a healthy food and good source of potassium in people's diet. They can help humans in other ways too. For example, bananas can be used for electrical wiring and cosmetics. [read more...]
Some of our closest animal relatives, the chimpanzee and the bonobo, aren't just biologically similar. Whether it's letting out a groan or hitting things when angered or disappointed, apes act in similar ways to humans when frustrated. [read more...]
The Sonoran Desert, in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, is home to the Saguaro Cactus. [read more...]
Would you believe that chimps can cook? Well they can! [read more...]
Viruses are mysterious. They can survive almost any environment on earth and have the uncanny ability to duplicate themselves and exist for centuries. They do not need food, water, or even air to survive. Even though we know so much about viruses, we still have a lot of learning to do to uncover all of their mysteries. [read more...]
People around Wisconsin often don’t get to witness a Chesapeake in the wild. The blue crab is native to Western Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Somehow, a Chesapeake turned up in the northern waters of the Mississippi River. The crab had traveled over 1,000 miles through river dams. Remarkably, it survived. [read more...]
In the depths of the ocean, tectonic plates can move around and create mountain ranges called mid-ocean ridges. Volcanoes and underwater chimneys can also be created in seas and oceans. [read more...]
Ruling the ocean with eight legs, stalking prey while hiding in plain sight, using complex brains to release crabs out of cages, and ejecting poison and midnight-blue ink, octopuses are one of the smart and most intriguing animals in the world. [read more...]
While people generally understand that some animals are intelligent—defining intelligence as possessing “the capacity to solve problems”—it is not generally known that plants are as well. In 1880, Charles Darwin wrote The Power of Movement in Plants, in which he discussed how plants demonstrate intelligence through movement. Until recently, the book was largely ignored and the idea of plant intelligence dismissed. However Stefano Mancuso, and Italian botanist and professor at the University of Florence, recently set out to show that plants should be seen as more than food for wildlife or decoration. [read more...]
In the year 1900, pieces of an ancient device that would come to be known as the Antikythera mechanism were discovered under the sea by sponge divers and taken to the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece. [read more...]
Different regions call hurricanes by different names. In North America and the Caribbean, they are mostly known as hurricanes. But in Australia, they are known as “willy-willies.” No matter what we call them, they are very dangerous storms that affect tropical areas. These powerful storms can kill or injure people and destroy buildings along the coast. [read more...]
Did you know that there were some dinosaurs that had feathers? Scientists believe that birds evolved from feathered dinosaurs [read more...]
Did you know lightning strikes the earth 100 times per second? When lightning strikes the positive and negative air molecules that surround the lightning bolt are so hot, a small explosion occurs! The quick movement of the air surroundings the bolt makes the roaring sound we know as thunder. [read more...]
A circle of volcanoes marks the boundaries of the Pacific tectonic plate. Scientists call it a Ring of Fire. [read more...]
Being able to balance is crucial. But like many day-to-day functions, people do not think about balance all the time. It is not until they start to lose this ability that they realize how important it is. Around 30,000 people in America suffer from dizziness each day because of damage to the organs that manage balance. To combat this, scientists are developing an ear implant that could potentially cure dizziness. [read more...]
Unlike most beetles, giraffe weevils have long necks. This unique species has many other interesting characteristics to learn about, too! [read more...]
Known for their speed, dragonflies and peregrine falcons are animals that have learned to adapt to the world that surrounds them. [read more...]
Nuclear energy, produced by the combination of protons and neutrons inside atomic nuclei, is the energy that allows stars to shine so brightly. Two kinds of reactions release this energy: fission and fusion. [read more...]
The thought of surgery is gruesome, but just imagine being awake while tangerine-sized flaps of your skull are cut open. [read more...]
Have you ever wondered what the inside of a technology company looks like and what goes on there? Recently, Simpson Street Free Press student reporters had the opportunity to visit Hardin Design and Development (HDD), a Madison software and application firm founded in 2008. Vice President and Co-founder of HDD Scott Resnick and HDD employee Anouson Bounket led us on a tour of the start-up company. We also had the chance to sit down with them and ask questions about what it’s like to work in the tech industry. [read more...]
For a long time, scientists classified fungi and mushrooms as part of the plant kingdom. Now, however, researchers believe these organisms are more closely related to animals because their cell walls contain chitin, which is also found in insects and aquatic animals. [read more...]
Being a paleontologist is like being a detective; you have to search for all the puzzle pieces in order to solve the mystery. You also have to take chances, and sometimes you will discover something new and surprising. It can also be painstaking and difficult. However, one man, Nizar Ibrahim, did not give up until his paleontological mystery was solved. [read more...]
Being a paleontologist is like being a detective; you have to search for all the puzzle pieces in order to solve the mystery. You also have to take chances, and sometimes you will discover something new and surprising. It can also be painstaking and difficult. However, one man, Nizar Ibrahim, did not give up until his paleontological mystery was solved. [read more...]
Pollution and waste cost lots of money. However, there are tips to save money and the environment. Reducing the ecological footprint should be a goal for everyone. [read more...]
According to the American Cancer Society, over five hundred thousand Americans will die of cancer this year. Chemotherapy has been an important weapon against cancer. In fact, it has helped to reduce the number of deaths by about twenty percent over two decades. [read more...]
Do you know someone with diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, or cancer? Then you know the misery and death these diseases cause. Who knew the remedy for such diseases might lie in toxins from the venom of Gila monsters, snakes, scorpions, or cone snails? The “molecular gifts” of these animals can kill; but, in these cases, their poisons have already produced powerful medicines to treat diseases and hold promise for treatments and cures in the future. [read more...]
Researchers are working to find truths, dispel rumors, and give consumers the facts about how diet soda affects one’s health. [read more...]
Water is an important factor in cave formation. It finds its way through cracks, dissolves, and melts, creating caves all over the world. [read more...]
En toda la Unión Europea sólo hay tres países que tienen el mismo número de mujeres que de hombres trabajando en las ciencias y en la ingeniería. Estos tres países son Letonia, Lituania y Polonia. Esto no parece justo, pero ahora, ¿es mejor que en el pasado? [read more...]
Recently, paleoanthropologists discovered evidence that suggests Homo erectus used fire one million years ago. Prior to this important discovery, scientists theorized fire had been used back then but had no direct evidence. [read more...]
The stegosaurs were very strange looking creatures. These herbivorous animals had small heads and huge bodies. Since they were not very fast, they relied on their tough skin—used like body armor to protect themselves. [read more...]
As medical technology continues to advance, scientists are excited to announce that they may soon have the ability to create human organs from stem cells. Currently, teams are focusing on fabricating human livers. [read more...]
Some people have grown up believing that eating food like ice cream, chicken soup, and mac and cheese can lift their spirits. But is this actually true? Recently, scientists have indicated that this is, in fact, false. [read more...]
Language is remarkable. Today, there are over six thousand known languages spoken throughout the world. In the remote territories of northern Australia, natives of the small village of Lajamanu have even invented their own language. [read more...]
Ever since newts were discovered 250 years ago, scientists have theorized that a newt’s ability to regenerate body parts declines as it grows older. However, this theory was contradicted by a study completed in 2010. [read more...]
There are four small planets in our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. While these planets are each littler than the rest, they also have distinct and unique traits. [read more...]
The stegosaurs were very strange looking creatures. These herbivorous animals had small heads and huge bodies. Since they were not very fast, they relied on their tough skin—used like body armor to protect themselves. [read more...]
As the global population continues to expand, demands for energy have skyrocketed. With Earth’s limited supplies of fossil fuels, however, it is apparent that new forms of renewable energy must be found and developed in order to meet these demands. [read more...]
When the expected summer storms blew in this past June, they brought with them certain, familiar smells. Many people simply describe the scent as "the smell of rain." However, this odor is actually the smell of ozone, petrichor, and geosmin–the most common scents emitted before, during, and after a storm. [read more...]
Within the past year, scientists have discovered and named 18,000 new species, only a small fraction of the estimated ten million yet to be discovered. A global committee of taxonomists and experts from the International Institute for Species Exploration recently announced the top 10 most interesting species discovered during the past year. [read more...]
Even though the infamous nuclear disaster at the Ukrainian Chernobyl plant happened almost 30 years ago, life around this epicenter is still affected by the explosion. [read more...]
Pregnant women often strive to maintain healthy diets. A new study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition supports that this is beneficial for both woman and child. In fact, this study indicates that an expectant woman’s healthy diet not only positively influences her health but also offers the baby benefits for years following its birth. [read more...]
The practice of stem cell research has existed for almost two decades, since the first successful embryonic stem cell growth (ESC) in 1998. Following this, stem cells have led scientists to many significant breakthroughs in the medical field. [read more...]
Decreases in Arctic ice have scientists wondering if this melting could affect local weather patterns. Shrinking to the size of Texas in 2012, arctic ice is at a record low and may explain recent, more intense weather in Wisconsin [read more...]
Researchers in Boston are looking for an effective way to counteract resistance to prostate cancer treatment by comparing mice and men. Working out of a tiny mouse hospital at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, these researches are equipped with miniature ultrasound machines, MRI machines, CT and PET scanners, clinical laboratories, and pharmacies. [read more...]
The possibility of an asteroid hitting the Earth is real, but unlikely. In fact, scientists have spotted over 500 asteroids whose orbits cross the Earth’s. However, they have lost sight of most of these asteroids over time. [read more...]
The first-ever symposium about the future of zoos was held in Buffalo, New York. The conference, which discussed topics ranging from new designs for zoos to bioengineering the animals, was attended by zoo directors, animal behaviorists, conservationists, and architects. [read more...]
The last eight years have seen a great decline in the honeybee population. Currently, President Obama is stepping up to address this problem. In the past few years, researchers have been working to understand why millions of bees have been leaving their homes and not coming back. This phenomenon is called colony collapse disorder (CCD). [read more...]
It’s no wonder The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks—Rebecca Skloot's non-fiction account of theft, disease, exploitation, and science—became a bestseller. This shocking text tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, a woman incapable of telling it herself. [read more...]
Carp, a non-native species of fish, are polluting lakes and marshes almost everywhere in North America. Fast growing aquatic creatures, carp can reach 10 to 11 inches, outgrow their predators, and live for decades. [read more...]
Plants do not talk, but they can communicate. Plants' communication is chemical. For example, trees, flowers, and tomatoes release chemical compounds into the air. When released, these compounds warn other, neighboring plants about diseases so they can defend themselves. It remains a mystery, however, how these plants receive and react to these warnings. [read more...]
Evolution is the way an organism changes over time. This change ultimately produces a species that is distinct from an organism’s early ancestors. Many experts think that the species on Earth today have arose and formed from simple organisms that first appeared three billion years ago. [read more...]
A teenager from Dorseyville Middle School, in Pennsylvania recently discovered a way to save the government millions of dollars. The solution: a change in font type. [read more...]
Throw an object, like a ball, into space from Earth at an approximate speed of 25,000 miles per hour. The object would have enough momentum to escape Earth's gravity and reach outer space. This speed is scientifically referred to as an escape velocity and differs for all gravitational fields. The more mass a planet or star has, the stronger its gravitational field, thus the greater its escape velocity. Black holes' masses are so large that their theoretical escape velocity is greater than the speed of light, making them appear colorless or black. [read more...]
During a recent tour of the newly expanded Aldo Leopold Nature Center, executive director Camille Zanoni shared some alarming data with Free Press student writers. Zanoni said that children spend only one percent of their time outside. This directly correlates with a rise in childhood obesity, depression, ADD/ADHD, and cardiovascular problems. [read more...]
About 1.8 million years ago, there was a turning point in the evolutionary history of humans. [read more...]
A jar of sweet peas might be the key to determining the seasonal conditions that led to the “Atlantis” volcanic eruption on the island of Santorini, Greece. A recent evaluation of evidence found at the eruption site, published in the journal Naturwissenschaften, re-opened this cold case. [read more...]
Neanderthals, sometimes known as cavemen, were once thought to be dim-witted. Until recently, the possibility of cavemen having artistic talents was simply out of the question. Neanderthals were thought to be incapable of creating Paleolithic art. However, new evidence suggests Neanderthals were more cultured than we thought. [read more...]
Yawning is frequently associated with boredom or drowsiness. Yawning can also be contagious. Like a mirror effect, when someone yawns, it is likely that someone near him or her will yawn back. Furthermore, a study conducted by the University of Pisa and the Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies (ISTC-CNR) of Rome revealed that yawning can be used to evaluate how strong emotional bonds are between people. [read more...]
When I felt my mouth and tongue burning after eating copious amounts of fresh pineapple, I panicked. What if I am allergic to one of my favorite foods? When will the tingling stop? As a biochemistry student, I guessed the burning might have been caused by natural acids in the fruit, but nature had me fooled. [read more...]
Recently, scientists of the University at Geneva declared the finding of a planet orbiting Alpha Centauri B, our sun’s nearest neighbor. The planet has a mass similar to Earth’s, a key feature vital for human survival. Although the planet is much too close to its sun to sustain life, it gives astronomers and space junkies alike hope that there are more planets near it that fit the requirements to host living things. A closer analysis of this mystery planet, however, is causing scientists to question its existence. [read more...]
While staring out into the black night sky, you can often see that Venus is one of the brightest objects in your view. Venus is the second planet from the sun and is similar to Earth in size and mass. It’s also known as Earth’s twin sister. Both planets were born at about the same time, formed by similar materials, and had similar atmospheres. [read more...]
By using tricks of light and smell, some plants in this world are not friends to insects. These carnivorous plants catch and consume insects to supplement their diets much as humans use vitamins. They need these additives because they live in waterlogged ground that lacks essential nutrients. [read more...]
Drugs are commonly prescribed by doctors to help people who are sick or injured. Many of them have been used for thousands of years in various forms and combinations. [read more...]
Humans are warm-blooded, which means we can generate our own heat. Reptiles are cold-blooded; they cannot generate their own heat. [read more...]
The misuse and overuse of antibiotics has created new strains of more resistant, and even deadly bacteria. Recently, the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a list of the three most urgent antibiotic-caused bacteria: Clostridium difficile (C. diff), Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), and drug-resistant gonorrhea. [read more...]
Did you know that a volcano can create a new island in a matter of days? [read more...]
Researchers recently revived a 400-year-old moss from a melting glacier in the High Canadian Arctic. Scientists thought that the old plants living under the glacier were all dead. All new growth in the gap created by the receding glacier was assumed to be by modern plants. They discovered these plants were in fact alive and spreading spores. Theses plants regrew in the laboratory after being preserved for hundreds of years. All new growth in the gap created by the receding glacier was assumed to be by modern plants. [read more...]
Cancer may be a much older disease than scientists thought. A surprising discovery in Croatia revealed a 120,000-year-old Neanderthal specimen with bone cancer. Prior to this discovery, the oldest fossils known to have bone cancer were between 1,000 and 4,000 years old. [read more...]
Since the discovery of its structure in the 1950’s, scientists have been decoding our DNA. Our DNA contains genes, the unique ingredients that help determine what traits we possess and who we become. One complete set of genes, containing all the ingredients for one human, is a genome. Until recently, scientists believed that each human contained only one. [read more...]
Although the Monarch butterfly is the most well known, there are over 15,000 species of butterflies and moths. [read more...]
The discovery in China of a new species of dinosaur has created more questions than answers. [read more...]
Often at the North and South Poles of the Earth, colorful light emerges from the sky and dances with the stars. This light is what we know to be auroras. [read more...]
At 17 years of age, many of us have barely reached our first rites of passage, let alone our expiration dates. But at 17, the periodical cicada ends its life, making it the longest living insect. [read more...]
Scientists at the University of Michigan recently engineered an important conductor made of gold nanoparticles and an elastic polymer. But what looks like a shiny piece of gold foil and stretches like a rubber band could potentially be made into electrode implants for the brain or the heart. [read more...]
Scientists have confirmed the discovery of the oldest rock art in North America. Etched as long as 14,800 years ago, these carvings, or petroglyphs, were found at Winnemucca Lake in Nevada. [read more...]
Pickling is an interesting and ancient process. Pickles come in many different types, shapes and sizes. [read more...]
Do you know the difference between a swamp and a marsh? There is one main difference: swamps contain trees and shrubbery, while marshes are waterlogged areas without trees. More land dwelling animals live in swamps, while marshes are home to a variety of birds. [read more...]
A shark known as the dogfish can supply a cure for various viral diseases. [read more...]
Wind is the movement of air. Air moves because of differences in the pressure system. Wind blows from places of higher pressure to places of lower pressure. When it is cold, the air pressure is higher than when it is warm. High winds can form hurricanes, tornadoes, and typhoons. [read more...]
Developed in 1990 by Lyle Hill and Bob Heidman, the Adult Role Models in Science program, better known as ARMS, is a partnership between children and adults handled by the UW-Madison Institute for Biology Education. Their mission is to improve science education in elementary and middle schools through long-term community collaboration. [read more...]
For many years scientists have been puzzled by the origin of snakes. DNA analysis indicates that snakes are related to monitor lizards and iguanas. Snakes look more similar to worm lizards, an earthworm-like animal. [read more...]
These days, most of the fish you find in Wisconsin’s lakes and elsewhere have jaws. But in ancient times, most fish were jawless and sucked up their prey through their mouths. It was not until 420 million years ago, during the Devonian period, that fish jaws evolved. [read more...]
More than 30,000 years ago, an Ice Age squirrel hid its fruits and seeds in an underground burrow. Recently, a team of scientists led by Svetlana Yashin, of the Institute of Cell Biophysics at the Russian Academy of Sciences, resurrected a flower from the fruit tissue remains of this squirrel’s hidden treasure. [read more...]
A new discovery suggests that about 1.8 million years ago there were several pre-human species living in Africa. The species Homo Erectus is believed to be our direct ancestor. But now it seems possible humans had two additional relatives. [read more...]
Last spring, I graduated from Memorial High School. I will be starting my first semester at the University of Wisconsin-Madison this fall, where I hope to study biochemistry and microbiology. One of my most memorable high school moments, a group demonstration in AP Chemistry class, might have given me a good taste of what I’ll learn about in a college chemistry class. [read more...]
Recently, a group of Simpson Street Free Press reporters and I took a trip to the UW Madison’s L.R. Ingersoll Physics Museum located in Chamberlin Hall. The museum featured hands-on physics demonstrations that appeal to young and old audiences alike. The exhibits were fascinating, and really grabbed our attention. We knew right away that this was a story we wanted to cover. The experiments that take place here explain physics in a way that even a younger child can understand. It is a place of exploration and discovery. [read more...]
I sometimes lose my train of thought— as do many others. And what can we blame for this maddening behavior? According to science, the culprit is the anterior temporal lobe (ATL). [read more...]
Almost everyone considers the common louse a pesky little critter. But now scientists have discovered that they are more useful than first thought. [read more...]
Adult mammals sleep for varying numbers of hours per day. However, sometimes these numbers can be drastically different among species. Recent studies show that there is a relationship between average sleep and an animals’ survival needs. [read more...]
For almost three years Charles Bentley has been digging a hole. [read more...]
A study that followed approximately 100,000 nurses for up to 30 years demonstrates that women who consume three or more alcohol drinks per week show an elevated risk of breast cancer. This new research finds a link between drinking and breast cancer that is not necessarily causal; it is only correlational. No conclusive proof supports the notion that drinking causes breast cancer. [read more...]
More people than ever are thinking about ways to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. Some scientists suggest that cutting back on our meat diets would help. The raising of livestock like pigs and cows occupies two-thirds of the world’s farmland and causes 20 percent of greenhouse gases according to some estimates. [read more...]
There are only about 300 Indochinese tigers in the world. About 100 of them live in Thailand, Lao PDR, and perhaps 30 living in Vietnam. The population in Myanmar is currently unknown. Although they originate in China, the last known Indochinese tiger spotted in China was killed and eaten in 2007 by a poacher. [read more...]
When a person falls asleep, they experience a series of sensations, which they generally have no control over. This is known as dreaming. When people dream, they generally are not aware that they are in this state. However, in the phenomenon of lucid dreaming, people are aware. [read more...]
“Whether these particular birds went extinct after humans arrived, we don’t know and the trick is we don’t have a lot of fossils,” says Nicholas R. Longrich, a paleontologist at Yale. He is talking about the Xenicibus Xympithecus. [read more...]
Penguin researchers have long debated the accuracy of the flipper bands used to track penguins and study their migration patterns. A recent study now raises ethical questions about the use of these bands. [read more...]
Researchers have discovered one of the earliest dinosaurs. Scientists recently unearthed a small, and formally very vicious, dinosaur called Eodromaeus. This species lived about 230 million years ago, a time when dinosaurs were just starting to populate Earth. Eodromaeus weighed up to 14 pounds and was about four feet long. This new study will be published in the journal Science. [read more...]
When you think of people who have succeeded in math and science, many of us normally think of Einstein, Isaac Newton or Galileo. Are you surprised that they are all men? The history books have not had much to say about women and the sciences. [read more...]
Most people know about ordinary volcanoes, but many have not heard about unique supervolcanoes. These extremely rare volcanoes are the worlds most powerful. They are rated number eight—the highest figure on the Volcanic Explosivity Index. [read more...]
Building artificial organs from individual cells is a difficult task for scientists. However, medical may soon successfully meet this medical challenge using a new process: micromasonry. [read more...]
Over the last year, Wisconsin’s wolf population has grown by about ten percent. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) counted at least 180 wolf packs in the state. Though some packs consist of as few as two wolves, 52 of Wisconsin’s wolf packs include at least five individuals. The state’s largest wolf pack is the eleven wolf Moose Road pack, which roams the forests of Douglas County. [read more...]
The zebra mussel is native to the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. However during the past 20 years this species has found a way to the Great Lakes, Mississippi River, and California. [read more...]
Five years ago Harvard University President Larry Somers sparked a nation-wide controversy when he said that women and girls may not have the same aptitude for math and science as their male counterparts. Part of what made these comments so controversial is that Somers is a well-known national figure. He currently serves as a Senior Economic Advisor with the Obama Administration. [read more...]
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently blocked the sale of the first over-the-counter personal genetics tests. This product was scheduled to hit the shelves of Walgreens and CVS Pharmacies this year. Many would have been thrilled with this opportunity to test their likelihood of developing genetic diseases. The FDA, however, certainly wasn’t jumping for joy. [read more...]
Traditionally, when a cavity was discovered in a tooth, a dentist had to drill through the tooth to treat it. But a new tool has been developed that stops early-stage cavities. It is called the Icon system, and was developed by the dental-materials manufacturer DMG. [read more...]
The nutria is a furry, rat-like rodent that has been invading the southern wetlands of the United States. Originally from South America, nutria were brought here in the 1930s and ‘40s and bred for their fur. When fur went out of style, many were released into the wild. [read more...]
Fifteen years ago, a peace treaty between Israel and Jordan started a scientific cooperation between the two countries. As a result of this cooperation, a new species of desert spider has been found. The Cerbalus aravensis was recently discovered in the Sands of Samar, a dune area on the border of Israel and Jordan. [read more...]
All over the world, plants and animals of different species from varied environments reproduce. One thing that is different across species is the mechanism that determines gender. [read more...]
Shy, swift, and elusive, tree frogs leap from tree to tree with amazing agility, making them difficult for humans to observe. Wisconsin is home to two different species of tree frogs: the eastern gray (hyla versicolor) and the Cope’s gray (hyla chrysoscelis). [read more...]
Ten years ago, Paul Sereno of the University of Chicago led a team of paleontologists into the Sahara Desert. During the expedition, these scientists found the remains of the largest known crocodile ever to walk the Earth. They dubbed their new discovery SuperCroc. [read more...]
When we envision a dinosaur catching its prey, we usually imagine a ferocious T-Rex viciously clawing, biting, and gulping down some poor animal. But one dinosaur in particular appears to have used a very different technique. [read more...]