biosphere

A new Cambrian Explosion site discovered in Canada's Burgess Shale Formation

From LiveScience  --  A treasure trove of fossils chiseled out of a canyon in Canada's Kootenay National Park rivals the famous Burgess Shale, the best record of early life on Earth, scientists say.

"Once we started to break fresh rock, we realized we had discovered something incredibly special," said Robert Gaines, a geologist at Pomona College in Pomona, Calif., and co-author of a new study announcing the find. "It was an extraordinary moment."

Mysterious epidemic devastates starfish population off the Pacific Coast - and East Coast

Up and down the Pacific Coast, starfish are dying by the tens of thousands and no one knows why. "Reports have since surfaced from Southern California to as far north as Alaska. At first, only a certain species known as the sunflower star seemed to be affected. Then it hit another species, then another. In all, about a dozen species of sea stars are dying along the West Coast.

Endangered Species Day (May 16) and Student Contest

Endangered Species Day - May 16, 2014

Endangered Species Youth Art Contest - deadline March 15, 2014

President Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act into law on December 28, 1973. Our legislators understood that, without protection from human actions, many of our nation's living resources would become extinct.  NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) share responsibility for implementing the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Humans are influencing some extreme weather events, but not all

From EARTH Magazine  --  In 2012, the world experienced dozens of extreme weather events, including droughts, heat waves, cold spells, extreme rainfalls, big storms like Superstorm Sandy, and a record-low Arctic sea-ice extent. Teasing apart the factors that create extreme weather is a challenge for scientists, especially when it comes to determining whether human-induced climate change plays a role.

Live Webcast: Unearthing Fossil Whales (Jan. 16)

Dr. Nick Pyenson is a paleontologist at the National Museum of Natural History. Join him in uncovering fossil whales in Panama, Canada, and Chile. Probe into the evolutionary mysteries contained in fossil whale skeletons. Consider what whale remains can tell you about past environments. Find out how paleontologists deal with large fossils. See how modern digitization techniques can be used to study a paleontological site. Learn how Nick and his team are analyzing fossil whales in conjunction with other data to enhance our understanding of whale paleontology.

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