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American Museum of Natural History
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From dinosaurs to deep space: science news from the Museum
From dinosaurs to deep space: science news from the Museum

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Some trilobites, such as this 430-million-year-old, Silurian-age Encrinurus from Sweden, eventually developed eyes atop stalks, which may have allowed them to survey their environment as they remained safely buried amid Paleozoic ocean-floor debris. #TrilobiteTuesday
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Similar parts of your body can host very different microbiomes. For instance, the microbiomes of your left and right hands are not the same—one hand may be sweatier or oilier than the other, and the two often touch different objects.
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The nocturnal tarsier is only 3.5 inches tall, but it has the largest eyes relative to body size of any mammal. The eyes have the same volume as the animal's entire brain, in order to capture light on dark nights.
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How did feathered dinosaurs finally take to the air? This early almost-bird, named Anchiornis huxleyi, appears right on the cusp of flight. Its feathered proto-wings couldn’t have kept it aloft for long, but they might have provided enough lift to help it leap to safety.
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The cycad is a key food source for people living in the remote Chocó forest of Colombia, but it can be dangerous because seeds and stems contain a nerve toxin that can cause loss of muscle control. The toxin dissolves in water, so lengthy soaking & repeated rinsing makes it safe.
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American pikas are small North American mammals that live on rocky slopes at high elevations. During winter, these rabbit relatives tap into “haypiles” of food, including flowers, leaves, and bark, that they construct through focused foraging during the warmer months.
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A black hole is so dense that nothing can escape its gravity, not even light. Spiral galaxy M81 has a supermassive black hole at its center that’s about 70 million times more massive than the Sun. But despite its size, data suggests it feeds similarly to much smaller black holes.
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While the Canadian lynx (Lynx canadensis) might look similar to your house cat, these critters are actually double the size & can take down prey as big as caribou. What’s this cat's meal of choice? The snowshoe hare—which in turn is preyed on almost exclusively by Canada lynxes.
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What’s behind the devastating loss of biodiversity known as the sixth extinction—and why is our ecological footprint as a species so out of control? Joel Cracraft, Lamont Curator in the Museum’s Department of Ornithology, explains: https://goo.gl/sgVqif
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Did you know that when rats are tickled, they respond with ultrasonic chirping that sounds like laughter? Find out what other sounds mice and rats make that humans can't hear: https://goo.gl/uXmGWj
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