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More than 700 new species of ancient insect have been discovered in 50-million-year-old amber.


 amber mummy insect ancient evolution India geology continent
Tiny tubes thought to have been etched into South African rocks by microbes are at least 3.34 billion years old, scientists can confirm.
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Oxygen levels on Earth reached a critical threshold to enable the evolution of complex life much earlier than thought, say scientists.


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The mountainous ridge that circles the equator on the Saturnian moon Iapetus is both weird and spectacular. Discovered in 2004, the icy rim is as much as 20km high and runs fully 1,600km from end to end. No explanation for its existence has yet won total support; it is a puzzle.


 Iapetus Moon Saturn ridge ring equator geology mountains astronomy
This spring, scientists will try to retrieve the deepest types of rock ever extracted from beneath the seabed.


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Over the last 11,700 years - an epoch that geologists call the Holocene - climate has remained remarkably stable. This allowed humans to plan ahead, inventing agriculture, cities, communication networks and new forms of energy. Some geologists now believe that human activity has so irrevocably altered our planet that we have entered a new geological age.


 geology environment human sustainability Anthropocene climate
Mars formed in record time, growing to its present size in a mere three million years, more quickly than scientists previously thought. Its rapid formation could explain why the Red Planet is about one tenth the mass of Earth.


 Mars geology Solar System planet size
Geologists have discovered a vast new landscape that rose above the north Atlantic waves 56 million years ago.


 land geology ocean Scotland
An undersea volcano erupting just south of Spain's Canary Islands may be the beginnings of a new island, or an extension to an existing one. For some, it's a colourful spectacle - for others a major blow to their livelihood...


 volcano island geology Canary Islands
Afghanistan has become the first country whose surface minerals have been mapped from the air.


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