From EARTH Magazine, November 3, 2016 -- The Permian-Triassic extinction event wiped out 96% of all marine life and at least 75% of terrestrial life. It is the largest of the "Big Five" extinction events in Earth history, and it defined the boundary between the Paleozoic and the Mesozoic geologic eras. EARTH Magazine explores new research on the "P-T" mass extinction to look at what caused it, and how it can inform our understanding of today's ongoing extinction event.
From EARTH Magazine, October 12, 2016 -- As we celebrate National Fossil Day, EARTH Magazine brings you a story set in Pleistocene South America, where the climate was warming following an ice age. At this time, Patagonia was home to large megafauna species like giant sloths and saber-toothed cats. There was also a new predator on the block: humans. At some point as the climate warmed and human settlers began hunting, the megafauna living in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego went extinct.
From Project Polar Bear -- Every year Project Polar Bear (link is external) challenges student groups across the globe to take action on climate change. With the guidance of an advisor, middle and high school groups compete for a grant by creating a plan for a project that will help reduce reliance on fossil fuels and engage their communities.
From Listenwise, September 22, 2016 -- Sharks can live to be over two hundred years old, and recently a Greenland shark was found who may have lived up to 512 years. These sharks are the longest living vertebrates known to exist. They can be found swimming in the Arctic seas, where researchers are spending time studying the old creatures. Listen to the story to hear more about this fascinating species.
The Junior Paleontologist Program is a part of the National Park Service Junior Ranger Program. The goal of the Junior Ranger Program is to connect young people to their national parks through a variety of in-park activities that are designed to introduce them to the national park system and cultivate future generations of park stewards. Programs range from simple scavenger hunts for younger children, to multi-day ranger-led activities. Over 200 National Park Service areas currently have Junior Ranger programs.
From Listenwise -- Woolly mammoths were large, elephant-like creatures that lived tens of thousands of years ago, during the last great ice age. The thick, furry coat is one of several traits that gave woolly mammoths an advantage in a very cold environment. Today, the closest biological relative is the Asian elephant, which prefers warmer climates. Scientists were curious about the genetic variations between the woolly mammoth and the Asian elephant and what might account for the differences between the two species.
From EARTH Magazine, August 23, 2016 -- Human evolution and paleoanthropology are tricky subjects, not just because of the rarity of these fossils, but also because human nature seems to be getting in the way of modern taxonomy. In a field that is generally governed by logical rules when it comes to identifying new fossils, scientists are noticed there are some peculiarities applied to our own genus, Homo.