SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Prehistoric Ant Discovered Alive in Amazon Rainforest
from the Guardian (UK)
An ancient ancestor of ants has been discovered living in the soils of the Amazon rainforest. The species, named Martialis heureka, or "ant from Mars", because of its unusual features, is a pale-bodied, blind predator that uses oversized jaws to capture prey.
Ants evolved 120m years ago from wasp-like ancestors and rapidly adapted to living in soil, trees and leaf litter. Genetic tests on the 3mm-long species show it emerged at the very earliest stages of ant evolution, said Christian Rabeling at the University of Texas at Austin. His study appears in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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PODCASTS: From Balloons to Space Stations: Studying Cosmic Rays
Cosmic rays have mysterious qualities about them that scientists continue to research in order to better understand their origins and composition. Dr. Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues, fly enormous balloons as large as a football stadium and a volume of 40-million-cubic feet for extended periods over Antarctica to study particles coming from cosmic rays before they break up in the atmosphere.
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