natural sciences

'Russian spy' whale shines spotlight on military-grade animals

For centuries, human beings have made use of animals' highly evolved capabilities, from the strength of horses to the hunting ability of birds of prey. Now, a discovery in Norway has turned the focus to the training of animals for military purposes.

This cave sheltered some of the first known humans

In the foothills of Siberia's Altai Mountains lies a cave that contains some of the keys to understanding the earliest humans to walk the Earth. Denisova Cave is the only place in the world where fossils have been found that belong to mysterious ancient humans called Denisovans.

Dinosaur's 'hands' offer clues to evolution of modern bird wings

It has taken more than 20 years to extract, assemble and interpret a mysterious find from a famed marble quarry about 50 miles north of Milan, Italy. Now, with the investigation finally complete, Italian paleontologists say the fossils discovered in 1996 by an amateur fossilist, Angelo Zanella, are from a new species of dinosaur with four-fingered hands that offer clues to how modern bird wings evolved.

This Jurassic flesh-eating fish is the stuff of nightmares

A new fossil discovery looks more like an incredibly well-preserved 150 million-year-old Jurassic crime scene. This species of flesh-eating fish is considered the earliest known to do so. And in the same limestone deposits from South Germany, researchers found its victims, with damaged bodies and fins.