Earth ChangesS


Alligators' Muscles Move Lungs Around For Sneaky Maneuvers In Water

Without a ripple in the water, alligators dive, surface or roll sideways, even though they lack flippers or fins. University of Utah biologists discovered gators maneuver silently by using their diaphragm, pelvic, abdominal and rib muscles to shift their lungs like internal floatation devices: toward the tail when they dive, toward the head when they surface and sideways when they roll.

juvenile American alligator
©Hannah Chirillo
T.J. Uriona, a University of Utah doctoral student in biology, holds a juvenile American alligator. Uriona and his professor, biologist C.G. Farmer, have published a study showing how alligators use muscles to move their lungs backward to help them dive, and to one side or the other to roll.


United States and Indonesia to Establish Regional Volcano Observatory in North Sulawesi

The United States and Indonesia will collaborate to improve monitoring and early warning capacity of volcanic activity, in an area that is home to many people who are at risk from probable eruptions.

United States Ambassador to Indonesia, Cameron R. Hume and the Head of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources' Geological Agency, Bambang Dwiyanto, signed an agreement that will bring together volcano scientists from the two countries. Dr. Purnomo Yusgiantoro, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, witnessed the signing.


Harlequin Frog Rediscovered In Remote Region Of Colombia

After 14 years without having been seen, several young scientists supported by the Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP), have rediscovered the Carrikeri Harlequin Frog (Atelopus carrikeri) in a remote mountainous region in Colombia.

harlequin frog
©Conservation Leadership Programme
Carrikeri harlequin frog.

Cloud Lightning

Tornado hits downtown Atlanta, 9 hurt

A tornado struck the heart of downtown Atlanta on Friday night, injuring several people and damaging numerous buildings, including the roof of the Georgia Dome as thousands watched a college basketball game, the city's mayor and witnesses said.

Nine people were taken to hospitals, one in serious condition, as a result of the heavy storm, police said.

Police evacuated the multi-story Omni Hotel, which shares a building with the CNN Center, after high winds smashed many windows and scattered debris including furniture into the street below.

Cloud Lightning

US: Storm Rips Holes in Georgia Dome

ATLANTA - A severe storm ripped away two panels in the side of the Georgia Dome during the Southeastern Conference tournament, sending debris tumbling from the ceiling, halting the Alabama-Mississippi State game and prompting fans to flee for the exits.

Arrow Up

Why queen bees are made and not born

The ability to create bee "super queens" that can shrug off disease has arisen from the discovery of how royal jelly works.

A study of royal jelly, the creamy, thick secretion used to feed honey bee larvae and groom queens, has been discovered to have a powerful effect on genes and scientists now know how to mimic its effects, which will be give them an invaluable new technology to help make resistant bee strains.

©Ryszard Maleszka
The queen bee is indicated by a blue mark


Ornithologists announce discovery of new bird species

The announcement of the discovery of a new bird comes with a twist: It's a white-eye, but its eye isn't white. Still, what this new bird lacks in literal qualities it makes up for as one of the surprises that nature still has tucked away in little-explored corners of the world.

Ornithologists, including one from Michigan State University, describe for science a new species of bird from the Togian Islands of Indonesia - Zosterops somadikartai, or Togian white-eye, in the March edition of The Wilson Journal of Ornithology.

©Agus Prijono
An artist's rendering of Zosterops somadikartai, or Togian white-eye

Evil Rays

Moderate quake rattles southern Mexico

A moderate earthquake of magnitude 5.7 shook the hilly southern Mexican state of Chiapas on Thursday, but no injuries or serious damage were reported.

The earthquake was centered off Mexico's southern Pacific coast, 60 miles (100 km) west of the city of Tapachula at a depth of 49 miles (79 km), the U.S. Geological Survey said.


Guns and fists as "snow rage" erupts

Although Canada is one of the snowiest countries in the world, a series of violent "snow rage" incidents reveal that even the locals have their limits.


Strong earthquake hits Vanuatu

Wellington -- An earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale hit the South Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.