Archive for October, 2002

Rare Dog Search Meets With Success, Then Tragedy

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 18, 2002   View Article

Success followed by sudden heartbreak befell researchers this summer at a remote outpost in the Peruvian Amazon.

The researchers, who are conducting the first detailed study of the elusive short-eared dog, spent three years trying to capture one in the wild. Very little is known about the extremely rare canine’s habits.

Controversy Over Famed Ancient Skull: Ape or Human?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 9, 2002   View Article

A six to seven million-year-old skull from northern Chad that shook the world when its discovery was announced this July may not be what its discoverers’ believe it to be: the oldest known member of the human family. “It is an ape and not a human ancestor,” said Milford Wolpoff, an anthropologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

But the lead scientist who discovered the skull, Michel Brunet of the University of Poitiers in France, stands by his theory that the fossil is a hominid.

New Planet Shaped Body Found in Our Solar System

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 7, 2002   View Article

Astronomers announced today the discovery of the largest object in the solar system since Pluto was named the ninth planet in 1930. The object is half the size of Pluto, composed primarily of rock and ice, and circles the sun once every 288 years.

Named Quaoar (pronounced KWAH-o-ar), the object resides in the Kuiper belt, a region of the sky beyond the orbit of Pluto and about 4 billion miles (6.5 billion kilometers) from Earth. The Kuiper belt is chock full of remnants from the planet-formation era of the solar system.

Brazil Bug Study May Aid Farmland Preservation

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 3, 2002   View Article

Overturn a wet rock or poke into a pile of damp leaf litter, and you may send a mass of tiny creatures known as Collembola jumping for cover.

The world’s most abundant insect (although taxonomists debate if they are true insects), Collembola have been around for at least 400 million years and exist in as many as 100,000 varieties.

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