March 24, 2015

Prehistoric Stone Tools with Animal Residue

About 2.8 million years ago, early humans probably survived on a diet of plants. As the human brain expanded, however, it craved richer nourishment - namely animal fat and meat. Lacking claws and sharp teeth, early humans developed the skills and stone tools necessary to hunt large animals and cut the fat and meat from the carcasses.

Recently, this rare fossil shed new light on early human evolution. Long before that, our oldest known primate ancestors lived in trees and may have looked like this.

Now, evidence of human carnivorous behavior has been found among elephant remains at a Lower Paleolithic site in Revadim, Israel.

March 23, 2015

Solar Eclipse from Stuttgart, Germany

(Copyright Steven Spence, 2015)

On March 20, 2015, people across Europe, northern and eastern Asia, and northern and western Africa were treated to the best view of a partial solar eclipse. Steven Spence, a member of EH Science’s Contributors Community, was fortunate to witness this special celestial event, and today he shares with us his experience of photographing it. Don't miss Steven's other photos, including Winter Bees, First Visitors.

42 North American Butterflies

This animated infographic shows 42 different North American species of butterfly. It is the work of talented graphic designer Eleanor Lutz, whose creations EH Science has had the great pleasure of featuring on several occasions. Don't miss her infographics entitled Planet Earth’s Control Panel, How Muscles Work, and Breathing Infographic. Seriously, you don't want to miss them!

Winter Hack: New Rubber Grips Icy Surfaces

(Reza Rizvi, Yue Li, and Sharon Ravindran/
Toronto Rehabilitation Institute)
Winter storms dumped record amounts of snow on the East Coast and other regions of the United States this year, forcing many people to navigate icy sidewalks and roads. However, treacherous travel by foot may soon be a thing of the past thanks to a team of researchers from the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and the University of Toronto, Canada, who are working on a new rubber sole to help pedestrians get a better grip on slippery surfaces.

Methane-munching Microbes Limit Global Warming

(Photo courtesy of NOAA Okeanos 
Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast U.S. 
Canyons Expedition)
Methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases, is constantly leaking out of holes on the ocean floor. Now, an international team of scientists have found that these “methane seeps” are home to unique communities of microbes that play an invaluable role in maintaining life on Earth.

March 16, 2015

Winter Bees, Spring Visitors

Enjoy the beautiful nature photography of EH Science contributor, Steven Spence. The featured photo is a closeup of a bee gathering pollen from a flower. Spence explains the story behind the photo.

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March 12, 2015

Early Tetrapod Skull Looks like Crocodile, or a Running Shoe

Our 360 million-year-old tetrapod ancestors may have been more like modern crocodiles than previously thought, according to a new 3D skull reconstruction from the University of Bristol, UK.

Acanthostega gunnari was a “four-footed” vertebrate, also known as a tetrapod, that invaded land during one of the great evolutionary transitions in Earth's history, 380-360 million years ago...

March 11, 2015

Chameleons’ Color Change Secret Revealed

Chameleons are known for the remarkable ability to perform complex and rapid color changes during social interactions. Now, a team of scientists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, has unveiled exactly how chameleons change their colors...

March 10, 2015

Brain-like Computers from Optical Fibers

Computers that function like a human brain could soon become a reality thanks to new research using optical fibers made of speciality glass. This research has the potential to allow faster and smarter brain-like computers that can learn and adapt.

March 9, 2015

New, Durable Self-cleaning Paint from UCL Research Team

Put away the polish! A new paint that creates self-cleaning surfaces has been developed by a research team at University College London. The coating can be applied to clothes, paper, glass and steel. When combined with adhesives, the paint maintains its self-cleaning properties after being wiped, scratched with a knife, and scuffed with sandpaper.

Self-cleaning surfaces work by being extremely water repellent, but often stop working when...

March 5, 2015

Fossil Sheds Light on Early Human Evolution

The fossil mandible near where it was found (Brian Villmoare)
The discovery of a fossilized lower jaw bone in Ethiopia has pushed back evidence of the human genus -- Homo -- to 2.8 million years ago. The find predates all previously unearthed fossils of the Homo lineage by approximately 400,000 years.

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March 3, 2015

Handshakes May Engage Our Sense of Smell

Why do people shake hands? A new Weizmann Institute study suggests one of the reasons for this ancient custom may be to check out each other's chemistry. Even if we are not consciously aware of this purpose, handshaking may provide people with a socially acceptable way of communicating via the sense of smell.