Elephants Contribute to the Fight Against Climate Change

A study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that elephants—some of the last remaining megaherbivores in rainforests—are crucial to protecting the planet. Analyzing the animals’ feeding habits in Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo and LuiKotale, researchers discerned that elephants are picky eaters whose choices aid the capture of carbon. They tend to opt for leaves from …

1.2 Million-Year-Old Workshop Reveals Early Humans Were Skilled Crafters Earlier Than Believed

In Melka Kunture, Ethiopia, researchers found 575 obsidian hand-axes that are 1.2 million years old and believed to have come from a dedicated workshop. The discovery means that hominins (early humans and ancestors) may have been skilled craftspeople capable of working with obsidian some 500,000 years earlier than scientists believed. A volcanic glass that is fragile and sharp, obsidian requires a certain level of skill to …

A Robot That Melts and Reforms

Researchers have devised a robot that can liquefy and then reform—an characteristic inspired by sea cucumbers that rapidly change their stiffness. The shape-shifting invention can move between liquid and solid states by making clever use of materials. It’s composed of a metal with a low-melting point called gallium which researchers then embedded with magnets to control movement. Through the process of induction the robot melts …