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Throughout the Ocean, Climate Change is Forcing Plankton to Move

(Credit: Choksawatdikorn/Shutterstock)

Some of the smallest creatures in the sea are also some of the most influential. Plankton, a group of microscopic marine organisms that includes bacteria, amoebas and snail larvae, among other things, prop up the base of the oceanic food chain. Every sea creature, from clownfish to whales, ultimately depend on plankton for food.

Now, a new study that peers into a past before human influence shows climate change has upset the distribution of plankton

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Billion-Year-Old Fossil Fungi, Oldest Known, Revises Broader Evolution Timeline

The fungus among us is a key player in the ecosystem — and was part of the world hundreds of millions of years before we were. Hold on, make that potentially a billion years before we came along. Fungi microfossils from the Canadian Arctic are 900 million-1 billion years old, pushing back the fossil record for these organisms by at least 450 million years.

This discovery is about more than the very distant evolutionary kin of mushrooms, however. The microfossils include the earliest docum

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Baby Tiger Sharks Are Eating Sparrows And Woodpeckers

A tiger shark — woodpeckers beware. (Credit: Shane Gross/Shutterstock)

Often called “the garbage cans of the sea,” tiger sharks are voracious eaters. The sharks will eat just about anything — fish, other sharks, seabirds, sea turtles, whale carcasses. The list goes on. 

That hodgepodge of prey now also includes a few creatures that don’t usually even go in the ocean. Young tiger sharks also feast on sparrows, woodpeckers and other land-based birds, says a group of researchers. The adolesc

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Pushy Bonobo Moms Help Their Sons Get Lucky

(Credit: Gudkov Andrey/Shutterstock)

Seeing anyone special? Thinking about having kids? When am I going to have some grandchildren?

Many moms nag their adult children about the prospect of grandchildren. But bonobo moms take their maternal harassment to another level: They actively participate in helping their sons find mates.

Even more surprisingly, the pushy tactic gets results. The sons of overbearing mothers are more likely to father offspring, says a group of researchers.

“Th

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Weird, Mysterious and Threatened: Can Scientists Save the Platypus?

A platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) pauses for a moment after being released by scientists into the Little Yarra River, its home stream in Victoria, Australia. (Credit: Douglas Gimesy)

With the bill of a duck, the body of an otter, and the tail of a beaver, the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) has a long history of confounding the humans who’ve encountered it. Early European settlers took to calling the strange, semi-aquatic mammals they found living in eastern Australian streams “duck