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The most extreme life on the planet. Part one: life in volcanos.

Originally posted on Swift Science:
Yellowstone National Park, with each ring of colour due to a different microorganism. For all its beauty, Yellowstone National Park is a terrifying place. If it erupted tomorrow, most of America would be drowned in ash, and they wouldn’t see sunlight for weeks. Add extreme pressures, no nutrients and oxygen depletion to the searing heat in volcanic pools and you can understand why we used to think life here was impossible. However, those amazing dashes of red, green and yellows sweeping across the volcanic pools are not from the rocks but from microbial life which aren’t just tolerating the scorching heat, but need it to survive. Apart from being a liiitle bit painful, if I jumped in the pool and tried to survive, my cell membranes would crumble, my enzymes and proteins would melt and my DNA simply unravel and fall apart. How is it then, that at 115°C we still find archaea (single celled organisms which are as different from bacteria as we are)? To survive and grow, these archaea have ultra strong membranes to stop the cell from melting. Weirdly, they then pump salt into their cells, acting as a clamp to hold the protein and DNA structures together, so they don’t fragment. For food the ingenious and complicatedly named Sulfolobus acidocaldarius actually sticks and clings onto sulphur crystals and uses the hydrogen sulphide to gather energy. Nothing so far has been found…

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US Congressional Testimony of Benjamin Nuvamsa, Elder of the Hopi Bear Clan, on Importance of the Grizzly Bear

Originally posted on Mining Awareness + :
Yellowstone National Park Grizzly sow and cubs “Mr. Benjamin H. Nuvamsa (testimony) Hopi Bear Clan Former Chairman, Hopi Tribe Village of Shungopavi, AZ Testimony of Benjamin Nuvamsa Tribal Heritage and Grizzly Bear Protection Act (H.R. 2432) Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife May 15, 2019 Mr. Chairman and Honorable Members of the Subcommittee on Water,…

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Extinct species of bird came back from the dead, scientists find

Originally posted on The Extinction Chronicles:
By Rob Picheta, CNN Updated 12:00 PM ET, Fri May 10, 2019 The white-throated rail colonized the Aldabra Atoll in the Indian Ocean — twice. (CNN)A previously extinct species of bird returned from the dead, reclaiming the island it previously lived on and re-evolving itself back into existence, scientists have said. The white-throated rail colonized the Aldabra Atoll in the Indian Ocean and evolved to become flightless, before being completely wiped out when the island disappeared below the sea around 136,000 years ago. But researchers found similar fossils from before and after that event, showing that the chicken-sized bird re-appeared when sea levels fell again a few thousand years later, re-colonized the island and again lost the ability to fly. The flightless rail can be found on Aldabra to this day. The extremely rare process is known as iterative evolution — the repeated evolution of a species from the same ancestor at different times in history. The team’s study, published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, marks the first time the process has been seen in rails, and is one of the “most significant” instances ever found in birds, according to the authors. Fossil records from before and after Aldabra was submerged proved the bird’s evolutionary feat. “We know of no other example in rails, or of birds in general, that demonstrates this phenomenon so evidently,” co-author David Martill, of the University of Portsmouth,…

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