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Did Life Arise from Hydrothermal Vents?
April 17, 2014 | NASA

“Did life first arise on Earth in warm, gentle springs on the sea floor?

Researchers are putting together the chemical pieces of how this process might have occurred.” Quoted from the NASA press release.

What is Peanut Wood?
April 16, 2014 |

This material is a petrified wood from Australia but it has nothing to do with peanuts. Most people are amazed when they learn how it forms.

Earliest Known Cardiovascular System
April 15, 2014 | University of Arizona

“A fossil creature buried in an “invertebrate version of Pompeii” more than half a billion years ago reveals the first-known cardiovascular system in exquisitely preserved detail.” Quoted from the University of Arizona News.

Image by Sir Charles Lyell
When Trilobites Ruled the World
March 20, 2014 | New York Times

The New York Times has an article titled: “When Trilobites Ruled the World”. It contains some interesting information about this favorite fossil.

Volcanoes Helped Species Survive Ice Ages
March 18, 2014 | The Australian National University

“The steam and heat from volcanoes and heated rocks allowed many species of plants and animals to survive past ice ages.” Quoted from The Australian National University press release.

Organic Gems
March 6, 2014 |

Although most gemstones are mineral materials, a number of organic materials and fossilized organisms are considered to be gemstones. The most common of these are pearl, bone, amber, coral, ivory, petrified wood, fossil coral, dinosaur bone and more.

The Oldest Mineral Grain
March 2, 2014 | BBC

A zircon crystal found in a sandstone of the Jack Hills region of Western Australia has been determined to be approximately 4.4 billion years old.

Oldest Human Footprints Outside of Africa
February 20, 2014 | BBC

Footprints more than 800,000 years old have been found along the coast of England. They are evidence of the earliest humans in Europe.

The Jehol Fossils of China
February 16, 2014 | National Geographic

A National Geographic article explores the diversity and incredible preservation of China’s Jehol fossils. The animals are thought to have been killed, transported, buried and preserved by ash produced by pyroclastic flows. Some researchers described it as a “Pompeii for animals”.

Bill Nye to Debate Evolution?
February 2, 2014 | NBC News

Bill Nye, also known as “The Science Guy” is scheduled to debate evolution and creationism at the Creation Museum in Kentucky. Many scientists are surprised that he has agreed to the debate.

Formation of the South China Sea
January 28, 2014 |

An international team of scientists will depart on an expedition to learn about the geologic history of the South China Sea aboard the JOIDES Resolution drilling vessel.

Most Popular Items for December
January 2, 2014 |

The Saturn Hexagon?

The Utah Supervolcano

What is Ammolite?

Landslide on an Incredible Scale

Failure of the Midcontinent Rift

Zoom in on the San Andreas Fault

Price of Gold Falling

Size of the Yellowstone Magma Chamber Severely Underestimated?

Salaries and Employment of Recent Geoscience Graduates

The Largest Recorded Fault Slip

How Do They Steer the Horizontal Drill?

Who Believes in Evolution?
December 30, 2013 | Pew Research Center

A new study from the Pew Research Center shows how support for evolution varies by political affiliation, age, gender, religious affiliation and how this support has shifted over time.

Neanderthals Could Speak Like Humans?
December 29, 2013 | BBC

Researchers have studied a well-preserved hyoid bone from a Neanderthal and have determined that the bone functioned like the hyoid bone of modern humans – meaning that Neanderthals had the ability to make a wide range of sounds similar to modern humans.

Failure of the Midcontinent Rift
December 10, 2013 |

Researchers are working to determine the cause of The Midcontinent Rift that began to tear what is now North America apart about one billion years ago and then failed.

The Oldest Human DNA
December 6, 2013 | New York Times

Scientists have recovered DNA from a fossil human who lived about 400,000 years ago. The oldest DNA before this specimen was about 300,000 years.

Most Popular Items for November
December 2, 2013 |

The World’s Largest Emerald Mine

What is Iris Agate?

New Volcanic Island Southeast of Japan

The Enormous Volcanic Eruption that Historians Never Recorded

A Super River from the Southwestern United States to the Labrador Sea?

Typhoon Haiyan Images

Comet Ison is Visible to the Naked Eye

New Super Predator Dinosaur

King of Gore from the Wahweap Formation
December 1, 2013 | Bureau of Land Management

“Ten million years before the T. rex walked the earth, another monster reigned. The 80 million-year-old fossil of the Lythronax argestes or “King of Gore” was recently discovered by Scott Richardson, a Bureau of Land Management archaeologist technician at the Wahweap Formation in BLM-Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.” Quoted from the BLM tumbler site.

A Super River from the Southwestern United States to the Labrador Sea?
November 27, 2013 | Geological Society of America

“Remnants of fluvial sediments and their paleovalleys may map out a late Oligocene–early Miocene “super-river” from headwaters in the southern Colorado Plateau, through a proto–Grand Canyon to the Labrador Sea, where delta deposits contain microfossils that may have been derived from the southwestern United States.” Quoted from GSA Today article titled: Late Oligocene–early Miocene Grand Canyon: A Canadian connection?

New Top Predator Dinosaur Discovered in Utah
November 25, 2013 | North Carolina State University

“A new species of carnivorous dinosaur – one of the three largest ever discovered in North America – lived alongside and competed with small-bodied tyrannosaurs 98 million years ago.” Quoted from the North Carolina State University press release.

Image by Sir Charles Lyell
What is It Like to Work for GeoCorps?
November 25, 2013 | Speaking of Geoscience Blog

The GSA Speaking of Geoscience blog has an interesting report from Amy Atwater who served as a GeoCorps Paleontology participant at Denali National Park and Preserve.

Permian Extinction Caused by Acid Rain?
November 25, 2013 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“Rain as acidic as undiluted lemon juice may have played a part in killing off plants and organisms around the world during the most severe mass extinction in Earth’s history.” Quoted from the MIT press release.

The Enormous Volcanic Eruption that Historians Never Recorded
November 19, 2013 | Yahoo! News

A volcanic eruption around the year 1258 produced distinctive ash falls in both Antarctica and Greenland. It was a blast unprecedented in human history but historians did not record the eruption. Where did it happen?

Ancient Seawater Under Chesapeake Bay?
November 14, 2013 | USGS

“USGS scientists have determined that high-salinity groundwater found more than 1,000 meters (0.6 mi.) deep under the Chesapeake Bay is actually remnant water from the Early Cretaceous North Atlantic Sea and is probably 100-145 million years old. This is the oldest sizeable body of seawater to be identified worldwide.” Quoted from the USGS press release.

New Super Predator Dinosaur
November 7, 2013 | Pentagon Post

“Paleontologists have discovered a new super-predator dinosaur in southern Utah that roamed the Earth 80 million years ago.” Quoted from the Pentagon Post.

Most Viewed News in October
November 1, 2013 |

Egypt Fears a Dam on the Nile in Ethiopia

235 Carat Diamond Found in Siberia

Status of Recent Geoscience Graduates

Nice Yellow Diamond Found in Arkansas

What Caused the Sudden Explosion of Animal Life 520MYA?

Walking Away from One of the World’s Largest Gold Discoveries?

Shell Walks Away from Oil Shale

Granitizers vs Magmatists

High School Student Found an Exceptional Duck-Billed Dinosaur
October 23, 2013 | Los Angeles Times

On a field trip in 2009, Kevin Terris, then a high school student, found a few bones while on a field trip. The find was actually “the youngest, the smallest and also the most complete skeleton known for Parasaurolophus” ever found according to Andrew Farke, curator of the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology.

Evolutionary Body Elongation in Fish
October 21, 2013 | University of Zurich

“Extreme elongation of the body axis occurred in one of two ways: either through the elongation of the individual vertebrae of the vertebral column, which thus became longer, or through the development of additional vertebrae and associated muscle segments.” Quoted from the University of Zurich press release.

Ancient Soils and Atmospheric Oxygen
October 11, 2013 | The University of British Columbia

“Oxygen appeared in the atmosphere up to 700 million years earlier than we previously thought [...] raising new questions about the evolution of early life. Quoted from the press release by The University of British Columbia.

What Caused the Sudden Explosion of Animal Life 520MYA?
October 9, 2013 | University of Oxford

“The explosion of animal life on Earth around 520 million years ago was the result of a combination of interlinked factors rather than a single underlying cause, according to a new study.” Quoted from the University of Oxford press release.

Simulating the Big Bang?
September 12, 2013 | University of Chicago

“Physicists have reproduced a pattern resembling the cosmic microwave background radiation in a laboratory simulation of the big bang, using ultracold cesium atoms in a vacuum chamber.” Quoted from the University of Chicago press release.

Links Between Tectonics and Invasive Species
September 12, 2013 | Ohio University

A new study from Ohio University investigates links between Appalachian tectonics and how invasive species disrupted the Ordovician fossil record of what is now eastern North America.

What Killed the Mammoths?
September 11, 2013 | National Geographic

What killed the mammoths and other large mammals about 12,900 years ago? Was it humans, climate or an impact event? National Geographic has an article that explores the possibilities.

20000 3D Fossil Scans for Free Viewing
September 8, 2013 | British Geological Survey YouTube Channel

Nearly 20,000 three-dimensional fossil scans have been published online by the British Geological Survey. You can view them for free. This video demonstrates a few fossils.

Camel Fossils in Oklahoma?
September 6, 2013 |

An article on reports that Apache Corporation uncovered fossils of extinct camels and horses while preparing a well site in western Oklahoma.

The Influence of Neandertals on Early European Manufacturing
August 23, 2013 | Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

“Modern humans replaced Neandertals in Europe about 40 thousand years ago, but the Neandertals’ capabilities are still greatly debated. Some argue that before they were replaced, Neandertals had cultural capabilities similar to modern humans, while others argue that these similarities only appear once modern humans came into contact with Neandertals.” Quoted from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

How to Become a Fossil
August 12, 2013 | National Geographic

National Geographic has a fun article titled: “Tips on How to Become a Fossil: Pick your burial spot carefully if you want future paleontologists to find you.”

Redefining Adaptation
August 8, 2013 | National Science Foundation

“How do organisms adapt over time? Do they evolve through a series of small beneficial steps as envisioned by Charles Darwin, or through a series of rare but large jumps? Or through a combination of both?” Quoted from the NSF press release.

DNA Supports Pre-Columbian Dogs
July 15, 2013 | Royal Society Publishing

“Dogs were present in pre-Columbian America, presumably brought by early human migrants from Asia. [...] No European influence was indicated for the Arctic breeds Inuit, Eskimo and Greenland dog [...] the Carolina dog, a free-ranging population in the USA, may have an ancient Asian origin.” Quotes from the research abstract.

A “popular” presentation of this story (vs “scientific”) can be found on The New York Times.

Understanding Past Climate and Ecosystems
July 14, 2013 |

“How do we know what the ancient earth was like before people were around to witness and record conditions? One of the main ways geoscientists unravel past climates and ecosystems is by conducting detailed studies of deposits that contain the preserved remains of ancient plants and animals.” Quoted from the article by Alexandra Guth, Michigan Technological University.

Three Triceratops Found in Wyoming
June 25, 2013 | CNN Video

The remains of three triceratops have been discovered at the same site in Wyoming. One may be the most complete fossil triceratops ever found.

The Oldest Primate?
June 10, 2013 | Scientific American

Archicebus, a tiny fossil about the size of a mouse has been identified as the “oldest known primate”. It lived approximately 55 million years ago.

Dietary Change for Humans 3.5 MYA
June 9, 2013 | National Science Foundation

“New studies show that human ancestors expanded their menu 3.5 million years ago, adding tropical grasses and sedges to an ape-like diet. The change set the stage for consuming more modern fare: grains, grasses, and meat and dairy from grazing animals.” Quoted from the NSF press release.

Fossil Lizards Named After Jim Morrison and President Obama
June 7, 2013 | BBC

A trend in naming fossil lizards after famous people include: Obamadon gracilis and Barbaturex morrisoni.

Cloning a Russian Mammoth?
June 4, 2013 | Deutsche Welle

A well-preserved woolly mammoth with liquid blood has been found in the Russian Arctic. Now Russian and South Korean researchers are talking about attempting to produce a clone.

Oldest Feathered Dinosaur?
June 2, 2013 | Los Angeles Times

A fossil named Aurornis xui of a feathered creature similar to Archaeopteryx was discovered in the 160-million-year-old rocks of northeastern China.

New Roadside Geology of Georgia
May 30, 2013 | Store

Pamela Gore and William Witherspoon have recently published “Roadside Geology of Georgia“, a new guidebook in the Mountain Press Roadside Geology Series.

This is a field guidebook for the state of Georgia with road logs and maps that describe the physical and historical geology.

PRI Teaching Geology Guide
May 30, 2013 | Paleontological Research Institution

“The Paleontological Research Institution (PRI) [...] offers many education materials and opportunities for science teachers and students at all grade levels. Their online “Teacher Friendly Guide” gives brief geologic histories of every region of the United States. Also available online are photos and descriptions of the museum’s fossil collections.” Quoted from the Earth Science Week Newsletter.

Reasons for Upright Walking?
May 28, 2013 | University of York

“The researchers say our upright gait may have its origins in the rugged landscape of East and South Africa which was shaped during the Pliocene epoch by volcanoes and shifting tectonic plates.” Quoted from the University of York press release.

Precambrian Water?
May 20, 2013 | BBC

Researchers have recovered water from a depth of 2.4 km in the Canadian shield with an age of 1.5 billion years.

We are constantly looking for interesting items related to geology and general science. When we find something interesting we share it here. Bookmark this page and visit often. You can also receive our news for free by RSS feed or email. We publish updates three or four days per week.

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frac sandFrac Sand is a high-purity silica sand used in hydraulic fracturing to enhance the flow of oil and gas from tight rock units.
Diamond formationDiamonds from Coal? Diamonds form under a variety of conditions that rarely involve coal as a source of carbon.
fluorescent mineralsFluorescent Minerals glow with spectacular colors when illuminated in the dark with an ultraviolet lamp.
Uses of heliumHelium is a byproduct of the natural gas industry. Its most important use is in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines.
Canada diamond minesCanada Diamond Mines: Canada is the third largest producer of gem-quality diamonds in the world.
Utica shaleUtica Shale: New wells in eastern Ohio prove that the Utica Shale will be a major source of natural gas and natural gas liquids.
Green River fossilsSpectacular Fossils of the Green River Formation. Some of the world's best-preserved fossil fish from an intermountain lake.
OpalOpals: Gem quality opal is one of the most spectacular gemstones. A single stone can flash with every color of the spectrum.
NovaruptaMost Powerful Eruption of the 20th Century: People in Juneau heard the volcanic blast - over one hour after it occurred.

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