Nature

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A long-extinct lineage of insect, known fondly as the ‘hell ant’, has been discovered frozen in 99-million-year-old amber, with its scythe-like jaw still pinning its prey. According to scientists, this fierce predator is a newly identified species of prehistoric ant, known as Ceratomyrmex ellenbergeri, and it’s the first time we’ve ever seen a hell ant actively
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As if spiderwebs weren’t already icky enough, some spiders have gone and made them poisonous as well, a new study reveals. The unique properties of spiderwebs have long fascinated materials scientists. They’re constructed from one of the toughest known natural materials: lighter, yet five times stronger than steel, and bacteria resistant to boot. Spider silk is also
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Hundreds of elephants that died mysteriously in Botswana’s famed Okavango Delta probably succumbed to natural toxins, the wildlife department said Friday. ​The landlocked southern African country has the world’s largest elephant population, estimated to be around 130,000. Around 300 of them have been found dying since March. ​Authorities have so far ruled out anthrax, as
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Not all volcanoes are suddenly explosive. Some spew steady rivers of gloppy, slow-moving lava for millennia on end, like those in the Hawaiian or Galápagos islands. These are what volcanologist Michael Stock from Trinity College Dublin in Ireland calls the ‘boring’ volcanoes – yet underneath their monotonous exterior, lurks a bombshell that Stock and his colleagues
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Similar to orcas and pilot whales, the enigmatic beluga whale has long been assumed to live out their lives in pods based around close maternal ties. But new research shows their social structures go far beyond sibling quid-pro-quo. By combining DNA profiling with mathematical network analysis, researchers have found belugas (Delphinapterus leucas) across the Arctic hang
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When microbiologist Jared Leadbeater returned to his office for the first time in months after a work trip, he found something strange. A cream-coloured manganese carbonate (MnCO3) compound, coating glassware he’d left soaking in his sink, had turned dark. Something had stolen some of its electrons. “I thought, ‘What is that?'” said Leadbeater, a researcher at the
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Scientists have identified an almost-complete skeleton of a 4.8-metre (15.7-foot) long dolphin ancestor that lived in what is now South Carolina during the Oligocene epoch around 25 million years ago. This ‘dolphin’ was the first known echolocating apex predator: as well as its large size, it would’ve had large, tusk-like teeth, and appears to have