An estimated 34 trillion gallons of water—more than 50 million Olympic-size swimming pools' worth—fell on Texas last August during Hurricane Harvey, according to a recent analysis. Scientists think the extreme event was 15 percent more intense than normal because of climate change.
The diversity and numbers of species residing underneath the Ross Ice Shelf have greatly increased since 2009, scientists say. They hypothesize that climate change thinned the ice, letting in more light and increasing the growth of algae, which feeds diverse species.
Scientists have excavated the bones of an extinct giant penguin, Kumimanu biceae. The bird, which lived 60 million to 55 million years ago, stood nearly six feet tall and weighed more than 200 pounds.
A 99-million-year-old tick clinging to a dinosaur feather was found preserved in a piece of amber from a private collection in northern Myanmar (formerly Burma). The fossil provides the first evidence that these parasitic arachnids also pestered the dinosaurs.*
A cave in Yunnan province houses bats that carry a type of coronavirus resembling the strain that triggered the global SARS outbreak of 2003, killing hundreds of people. Researchers hope studying these bats could help them develop a vaccine to prevent future epidemics.
On the Isle of Skye, geologists discovered evidence of a previously unknown meteor impact that occurred 60 million years ago. Rocks discovered at the bottom of lava flows contained two minerals—vanadium- and niobium-rich osbornite—that had never before been detected on Earth.
*Editor's Note (04/12/18): This sentence from the print article was edited after posting. The original erroneously referred to ticks as insects.