Life and Nature

THE COSQUER CAVE

The Chauvet Cave – The scientific research – Part 2

The Significance of the Cave The discovery came as a shock, and even non-specialists could recognize its originality and distinction. This response was caused by several aspects. The first is the kind of animals that were primarily represented here, namely rhinoceroses, lions, and bears. Generally, the animals depicted in Paleolithic caves are animals that were …

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What is a double helix? 3

What is a double helix?

“I’ve read that the shape of DNA is a ‘double helix.’ What is that?” If you could see a piece of DNA, it would look like a ladder that’s been twisted into a corkscrew shape . . . that’s the double helix. The rungs of the ladder are made up of pairs of chemicals — …

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Asteroid Frog Extinction

Scientists think that amphibians are rapidly disappearing around the world because of their sensitivity to environmental changes. So how did frogs outlive the dinosaurs? You talk about an asteroid causing the extinction of the dinosaurs, but what about frogs? Frogs are a very delicate species, greatly affected by changes in their climate. The fossil record …

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Chubby Pets

People aren’t the only ones who have weight problems. Nearly 50 percent of all dogs and 25 percent of all cats are overweight. Extra pounds can put your pet at risk for heart disease, liver problems, arthritis and diabetes. In some cases, you may be feeding your pets too much, or giving them too many …

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Biodiversity Database

In the past half billion years, life on Earth has experienced several waves of mass extinctions. The most recent — 65 million years ago — wiped out the dinosaurs. But it’s what happens to biodiversity between extinction events that interests paleobiologist John Alroy, of the University of California, Santa Barbara. John Alroy: The traditional view is …

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Terra Preta 5

Terra Preta

In the Brazilian Amazon, the soil is poor. So farmers resort to slashing and burning trees to enrich the soil. It’s common wisdom that the natives have always practiced slash and burn techniques. But beneath the rainforest, small patches of rich, dark soil polka-dot the Amazon river basin. It’s known as Terra Preta — or …

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Elk, Bunchgrass, and Weeds 6

Elk, Bunchgrass, and Weeds

A story about winter forage for the Rocky Mountain elk of Montana. During the summer, elk use a variety of habitats at different elevations. But winter snow cover limits their food, primarily to bunchgrasses found in valleys — valleys that are often encroached upon by human development. And there’s an even more immediate threat to …

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