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Terrestrial Origins and Evolution
A Dictysotelium purpureum fruiting body.
Credit: Owen Gilbert/Rice University
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Paleocene walnut family leaf with insect mine at base, Mexican Hat, Montana. Photo Credit: Peter Wilf, Penn State.
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Paleocene sycamore leaf with insect mine from Mexican Hat, Montana. Photo Credit: Peter Wilf, Penn State
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Quarrying Paleocene fossil leaves at Mexican Hat, Montana. Photo Credit: Peter Wilf, Penn State
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African crowned eagle in Kenya.
Media courtesy of: Robert Barber , via David Barber , The University of Georgia 08/19/2003
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Skulls from monkeys slain by raptors in Ivory Coast 's Tai forest line Scott McGraw 's worktable. Photo by Jo McCulty, Ohio State University.
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In the foreground, a skull of a Diana monkey. The large hole to the right of the nasal cavity was likely inflicted by an African crowned eagle. Photo by Jo McCulty, Ohio State University.
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In the foreground, a skull of a Diana monkey. The large hole to the right of the nasal cavity was likely inflicted by an African crowned eagle. Photo by Jo McCulty, Ohio State University.
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Some of the postcranial (the skeleton other than the head) elements of the Dikika skeleton. Credit: National Museum of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa
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Dr. Zeresenay Alemseged and geologist Dr. Jonathan Wynn discussing a newly discovered shin bone of the juvenile skeleton. Credit: Max Planck Institute for evolutionary Anthropology
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The skull of the Australopithecus afarensis child. Credit: National Museum of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa
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Jasper stromatolites from Gunflint Formation near Mackies, northern Ontario. Credit: GSC specimen, photo by BDEC
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Credit: University of Michigan
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A rat's whiskers are exquisitely sensitive to objects in the animal´ environment. Now Northwestern researchers have designed robotic whiskers that mimic rat whiskers (inset). Credit: Northwestern University
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Cottonmouth Creek waterfall over the event deposit with reworked Chicxulub impact spherules. The original Chicxulub ejecta layer was discovered in a yellow clay layer 45 cm below the base of the event deposit. The yellow clay represents a cheto smectite clay consisting of altered Chicxulub impact glass spherules. Credit: GSA
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A, B: Clasts from the basal conglomerate of the event deposit contain Chicxulub impact spherules. C, D: spherules in mudstone clasts. E, F: spherules within cracks of mudstone clasts. E: cracks rimmed by sparry calcite. Insert shows morphology of crack and total length of ~2 cm. F: clast with cracks infilled with spherules and sparry calcite, then truncated by erosion and followed by normal sedimentation. These clasts reveal a history of Chicxulub ejecta fallout and lithification well prior to exposure to erosion, transport and redeposition at the base of the event deposit. Credit: GSA
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Darting Minnow Creek event deposit with Chicxulub impact spherules near the base (boots of G. Keller are on Chicxulub spherule deposits). Thin-bedded sandstones overlie the glauconite, phosphate and spherule-rich deposits. The K-T boundary is above the event deposit, but difficult to access in the Creek bed. Credit: GSA
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Xenoturbella Credit: innovations report
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modern stromatolite community, Shark's Bay, Australia.
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Subtidal mounds in back reef 1. Credit: RIBS
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Laminated Fabrics of Stromatolites. Credit: RIBS
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Paeleontologist Guy Narbonne of Queen's University at his Mistaken Point exploration site on the coast of Newfoundland. Photo Credit: Greg Locke
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Graduate student Viktor Zykov, former student Josh Bongard, now a professor at the University of Vermont, and Hod Lipson, Cornell assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, watch as a starfish-like robot pulls itself forward, using a gait it developed for itself. the robot's ability to figure out how it is put together, and from that to learn to walk, enables it to adapt and find a new gait when it is damaged. Copyright © Cornell University
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This four-legged robot is not preprogrammed to walk. Like a newborn animal it explores itself and learns to use its limbs to move. When a leg is damaged, it repeats the process and works out a new method of locomotion. Lindsay France/Cornell University Photography
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Thiomargarita was discovered off the coast of Namibia by Heide Schulz of the University of Hannover, and is the largest known bacteria in the world.
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Jake Bailey, a graduate student at USC college, is lead author on the study that appeared in the Dec. 20, 2006 issue of Nature. Credit: Lauren Walser
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Composite (left) and reconstructed (right) skeletons of D. szalayi, the oldest known ancestor of primates. Credit: Bloch, et al./ PNAS
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H. G. Wells, was an English writer best known for such science fiction novels as The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, and The Island of Doctor Moreau. Credit: Wikipedia
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Chiral compounds are ones which exist in two forms, such as L- versus D-amino acids, but are mirror images of each other.
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The crystal structure of the L1 ligase ribozyme.

Image from M. Robertson and W. Scott (Science, March 16, 2007).
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Well preserved pillow lavas are an indication of ancient plate tectonics
at Isua Supracrustal Belt in southwestern Greenland.
Credit: Scripps
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The striations in a rock outcropping shows the layers of sheeted dikes
created by ancient seafloor spreading at the Isua Supracrustal Belt in
southwestern Greenland.
Credit: Scripps
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A plot of data on mass extinctions. Dinosaurs survived the mass
extinction that took place about 200 million years ago.
Credit: University of Chicago
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Urey Miller Experiment
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A rendering of Prototaxites as it may have looked during the early Devonian Period, approximately 400 million years ago. Credit:Mary Parrish, National Museum of Natural History
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Artist's representation of Cambrian life, reconstructed from the fossil record.
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Walcott quarry, where the Burgess Shale was discovered. The Burgess Shale contained a huge diversity of animal fossils from the Cambrian period. Credit: Andrew MacRae.
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Artist's representation of Ediacaran ocean life, reconstructed from fossil record.
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Artist's representation of the break-up of the supercontinent Rodinia. Credit: Tomo Narashima.
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White throated monitor, Varanus albigularis, skeleton. Credit: Steve Husky / Western Kentucky University
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An ostrich-like dinosaur, Struthiomimus; in the classic posture
indicative of brain damage and asphyxiation at death. Drawn from
specimen at American Museum of Natural History. The skull is about a
foot long.
Credit: UC Berkeley
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The earliest feathered dinosaur, Archaeopteryx (plumage not shown).
Drawn from specimen at Humboldt Museum, Berlin. The skull is about six
inches long.
Credit: UC Berkeley
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The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia is the
world's largest fully steerable radio telescope. Unlike conventional
telescopes, which have a series of supports in the middle of the
surface, the GBT's aperture is unblocked so that incoming radiation
meets the surface directly.
Credit: GBT, National Radio Astronomy Observatory
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Astronomers using the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope found the
negatively-charged form of octatetraynyl (C8H-) in a cold interstellar
cloud (middle left) and in the gaseous envelope surrounding an old,
evolved star (middle right). This is the largest negatively-charged
molecule yet found in space. The scientists believe it probably is
formed in steps, illustrated here, proceeding downward.

1. A molecule of C2H attaches to a molecule of C6H2, producing a
molecule of C8H2 and a hydrogen atom.
2. Radiation (squiggly line) breaks one hydrogen atom from the C8H2,
leaving C8H and a hydrogen atom.
3. Finally, an electron attaches itself to the C8H molecule, freeing a
burst of radiation (overall glow seen around the molecule) and leaving
the negatively-charged ion C8H-.
Credit: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF
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VY Canis Majoris is a 'supergiant' star - half a million times more
luminous than the sun and twenty-five times as massive.
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Phosphorus nitride contains two of the five most necessary molecules for
life - phosphorus and nitrogen. Phosphorus is a component of ATP
(adenosine triphosphate), which is vital for metabolism in living
organisms on Earth. It is also a critical component of DNA and RNA.
Until now, astronomers have found very little phosphorus or ion molecule
chemistry in outflows from cool stars.
Credit: Molecular Research Institute
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Mark Webster, Assistant Professor in Geophysical Sciences, examines a
500-million-year-old trilobite that was found in Nevada. In a study published in the
journal Science, Webster presented data showing that trilobites exhibited much more
within-species variation early in their history than later on.
Credit: Dan Dry / University of Chicago
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