ecology

Giz Explains: The Most Important Thing We Will Need To Survive In Space

None of us would be alive today without plants, and if humans want to survive beyond Earth long-term, we’ll need to bring our leafy greens with us. Eventually, astronauts are going to have to become space farmers.


North America Was Once Full Of Super-Tiny Beavers And Super-Giant Ones

When humans first arrived in North America about 15,000 years ago, the place was full of giant beavers. No, I’m serious. They were huge, with enormous teeth. And now scientists have discovered the place was crawling with mini beavers too.


11 Species Of Chameleon Masqueraded As One

Biologists just discovered 11 new species of chameleon hiding in plain sight — as chameleons tend to do.


Collapse Of Large Herbivores May Lead To "Empty Landscapes" Worldwide

It’s happening across the world, from grasslands to savannas to forest to deserts. Earth’s wild ecosystems are emptying out and falling silent.


A Scientific Guide To The Fantastical Predators InĀ Game Of Thrones

The monsters in George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones are magically badass. But could dragons, direwolves and lizard-lions be scientifically plausible, on some level? Today we’re going to try to answer that question — with the help of some biology experts.


Researchers Are Scanning Forests With Lasers To Monitor Their Health

It looks like a work of art, but the image shown above is the 3D structure of an actual forest, reconstructed from sophisticated laser scans that scientists now hope can be used to quickly check a forest’s vital signs. Kinda like a tricorder IRL.


How Wild Animals And Cities Are Adapting To Each OtherĀ 

From coyotes camping out in Queens bars to giant snails eating houses in Florida to llamas roaming the streets of Phoenix, there’s no shortage of sensational news featuring wild animals infiltrating our cities. But these brilliant ever-adapting creatures are also finding new ways to live among us humans, and some cities are redesigning to accommodate them.


Forest Fires At Chernobyl Could Spawn Clouds Of Radioactive Ash

In the years since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, the exclusion zone has morphed into an improbable nature reserve — untamed and untouched and, well, still radioactive. A study warns that forest fires could spread radioactive material from the site, but how dangerous the ash would be is unknown.


The Technology That Will Build Our Future May Be Found In Mushrooms

The key to the human race’s future may be right beneath our feet. It sounds bizarre, but fungi better known as mushrooms can help solve many of society’s greatest challenges, from cleaning up the environment and living more sustainability to colonising other planets.


Colour Isn't Always About Sex, Study Finds

When it comes to birds, males — with their bright feathers, extra accessories, and impressive mating displays — tend to get all the attention. But colour isn’t just about attracting a mate. For many birds, such as the Choco Toucan pictured above, brilliant plumage has nothing to do with sex, and everything to do with survival.