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Environments
Woman kneeling on forest bed

How tiny fossilized plant particles in Costa Rica can be used to reconstruct past landscapes.

Zebra jaw showing high-crowned teeth.

Researchers sink their teeth into this tricky evolutionary question. 

Close-up of fossil phytolith.

By extracting phytoliths from once-living plants, scientists were able to uncover a story of vegetation change in response to climate.

Duwamish River in 1906

For millennia, the Duwamish River sustained a diverse ecosystem before experiencing a dramatic transformation wrought by human engineering.

Grass phytolith from an open-habitat grass discovered in the ancient soils.

30 million years ago, the world lacked its grass-dominated environments, but 70 million years ago, grasses had not evolved—or so we think. 

The Townsend’s big-eared bat

Various bat species have different needs to survive, which can severely decrease their ability to cope with habitat fragmentation. 

Flowers and fruits of Citharexylum argutidentatum.

From Amazonian jungles to Mexico's deserts, the diversity of these ecosystems is unrivaled. It is home to earth’s greatest biodiversity.

The Greater spear-nosed bat, Phyllostomus hastatus

Sharlene Santana studies how behavior, diet, anatomy and function result in bursts of diversification in tropical bats.

Researcher Regan Dunn reconstructs what types of vegetation existed in ancient Patagonia

Researcher Regan Dunn reconstructs what types of vegetation existed in ancient Patagonia to understand the impact of climate change.

The rings on a fish otolith.

The rings in a tree stump can tell us a lot about the tree, but did you know similar records are hidden inside the tiny ear bones of fishes?

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