Home Features Life Feature 18 December 2018 Once more common than brown bears, cave bears didn't survive the last ice age. Could their sad end be down to their diet, or just to being bears of very little brain? By Chris BaraniukIF YOU go down underground today, look out for a big surprise. If you go into a cave, anyway, be sure to adjust your eyes. For many caves, in Europe at least, contain the remains of a curious beast. It’s not an olm or a bat that’s deceased – it’s a cave bear. Cave bears died out at least 24,000 years ago, but they were once very common. In fact, they left so many bones that during the first world war, they were used to provide phosphates for fertilisers and bombs. Plenty of skulls and skeletons still remain in caves across a swathe of Eurasia, from Spain to south-central Russia, and this treasure trove has allowed palaeontologists to piece together the bear’s story. We know, for … [Read more...] about The mysterious demise of Europe’s massive cave bears
How polar bears hunt
GOTHIC, Colo. -- David Inouye is an accidental climate scientist. More than 40 years ago, the University of Maryland biologist started studying when wildflowers, birds, bees and butterflies first appeared each spring on this mountain. These days, plants and animals are arriving at Rocky Mountain Biological Lab a week or two earlier than they were 30 years ago. The robins that used to arrive in early April now show up in mid-March. Marmots end their winter slumber ever earlier. "If the climate weren't changing, we wouldn't see these kind of changes happen," Inouye said while standing on a bed of wildflowers that are popping up on the first day of May as marmots snoop around nearby. It's been 30 years since much of the world learned that global warming had arrived. On June 23, 1988, NASA scientist James Hansen testified before Congress, explaining that heat-trapping gases spewed by the burning of fossil fuels were pushing temperatures higher. But it turns out climate isn't the only … [Read more...] about Corals, blueberry bushes and polar bears: Signs of global warming are all around
Every once in a long while, a game rewards you for lingering in its levels and hunting for every little detail the designers have hidden away. If that sounds appealing, and you’re up for the challenges of a truly old-school platformer, Nintendo’s new Switch port of the Wii U game Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze should be on your must-try list when it’s released on May 4. But if you’re thinking of buying this just for kids to play, you might want to think twice. What you’ll like A solid game, tweaked This sequel to the 1994 SNES classic Donkey Kong Country wasn’t warmly received when it debuted for the Wii U in 2014: Reviewers loved the visuals and music, but criticized everything from the bosses and checkpoints to the pacing. Interestingly, a fair number of people (including GamesBeat reviews editor Mike Minotti) felt that it was just the wrong game at the time for the shaky Wii U platform. Above: Funky Mode gives you a five-heart … [Read more...] about Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze review — a Funky-fresh Switch update
Beneath the warm cuddly exterior of the bunny-hugging greenie beats the heart of a fascist. If you ever doubted it, check out this Vox interview with William T Vollmann. Vollmann is an award-winning author and war correspondent once described as the most “ambitious, audacious writer working in America today” and tipped as a plausible Nobel Prize for Literature candidate. He claims once to have been a climate change ‘denier’ but not any more.The climate change threat is so dire, he believes, that only the most drastic solutions will do: It’s not just what some consumer does at home. It’s niggling little issues that add up. In Japan, roughly 50 percent or so of all the methane emissions — and that’s one of the three most dangerous greenhouse gases — are caused by rice growing. All this stuff that seems so innocuous. It seems to me that you have to drag people into some kind of regulatory hell, unfortunately. Maybe there’s a … [Read more...] about Delingpole: Greenie Reveals His Inner Eco-Fascist – Unleash ‘Regulatory Hell’
Tech & Science Animals Science Conservation Charismatic Megafauna Endangered Animals You see tigers on TV, on cereal boxes and in your childrens' toys. Elephants, lions, gorillas and giraffes abound in cartoons and documentaries. But despite how common images of these animals are in the media, their numbers in the real world are plummeting. Could their popularity be contributing to their decline? According to research from the French National Research Institute published Thursday in PLOS Biology, tigers, lions, elephants, giraffes, leopards, pandas, cheetahs, polar bears, wolves and gorillas (in that order) are considered the most charismatic of the “charismatic megafauna” in several western countries. And that could be contributing to their death. “Charismatic megafauna” are the animals that people tend to notice and care about more than they do small, ugly or boring animals. Researchers identified these … [Read more...] about Are The World’s Most Popular Animals Going Extinct Because Humans Love Them Too Much?