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In 1974, the paleoanthropologist Donald C. Johanson led an expedition to Ethiopia to look for fossils of ancient human relatives. In an expanse of arid badlands, he spotted an arm bone. Then, in the area surrounding it, Dr. Johanson and his colleagues found hundreds of other skeletal fragments. The fossils turned out to have come…

 The once-mighty Eagle Ford Shale oil patch is on its heels, on track for the lowest amount of drilling activity in six years, and getting out-shined by another, bigger field — the Permian Basin in West Texas. But scientists Tuesday painted a vastly expanded picture of the Eagle Ford: as a place where at least…

AUSTIN – Harry Rowe has a ray gun. It’s small and gray and might, he thinks, change how companies dig for oil. Rowe is a research scientist at the University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology. For years, he’s been trying to figure out how to speed the analysis of core samples – cylinders of…

Americans continue to lag behind numerous other countries in math and science. According to scientists, education in these fields is severely lacking. A 2015 Pew Research report found scientists said 46% of K-12 STEM education was “below average” and only 16% was “above average.” The Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at…

According to the new research, dino sounds may be what scientists call “closed-mouth vocalizations.” Unlike the high-pitched chirps and tweets from the open beaks of songbirds, the closed-mouth sounds are low, throaty whooshes of air. A flesh sac called an esophageal pouch enables birds with proportionally large bodies — think pigeons or doves — to produce the low murmurs. The researchers…

If you visited Wyoming around 50 million years ago, you might see a peculiar little bird racing through the hot, dense forests of the Eocene. About the size of a chicken, the creature would look something like a modern-day tinamou. In fact, that connection is pretty close to the mark. In a recent paper by…

Aerosol particles—the tiny bits of dust and other matter expelled by everything from volcanoes and dust storms to car exhaust and power plants—might be making thunderstorms more extreme, according to a study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Clouds form when water droplets coalesce around these tiny particles suspended in…

Scientists think that 66 million years ago, a giant asteroid struck Earth near what is now the Gulf of Mexico, devastating the planet and wiping out the dominant form of life, the dinosaurs. But what happened next? University of Texas geophysics professor Sean Gulick has been spending significant chunks of the last two months on…

In a discovery that could shed new light on the past habitability of Mars and provide new insight into how to deal with the climate change problem back here on Earth, a team of researchers found evidence of an ice age recorded in the polar deposits of the Red Planet. Writing in Friday’s edition of the journal…

Oil and gas activities may have caused nearly nine in 10 of the earthquakes Texas has experienced in the past 40 years, and the quakes have become more frequent as oilfield activity has picked up in the past decade, according to a forthcoming study. Of the 162 Texas earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater between…

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