The mystery of the Thirteen Towers of Chankillo
Thirteen towers march from north to south along the top of a low hill in the coastal Peruvian desert. These towers -- spread over 300 meters -- are part of a fourth-century BCE ceremonial complex in a remote location in Peru's Casma-Sechin River Basin.
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Medieval Islamic architects were math whizzes
The walls of many ancient buildings in the Islamic world are covered in designs that are mind-bogglingly complex. A new study now helps explain how the designers managed to make such intricate patterns.
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Elk change physiology when hunted by wolves
The wolves of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem affect elk in important ways besides making meals of them, researchers have found.
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Secrets of moth flight control
Ever tried taking a drink during a bumpy airplane or car ride? Some of it probably ended up on the front of your shirt. Now imagine being a moth trying to drink nectar from a flower on a windy day. If you want that nectar to end up in your gut, you're going to need a way to stay steady while you're in flight.
More time tells a different story about plants and climate change
Ecologists studying the effects of climate change on a California grassland, found that observing the interactions between plants and insects over five years, provides better information than one- or two-year-long studies on a single plant or insect.
Jumping spiders glow in ultraviolet light
Under ultraviolet (UV) light, body parts of the ornate jumping spider Cosmophasis umbratica fluoresce, and excite the opposite sex's mating interest.
What animal is whiter than the whitest smile?
Every now and then, scientists discover that nature has produced a much better version of something they are trying to make themselves. A team of researchers in the UK has just made this kind of discovery about the white Cyphochilus beetle.
Family found for giant, stinking flower
First discovered nearly 200 years ago in the Sumatran rain forest, an unusual flowering plant with the largest single flower -- typically a full meter across and weighs up to 15 pounds -- has finally found its home in the botanical tree of life.
Anchovy fishing could harm Patagonian penguins
In the movie "Happy Feet," Mumbles the emperor penguin discovers that overfishing by humans is causing a famine in the penguin colony in Antarctica. If we're not careful, a similar type of situation (minus the tap-dancing) could take place on the Patagonian coast of Argentina, researchers say.
Giant European dinosaur found in Spain
Fossils of a giant Sauropod, found in Spain, reveal that Europe was home to giant dinosaurs in the Late Jurassic period -- about 150 million years ago. Giant dinosaurs have previously been found mainly in the New World and Africa.
Stardust surprise -- Comet dust is mixed and varied
Researchers have only been able to speculate about the material in comets until now. The recent NASA mission brought the first samples to Earth from a comet.
Brand new craters and gullies on Mars
The Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft has been orbiting Mars for the last nine years, and its camera has been snapping photos of the Red Planet's surface all the while.
Can ancient forests help slow climate warming?
The trees in the Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve, which is in China’s Guangdong Province are really old. As in 400 years old!
Saving the animals of the serengeti
How do you keep wildlife in a nature preserve safe and healthy when people want to kill them for food or to sell valuable animal parts to make money?
Researchers have designed a robot that can sense and recover from damage to its own body, an ability that should help robots operate in new or dangerous terrain.
What can a sea urchin tell us about having a backbone?
Scientists have begun to unravel the genome -- the chemical instructions for life contained in an organism's every cell -- for the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus.
Seafood and fish are disappearing from the sea
Seafood and fish species loss is accelerating, and if things continue this way, researchers say their studies show we may have no more fish or seafood to eat from the ocean.
The buzz on bees: Oldest bee fossil found
Scientists reported finding the oldest fossil of a honey bee. It is 100 million years old. This fossil is about 40 millions years older than ones found before.
Cosmic rays go along for the Milky Way ride
Cosmic rays zoom through our galaxy near the speed of light. These streams of high energy particles may be accelerated in shock waves such as supernova blast waves, but theirs paths are scrambled by interstellar magnetic fields, making it difficult to determine where they came from.
If asteroids got dizzy
Then near-Earth asteroid 1999 KW4 would be about to lose its lunch right now. Scientists have discovered that the main piece of this asteroid, whose name is "Alpha," is spinning so fast that it would break apart if it went any faster. Alpha also has a little buddy named "Beta." Beta is revolving around its own axis, but it also circles around Alpha. That's a lot of spinning!
Shell fossils tell life came out of the tropics
Researchers studied 11 million years worth of shell fossils and learned that the tropics are where new types of life -- called species -- begin and old species continue to live.
Parasite plants 'sniff' out their new homes
"Witches' shoelaces," "hairweed," "devils hair," "devilguts": These are all nicknames for the dodder plant, which winds around other plants and sucks out nutrients and water. Large numbers of dodder plants looks like a big tangle of hair smothering their host plants.
Why sleep? Flies tell us why
Sleep is a mystery. Scientists do not know why we need sleep. But, adults know they need sleep and parents know children need sleep. Other living beings need sleep.
Oldest writing in the new world
While digging in a gravel quarry in Mexico, workers found a stone block that researchers believe has the oldest writing in the New World carved into it.
Opportunity Rover on Mars keeps going and going
Imagine having a robot with a transformer-like tool that you can send to a distant planet. It could send back photos so you could see that planet's landscape and provide you information about the rocks it finds because the transformer can open up rocks and test what is inside.
Funding provided by the William T. Golden Endowment Fund for Program Innovation at AAAS.