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Layered deposits of coral skeletons hold vast stores of environmental data from thousands of years ago, including annual records of ocean temperatures, water pollution and storm activity.
For decades, researchers have commonly assumed that higher oxygen levels led to the sudden diversification of animal life 540 million years ago. But one iconoclast argues the opposite: that new animal behaviors raised oxygen levels and remade the environment.
Modelers find evidence that a combination of competition, predation and evolution will push ecosystems toward species diversity anywhere in the universe.
To assess the ocean’s health, ecology’s “rugged individualists” learned to get with the big data program.