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The simple insight that most changes are random had a profound effect on genetics, evolution and ecology.
The paleontologist Pincelli Hull has nailed down the timing and speed of the extinction that killed off the dinosaurs — details that carry ominous warnings for today.
Subatomic particles called muons are thought to have streamed through the atmosphere and irradiated megafauna like the monster shark megalodon.
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.