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Expert-reviewed information about the Earth.  For everyone.

 

 

  • Selenium Featured Article Selenium Selenium

    Selenium is a gray, metallic element. Its atomic number is 34 and its symbol is Se. The Swedish scientist Jons Jacob Berzelius discovered selenium in 1817. In studying the... More »

  • Healthy Community Design Featured Article Healthy Community Design Healthy Community Design

    The way we design and build our communities can affect our physical and mental health. Healthy community design integrates evidence-based health strategies into community... More »

  • Endangered species Featured Article Endangered species Endangered species

    An endangered species is a biological taxon that is at risk of becoming extinct in a proximate time frame much sooner than the long term horizon in which species typically... More »

  • Trinity Site, New Mexico Featured Article Trinity Site, New Mexico Trinity Site, New Mexico

    Trinity Site, Alamogordo Bombing Range, New Mexico ( 33°40'30.00"N, 106°28'30.00"W) was the site of the first atmospheric atomic bomb test which took... More »

  • Limestone Featured Article Limestone Limestone

      Limestone  is a sedimentary rock whose chief mineral component is calcite (calcium carbonate: CaCO3). Limestone can be formed by precipitation of calcite... More »

  • Dugong Featured Article Dugong Dugong

    The Dugong, often referred to as the sea cow, is actually more closely related to elephants than to the bovine namesake.  Throughout much of their range, the Dugong has... More »

  • Marine microbes Featured Article Marine microbes Marine microbes

    The term 'Marine microbes' encompasses all microscopic organisms generally found in saltwater. Most micro-organisms are acellular and fall into the major categories of... More »

  • Frugivore Featured Article Frugivore Frugivore

    A frugivore is a type of herbivore (plant-eating animal) that eats a substantial portion of fruit.  A few frugivores species eat only fruit, but many also consume leaves... More »

  • Welwitschia Featured Article Welwitschia Welwitschia

    The Welwitschia (Welwitschia mirabilis) is a gymnosperm relict plant endemic to the Namib Desert. The species aerial architecture consists of a pair of very wide curled and... More »

Recently Updated
India’s Western Ghats: Biodiversity and Medicial Plants Last Updated on 2014-08-21 21:07:59 India’s Western Ghats is a rolling mountain range containing such great biodiversity that it has been named as one of the world's eight ‘hottest hotspots of biological diversity. Spread along the entire west coast of India, this mountain range contains a large proportion of the country's plant and animal species, many of which are endemic. Over 5000 species of flowering plants, 139 species of mammals, 508 species of birds, including 22 endemics, 225 species of reptiles, and 179 species of amphibians live in the region. Location Starting from the northern part of Mumbai, this extensive mountain range extends over Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu to the southern tip of India. Wildlife The northern part of the range contains almost half of the reptiles, one third of the plants, and more than three fourths of the amphibians found in India. The southwestern Ghats... More »
Galapagos Islands Last Updated on 2014-08-21 21:02:05 The Galapagos Islands include 31 individual islands, 42 islets and 26 emergent rocks that form an archipelago located about 600 miles west of South American in the Pacific Ocean.  The islands, which are part of Ecuador, have been designated as a National Park and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The Galapagos Islands are known for being home to many species of plants and animals that are not found anywhere else on the planet.  The Galapagos Islands were named from the old Spanish word "galapago" (saddle) because of the shape of the shells of the islands' giant tortoises. The Galapagos Islands are oceanic islands that have never been connected to any landmass. Instead these islands were produced by volcanic activity.  Isabella, was formed by six volcanoes, but most islands were formed by the activity of only a... More »
Lubbock Lake Landmark Last Updated on 2014-08-21 20:56:24 The Lubbock Lake National Historic and State Archeological Park, known locally as the Lubbock Lake Landmark, is an archeological and natural history preserve located in Lubbock, Texas, USA. The 300 acre preserve is located in Yellowhouse Draw, an intermittent tributary of the Brazos River. This reserve, which is managed by the Museum of Texas Tech University, is important because it contains evidence of nearly 12,000 years of use by humans as well as records of now extinct species that formerly lived in this area. It is one of the few places in North America known to have a complete record of human existence from the Paleo-Indian culture all the way through the Archaic, ceramic, and Prehistoric cultures. Lubbock Lake Landmark received its name from a reservoir that was created in the 1930s. This area housed a natural spring fed lake until the spring began to... More »
Cactaceae: The cactus family Last Updated on 2014-08-21 16:47:22 The Cactaceae is a family belonging to the order Caryophyllales.  Cacti typically are found in  dry and arid desert or semi-desert regions  with high average daytime temperatures and cold nights, and high evaporation rates.  Cacti range from Canada to Argentina, predominantly occurring in the warm and arid reaches of the continents of both North and South America across a wide range of different habitats like deserts, sandy coastal stretches, scrublands, dry deciduous forests, high alpine steppes and tropical rain forests (Barthlott and Hunt, 1993; Gibson and Nobel, 1986; Nyffeler, 2001). The main diversity centers are Mexico and south-west USA, central Andes, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina with Mexico being the richest and most endemic region (Boyle and Anderson, 2002; Ortega-Baes and Godínez-Alvarez, 2006). The family is... More »
Cactus Last Updated on 2014-08-20 18:54:05 Cactus is a family of plants that are specially adapted to survive arid conditions, most often having leaves reduced to spines, and succulent characteristics. The scientific family name Cactaceae is applied to this group comprising 121 different genera. This plant family is concentrated in the Americas and has a surprisingly broad latitude range in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. A considerable number of cacti species are threatened, chiefly due to habitat loss to agriculture, trampling by illegal human immigration into the southwestern USA, large-scale desert solar power projects, and overcollecting. The cactus family is generally considered native to the Americas. A notable exception is Mistletoe cactus, Rhipsalis baccifera, which is thought to have spread, fairly recently, from the American tropics to the subtropics and the deserts of the... More »