Lacy Bocharski

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Scientists find minivan-sized sponge, world's largest

HONOLULU (AP) — Researchers in Hawaii have been absorbed by a sea creature they discovered last summer, and their findings are pretty big.<p>The team of scientists on a deep-sea expedition in the waters off Hawaii discovered what they say is the world's largest known sponge.<p>The creature, roughly the …

What is a Tully Monster? Scientists finally provide an answer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - For more than half a century, scientists have scratched their heads over the nature of an outlandishly bizarre creature dubbed the Tully Monster that flourished about 307 million years ago in a coastal estuary in what is now northeastern Illinois.<p>But researchers on Wednesday …

You Can't Miss These Unusual Caribbean Spots

There are countless strange sights and bizarre locations around the world - places that amaze and confound us. There are natural wonders that make us stare in awe; there are artistic and architectural feats that boggle the mind.<p>But did you know that some of the most extraordinary of those unique …

'Missing link' helps explain how T. rex became king of the dinosaurs

For the last 20 million years of the Age of Dinosaurs, giant tyrannosaurs sat high on the top of the global food chain thanks to their enormous size and sharp senses.<p>But it wasn't always that way.<p>The giant carnivores that ruled the planet from 85 to 65 million years ago evolved from an ancestral …

Dinosaurs

Mystery 'hobbits' not humans like us, study finds

Homo floresiensis 'were not Homo sapiens' according to researchers<p>Diminutive humans that died out on an Indonesian island some 15,000 years ago were not Homo sapiens but a different species, according to a study published Monday that dives into a fierce anthropological debate.<p>Fossils of Homo …

Prehistory

Does the Loneliest Plant in the World Need Help?

One day in 1895, while walking through the Ngoye Forest in Zululand, southern Africa, a botanist with the oh-so-suitable name of John Medley Wood caught sight of a tree. It sat on a steep slope at the edge of the woods and looked quite unlike its neighbors, with a fattish trunk (actually it had two …

Botany

Animal islands: seven places where creatures rule

Wildlife watching is a tricky business. Days can be spent fruitlessly scanning the savannah for lions or holed up in a hide hoping to catch a glimpse of a rare bird. But for travellers with limited time (or patience), there are places where animals are not just easy to spot, they are impossible to …

Zebra cousin went extinct 100 years ago. Now, it's back

<b>(CNN) —</b> Never heard of the quagga? You're not alone. The animal, a relative of the zebra, went extinct over 100 years ago. Now, a group of scientists outside of Cape Town are bringing it back.<p>Like zebras, the quagga has stripes, though these only appear on the front half of their bodies. Unlike the …

CNN

5 Reasons to Take the Family to Turks and Caicos

All Photos by Author<p>Dive in to the Turks and Caicos<p>With new nonstop flights and lower rates, the turquoise-infused island chain might be the perfect …

TIL: Archaeologists Are Coming for Your Trash

Archaeology

Forensic Facts From the Fatal Franklin Expedition

The 1845 expedition led by Sir John Franklin to find the Northwest Passage was one of the biggest disasters in exploration history. Despite being outfitted with the best provisions and equipment of the time, the entire complement of 129 officers and men aboard the British Royal Navy ships <i>HMS Erebus</i> …

Stalagmite unlocks ancient secrets

The decline of ancient Maya society has perplexed archaeologists for decades. A stalagmite containing the climate record of the past 2,000 years now …

ISIS’ looting of the Middle East is 'the largest-scale mass destruction of cultural heritage since' WWII

This not only provides a significant source of income for the terrorist group, but it also represents a systematic destruction of the region's cultural heritage. And it's difficult for authorities to recover stolen artifacts or prevent their sale on the black market, according to a report in The …

Archaeology

Long-necked diplomacy: the tale of the third giraffe

In the 21st century, it’s pandas. But in the 1820s, the diplomatic gift du jour was a giraffe. Historian Olivier Lebleu tells the story of a very special animal sent to Austria, a giraffe that inspired cakes and pastries.<p><b>Name: The Emperor’s giraffe<br>Species: Giraffa camelopardalis<br>Dates: c.</b> …

Are Florida Manatees A Conservation Success Story or Are They Still in Danger?

Florida’s fabled manatees got several rounds of applause this week as state and federal officials celebrated decades of hard-fought conservation …

U.S. wildlife officials reject protections for an Alaska wolf in decline

For more than two decades, conservation groups have argued that a wolf and the rainforest in southeast Alaska where it lives are at risk.<p>While the groups have won strong restrictions on logging of the Tongass National Forest, the nation's largest, they have been denied in their efforts to win …

Wildlife

We May Never Shed Light On Ancient Artists' Motives

We don't know why our ancestors made paintings deep inside caves in France and Spain as long ago as 30,000 years ago.<p>Was it to celebrate or tabulate or hallucinate or worship? We can only speculate. This much is pretty sure, though. The caves, inaccessible now, were — or so at least there is every …

Master gardener Brian Minter's tips on choosing, caring for indoor plants

Plants such as Chinese evergreen have been found by NASA to be effective in purifying the air<p>Indoor plants don't just look make a home look good, …

A wall of skulls shows why story of humankind has to be rewritten

A spectacular series of fossil discoveries, now going on public display, has transformed the study of our early ancestors<p>A stark demonstration of the dramatic changes that have swept through the science of human evolution will be revealed this week at London’s Natural History Museum. A wall of …

DNA Reveals Mysterious Human Cousin With Huge Teeth

A new genetic analysis suggests that the recently discovered Denisovans lived in Eurasia for millennia.<p>The analysis of a fossil tooth from Siberia reveals that a mysterious people known as Denisovans, discovered a mere five years ago, persisted for tens of thousands of years alongside modern humans …

Anthropology

Burial vaults found underneath New York City park

Contractors discover two vaults containing bones and coffins just feet below busy Greenwich Village<p>Tombs dating back 200 years have been unearth during maintenance work beneath one of New York City's parks.<p>The remains of tweleve people were found buried together in two vaults by contractors for the …

Greenwich Village

10 Amazing Adventures You Need to Do on Your Next European Vacation

Photo: Linny Le<p>When you think of a European vacation, you're probably picturing museums, cafes, and tours through the cities. Don't get us wrong, that side of Europe is amazing, but the continent is also home to some incredible outdoors locations waiting to be explored. From amazing waterfalls to …

12 American National Parks You Need To Add To Your Bucket List

Explore The Subway Top-Down | Photo: Chris Burkard<p>American writer, historian, and environmentalist, Wallace Stegner, once said that the National Parks are "the best idea we ever had". We couldn't agree more. The only problem - and it's definitely a good problem - is there are so many parks and so …

Moorea Is The World's Most Beautiful Island You've Never Heard Of

It almost doesn't look real.<p>Just northwest of Tahiti lies another island that's part of French Polynesia, and despite how utterly stunning it is, chances are you've never heard of it.<p>Surrounded by a bright blue lagoon, the volcanically formed island of Moorea was rated as the third-best island in …

Here’s a quick guide to the world during low seasons

I’m not much a fan of big crowds and long lineups. I’ve been in Venice’s Piazza San Marco when it was virtually empty and ridden the Trans-Siberian …

Giant squid writ small: juvenile monsters of the deep captured off Japan

Three young squid caught by marine biologists are the spitting image of their gigantic parents – if nearly 1,000lbs and 50ft smaller<p>Marine biologists have captured three young giant squid, Japanese researchers reported, in what would be the first confirmed catch of very young juveniles of the …

Scientist who found new human species accused of playing fast and loose with the truth

The palaeontologist whose team found Homo naledi has been criticised for rushing his findings and making basic errors<p>It remains one of the most dramatic human fossil finds of recent years. In 2013, in a tiny, cramped chamber in the Rising Star cave near Johannesburg, researchers led by …

Paleo Profile: “Miss Piggy” the Prehistoric Turtle

Shortly after I moved to the beehive state and started doing fieldwork with the Natural History Museum of Utah, I started hearing snippets of a new turtle found in the vast desert of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The 76 million year old reptile, being studied by graduate student Josh …

Paleontology