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Cat-Size Flying Reptile Shakes Up Pterosaur Family Tree

National Geographic

Martin-Silverstone responds that the fossil bones looks more like a pterosaur than a bird. For example, the remains include one flight adaptation Cretaceous birds didn't have: a redesign of some of the vertebrae to provide extra support for wing muscles. She also argues that the bones show changes that, in other pterosaurs, signal that the animal is nearly as big as it will get.


Global warming spells smoggy, ozone autumns in U.S. Southeast as trees try to cope: study

The Japan Times

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA – The drier, warmer autumn weather that's becoming more common due to climate change may extend summer smog well into the fall in the Southeastern U.S. in the years ahead, according to a study published on Monday. Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences also suggests a culprit for the smog that many people might not expect: It's the lush woodlands that give much of the South a lovely green canopy. That's because of a natural defense mechanism trees use to protect their leaves from drought conditions. And since climate models predict more hot, dry Octobers in coming decades, we should expect these late-season smog, or ozone, events to happen more often, according to climatologists at the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. "It's not going to happen every year, but when it happens it will be worse than in the summertime," said Yuhang Wang, who co-authored the study with Yuzhong Zhang.


How an Endangered Bird Helped Save a Brazilian Rain Forest

National Geographic

Anita Studer wanted to study the Forbes's blackbird, but the decimation of its habitat led her to plant millions of trees. Ornithologist Anita Studer developed a tree planting program to reforest the Pedra Talhada. A person's life path can sometimes meander before it takes root. Anita Studer found hers planting trees, helping reforest and preserve Brazil's Pedra Talhada tropical rain forest. After stints attending law school and vocational school, waitressing, and driving taxis, the Swiss native began pursuing a graduate degree in ornithology and an academic career.


This endangered tree kangaroo baby could be vital to his species' survival

Mashable

It's actually a Goodfellow's tree kangaroo, an endangered marsupial native to Papua New Guinea. This male joey, named Mian, was the size of a jellybean when it was born at Perth Zoo six months ago. The joey is a result of a global breeding program for Goodfellow's tree kangaroos. Perth Zoo hasn't seen one born in 36 years. This time, the pairing of Mian's mother, Kaluli, and father, Huli, which was based on their genetic profiles, seemed to do the trick.


For Earth Day, 14 Pictures of Extraordinary Trees

National Geographic

One of the most popular ways to celebrate Earth Day, on April 22, is to plant a tree. It seems so basic that it's easy to forget the value of doing so. So National Geographic asked Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network, to explain the importance of trees. "They hold our world together," said Rogers. "They support biodiversity, they provide building materials, but they're undervalued by all of us."