U.S. and Chinese researchers have found the oldest evidence of iridescent black feathers in Microraptor, a dinosaur the size of a small crow that perched in forest tree branches 130 million years ago.
Scientists think the glossy plumes may have helped the small, meat-eating dinosaur signal its good health and suitability as a mate to others, much the way fancy colors serve birds of our era.Full Story
The biggest space weather storm in five years is hurtling toward Earth, threatening to disrupt power grids, GPS systems, satellites and airline flights, experts say.
The brunt of the storm is expected to strike early Thursday and last through Friday, possibly garbling some of Earthlings' most prized gadgets but also giving viewers in parts of Central Asia a prime look at the aurora borealis, or northern lights, when darkness falls on Thursday.Full Story
The last West African giraffes, now living in the wild only in southwestern Niger, are making a comeback with numbers standing at 310 last year, the environment ministry said here Wednesday.
Only 50 of them, their lowest number, was recorded in 1996.Full Story
Scientists on Wednesday said they had recorded the first real-time images of atoms moving in a molecule, a feat that captured movement lasting less than one millionth of a billionth of a second.
The exploit entailed directing an ultra-fast laser onto molecules of nitrogen and of oxygen. Its pulse of light knocked a single electron out of its orbit around one of the atoms.Full Story
Our ancestors made the evolutionary split with gorillas around 10 million years ago, but we still share a remarkable number of genes with the great ape, according to a groundbreaking study published on Wednesday.
A worldwide consortium of scientists sequenced the genome of thewestern lowland gorilla and compared more than 11,000 of its key genes with those of modern humans, Homo sapiens, and chimpanzees.Full Story
Flying in formation around the moon, a pair of NASA probes began mapping the lunar gravity field in hopes of figuring out why Earth's only natural satellite is shaped the way it is.
The probes kicked off their science campaign late Tuesday two months after arriving back-to-back at the moon over the New Year's weekend.Full Story
U.S.-based physicists said Wednesday that their experiments confirm those from a major European atom-smasher's that have narrowed the range where the elusive Higgs boson particle could be hiding.
The results come from the now-defunct Tevatron collider, which closed down in September after nearly a quarter century, though physicists continue to analyze its data in the hunt for the so-called "God particle."Full Story
Babies of a bird species called the Eurasian roller vomit a foul-smelling orange liquid as a defense mechanism against predators, biologists have discovered.Full Story
Foreign seeds are hitching rides on scientists and tourists to the Antarctic and could someday upset the ecology of the warmest patches of the remote land, international researchers said.
Invasive species are "thought to be among the most significant conservation threats to Antarctica, especially as climate change proceeds in the region," said the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Full Story
Thousands of monkeys are being held in overcrowded and barren farms in Laos and sold for international laboratory research, according to a report from a British animal protection group.
Laos has exported nearly 35,000 long-tailed macaques since 2004 as part of a fast-growing trade in the species for research, the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) said in a statement released Monday.Full Story