science
Some Vegetarian Dinosaurs Cheated By Snacking on Seafood

Large plant-eating dinosaurs are typically thought of as strict vegetarians, but an analysis of fossilised dino poo from the Cretaceous Period suggests some of these creatures also feasted on crustaceans. The study, published this week in Scientific Reports, suggests these occasional lapses in vegetarianism might have had something to do with dinosaur reproduction. Read More >>

space
This Is One of the Strangest Objects Ever Discovered in the Solar System

Is it an asteroid? A comet? Both? Observations by the Hubble Space Telescope are revealing new details about a strange binary asteroid that’s performing double-duty as a comet. It’s the first time scientists have ever seen such a thing. Read More >>

nature
Migrating Bats Are Basically Flying Weather Stations

Common noctule (Nyctalus noctula). (Image: MPI f. Ornithology/ K. Safi) Read More >>

history
Sunken German Submarine From WWI Likely Contains Remains of 23 Sailors

Marine archaeologists have discovered a German submarine off the coast of Belgium in the North Sea. The U-boat dates back to the First World War, and its near-pristine condition suggests the remains of all 23 sailors are still inside. Read More >>

animals
When Male Ducks Hang Out Together Their Penises Get Longer

Male ducks have some of the weirdest junk in nature—a ludicrously long, corkscrew-shaped member that evolved on account of an ongoing battle of the sexes. New research shows that the social environment in which the male duck finds himself in has a pronounced effect on the length of his penis, a finding that may finally put the “size matters” debate to rest. For ducks. Read More >>

science
Waters Exposed By Massive Antarctic Iceberg Now a Protected Area

Two months ago, an iceberg half the size of Jamaica tore itself loose from Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf. As it slowly drifts north, this massive berg is exposing an area that’s been covered in ice for the past 120,000 years. An international agreement has now been put in place to protect this emerging area and keep it in pristine condition. Read More >>

science
Are Wolves Better Problem Solvers Than Dogs?

From a young age, human children learn that a rattle won’t make a noise until it’s shaken, and that placing fingers on a hot stove is a terrible idea. New research suggests that wolves, like humans, have a knack for identifying these kinds of cause-and-effect relationships, but that domesticated dogs do not. This finding suggests that domestication may have debilitated doggie brains, but there are other possible factors to consider as well. Read More >>

science
Virgin Velvet Spiders Allow Themselves to Be Eaten By Their Foster Kids

Spiders are typically thought of as solitary creatures that don’t partake in social pleasantries unless they have something to do with mating. But as new research shows, the African velvet spider is an exception to this rule. Mother spiders are assisted by closely-related virgin females who, in addition to engaging in child-rearing tasks, offer themselves up as a sacrificial meal for the spiderlings. Read More >>

science
The Hottest Known Temperature On Earth Was Caused By an Ancient Asteroid Strike

Around 36 million years ago, an asteroid smashed into what is now the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. New research suggests that, for a brief time, the temperature at the point of impact exceeded 4,300 degrees F (2,370 C), making it the hottest temperature known to have occurred on Earth. Read More >>

ai
Hackers Have Already Started to Weaponise Artificial Intelligence

Last year, two data scientists from security firm ZeroFOX conducted an experiment to see who was better at getting Twitter users to click on malicious links, humans or an artificial intelligence. The researchers taught an AI to study the behavior of social network users, and then design and implement its own phishing bait. In tests, the artificial hacker was substantially better than its human competitors, composing and distributing more phishing tweets than humans, and with a substantially better conversion rate. Read More >>

science
Super-Accurate Sculpture of Ancient Sea Creature Is Surprisingly Adorable

Well, maybe it’s a face that only a mother could love, but this remarkable recreation of a prolific sea creature that lived over 500 million years ago is offering an entirely new perspective on a particular well-known species. Read More >>

science
Huge Wafts of Smoke From North American Wildfires Have Traveled All the Way to Europe

It’s been a particularly brutal wildfire season in parts of western North America, as several large blazes continue to cause headaches from California up to British Columbia. As shocking new satellite images show, the smoke from these fires hasn’t been limited to the west coast, or even the North American continent. It’s drifted all the way over the Atlantic Ocean into European skies. Read More >>

history
Origin of Zero Symbol Centuries Older Than Previously Thought

The number zero is something we all take for granted, yet its conceptual origin has eluded archaeologists and historians. An updated analysis of an ancient Indian manuscript is shedding new light on this longstanding mystery, showing that the symbol that would eventually evolve into the number zero emerged at least 500 years earlier than previously thought. Read More >>

science
Robots Made From DNA Could One Day Transport Medicine Inside Your Body

In the classic 1966 American science fiction film Fantastic Voyage, a submarine crew was miniaturised and injected into a body to fix a blood clot in the brain. That’s obviously not how future medical science is going to work, but the notion of creating microscopic machines to perform complex tasks is certainly on point. A recent advance, in which robots made from DNA were programmed to sort and deliver molecules to a specified location, now represents an important step in this futuristic direction. Read More >>

science
How Aliens We’ve Never Met Could Help Humanity Escape Self-Destruction

Humans have had such a dramatic impact on Earth that some scientists say we’ve kickstarted a new geological era known as the Anthropocene. A fascinating new paper theorises that alien civilisations could do the same thing, reshaping their homeworlds in predictable and potentially detectable ways. The authors are proposing a new classification scheme that measures the degree to which planets have been modified by intelligent hosts. Read More >>