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Terrestrial Origins and Evolution
Gigantopithecus blackii, the largest primate that ever lived. Credit: McMaster University
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McMaster geochronologist Jack Rink has determined that a gigantic ape which became extinct 100,000 years ago co-existed alongside humans. Credit: McMaster University
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At the height of the Wisconsin glaciation during the Pleistocene Ice Age, the Laurentide ice sheet covered nearly half of North America (left). Today, the polar ice cap is greatly diminished (right). (Image courtesy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Paleoclimatology Program.)
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At the southern tip of South America, researchers found fossils of an entirely new species of ancient crocodile -- one whose massive jaws and jagged teeth would have made it the most fearsome predator in the sea 135 million years ago. Its hefty size and T. rex -like snout have earned Dakosaurus andiniensis the nickname Godzilla. Paleontologists Zulma Gasparini and Luis Spalletti of the National University of La Plata in Argentina uncovered the fossil bones in Patagonia. Diego Pol, a postdoctoral researcher at Ohio State University, determined that the creature belongs on the crocodile family tree. The fossilized skull shown here measures approximately 2.5 feet long. The largest teeth near the snout (on the right side of the photograph) measure approximately four inches. Photo courtesy of Diego Pol, Ohio State University.
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Diego Pol, a postdoctoral researcher at the Mathematical Biosciences Institute and the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Ohio State University. Credit: Ohio State University
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View of left side of Dakosaurus andiniensis skull. Photo courtesy of Diego Pol, Ohio State University.
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Looks can be deceiving. New gene study redraws family tree of lizards and puts primitive-looking iguanas (shown here) and relatives at the top instead of bottom of the tree." Credit line: Copyright Eladio Fernandez 2005. (Image is of a West Indian Iguana, genus Cyclura.
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Lizard and snake family tree redrawn: New gene study finds unexpected traits, such as egg teeth (above, at tip of snout), useful in classifying species.
Credit: Karim Daoues

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Varanus kordensis, monitor lizard. Credit: Karim Daoues
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The growth of plateosaur's bones was characterised by temporary interruptions, so that 'annual growth rings' can be detected under the microscope, rather like the growth rings of trees.
Credit: University of Bonn
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Adrian Bejan, Duke University
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Flock of pelicans flying overhead at Phinda, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (photograph courtesy of William A. Bejan).
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Two types of bees. Credit: Arizona State University
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Photo shows increase in body size of deep-sea ostracode Poseidonamicus from 40 million years ago to 900,000 years ago.
Credit: Gene Hunt, UCSD
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Georgia Tech scientists found that the rate of molecular evolution of chimpanzees is closer to that of humans than it is to other apes.
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A 650-million-year-old fossil from Kazakhstan. Top: optical image of fossil cyanobacterium. Middle: confocal optical image of the same fossil. Bottom L: close-up of section of confocal optical image. Bottom R: Raman chemical image of same boxed region. Credit: UCLA
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Martin Kennedy, associate professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at UCR, led a study that identifies clay as a major contributor to oxygen that enabled early animal life on Earth. Credit: UC Riverside
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Darren Grocke on location. Credit: McMaster University
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Wood fossil surrounded by stone. Credit: McMaster University
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University of California, Davis paleontologist Geerat Vermeij says evolution, like the rest of history, is predictable
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Lynn Rothschild & Roberto Anitori working at Paralana hot spring in Australia
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An overall computer-simulated view of the satellite tobacco mosaic virus credit: University of Illinois/NCSA
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Humpback Whales
Credit: NOAA
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Rotunda of the Natural History Museum in Washington DC. Credit: Smithsonian
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Dr. Ted Daeschler of The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia co-led the expedition to the Canadian Arctic that discovered a new species of ancient fish. Credit: The Academy of Natural Sciences
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Cornell biologist Thomas Seeley counts how many scout bees visit one of the nest boxes offered by the researchers on Appledore Island, Maine, which has few trees, ensuring that the bees would focus on the provided next boxes. Credit: Cornell
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A honeybee swarm bivouacs on a tree branch, waiting for scout bees to select candidate sites for a new home, deliberate among the choices and then reach a verdict -- a process "complicated enough to rival the dealings of any department committee," says Cornell biologist Thomas Seeley. Credit: Thomas Seeley
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An insect's compound eye, seen in cross-section. (Photo by Birgit Greiner courtesy Science magazine)
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The artificial compound eye created by Luke P. Lee and his team is similar in size, shape and structure to an insect's compound eye, seen in cross-section. (Photo by Luke Lee courtesy Science magazine)
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A scanning electron microscope image of the surface of an artificial compound eye shows some of the 8,700 hexagonal microlenses that make up its surface. (Luke Lee photo, courtesy of Science magazine)
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The researchers collected data and developed mathematical models describing the collective behaviour of sheep, such as clustering together in a field. Credit: IST
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Little larger than a thumbnail, the cubic insect-like robots or –insbots´ are technological marvels. Developed under the European Commission´ Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) initiative of the IST programme as the project Leurre, the insbots are fitted with two motors, wheels, a rechargeable battery, several computer processors, a light-sensing camera and an array of infrared proximity sensors. Credit: IST

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Invertebrate Field Zoology, Samford University
Erythemis simplicicollis, Eastern pondhawk
Oak Mountain State Park, 09/01/04
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Microscope drawing of an obscure undersea microbe that metabolizes carbon monoxide into methane and vinegar and is the inspiration for a fundamental new theory of the origin of life on Earth. Credit: Penn State
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A new study raises questions about the
evolutionary interpretations that stem from this famous "Toumaï" fossil. Credit: Broad Institute
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View of a de-gassing event at Brimstone Pit at NW Rota-1 volcano releasing an extraordinary number of bubbles–”probably carbon dioxide. The yellow parts of the plume in the background contain tiny droplets of molten sulfur. Credit: NOAA
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Pieces of lava coated in yellow sulfur that stand out at the leading edge of an advancing lava flow on the seafloor at NW Rota-1 volcano. Bubbles of carbon dioxide also are streaming upwards as gases escape from the lava. Credit: NOAA
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Close-up of shrimp living near seafloor hot-springs at NW Rota-1 volcano. The yellowish coating on some of the shrimp is apparently from iron or sulfur that accumulates on their carapace. The pinker shrimp probably have molted more recently. Credit: NOAA
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The beating flagella of a Volvox colony creates a flow of water around it, visible here through the use of miniscule, illuminated plastic beads. The coordinated beating of flagella creates a nutrient-rich environment for the colony.
Image: University of Arizona
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Abigail Allwood in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, overlooking the area of an ancient reef system. Credit: Australian Centre for Astrobiology.
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A near-complete fossil specimen of Gansus yumenensis. Credit: AAAS
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The fossils were found near the Chinese town of Changma, about 2,000 kilometers west of Beijing. Credit: AAAS
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Researcher Karline Janmaat observing a mangabey on a trail in Uganda. Credit: University of St. Andrews
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A free-swimming stage
of a parasite larva.
Photo: Todd Huspeni, UCSB
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Bones like these are helping U of A researcher Dr. Philip Currie track the life-cycle of the Albertosaurus sarcophagus. Credit: University of Alberta
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Tree of Life
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Credit: UC Davis
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Rocks on Greenland´ Akilia Island. Scientists report evidence that supports life on Earth more than 3.8 billion years ago. They analyzed cross-cutting igneous rocks formed by intrusion, such as the light rock in the center (with hammer). Credit: UCLA
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Powerful forces on a very small scale
Bundles of microtubules, once lined up uniformly straight, begin to buckle and bend under compression stress generated their own growth. That distortion may be the beginning of pattern formation in natural objects.
Image: Yongxing Guo and Yifeng Liu
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A ribosome´ true colours. (Top) The large subunit of the ribosome, with proteins in blue and RNA components in orange, grey, and burgundy. Green and red ribbons, tRNAs. (Bottom) The peptidyl transfer mechanism catalysed by the RNA components of
the ribosome. A particular adenosine (A2451 in Escherichia coli) is
rendered unusually basic by its environment within the folded structure;
it is presumed to act as a base and abstract a proton as shown.
Reprinted with permission from T R Cech (2000). Copyright
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