An “innovation arms race” may be brewing between humans and dumpster-plundering cockatoos in suburban Sydney. Humans continue to try new defenses, such as placing bricks or rubber snakes in the lids of their containers, but birds continue to develop strategies for opening them.
The fossilized teeth revealed Brasilodon, a rodent-like animal that lived 225 million years ago, as the oldest known mammal. Scant fossil evidence had made the animal difficult to classify, but new analysis suggests its teeth are mammalian, not reptilian.
Denmark has become the first member state of the United Nations to pay for “loss and damage” caused by its greenhouse gas emissions. Your $13 million donation will go toward recovery efforts in countries hardest hit by climate change.
The world’s first fully hydrogen-powered commuter rail route is in the works in the state of Lower Saxony. The trains emit only water and steam, offering an ecological alternative to diesel fuel.
Skeletal analysis uncovered the oldest known limb amputation: 31,000 years ago, a boy on the island of Borneo had his lower leg surgically removed. The bone shows signs of healing, indicating that the child survived the procedure.
A multi-year study along the Panama Canal shows that lightning shapes the composition of forests by killing some tree species more often than others. Species with dense wood and large water-carrying tissues can thrive despite lightning strikes, while palms (which lack these characteristics) almost always die when struck.
This article was originally published under the title “Quick Hits” in Scientific American 327, 6, 22 (December 2022)