Photos show how a tree snake makes its body into a lasso to climb and hunt prey

businessinsider.com – Snakes typically slither. But a new study shows a species of tropical tree snake can loop its body into a lasso shape to climb cylindrical objects.

Source: Julie A. Savidge, Thomas F. Seibert, Martin Kastner, Bruce C. Jayne. Lasso locomotion expands the climbing repertoire of snakes. Current Biology, 2021.

Neanderthals died out after Earth's magnetic poles flipped, causing a climate crisis 42,000 years ago, a study says

businessinsider.com – According to a new study, Earth's magnetic poles flipped 42,000 years ago, triggering dramatic changes in temperatures and radiation levels.

Source: Alan Cooper, et al. A global environmental crisis 42,000 years ago. Science, 2021.

Atlantic currents seem to have started fading last century

arstechnica.com – Another predicted impact of climate change may be here.

Source: L. Caesar, G. D. McCarthy, D. J. R. Thornalley, N. Cahill, S. Rahmstorf. Current Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation weakest in last millennium. Nature Geoscience, 2021.

We've finally figured out why there were no medium-sized dinosaurs

newscientist.com – Fossil hunters struggle to find evidence of medium-sized carnivorous dinosaur species – perhaps because juvenile forms of giants like T. rex outcompeted them

Source: Katlin Schroeder, S. Kathleen Lyons, Felisa A. Smith. The influence of juvenile dinosaurs on community structure and diversity. Science, 2021.

Scientists Talked To People In Their Dreams. They Answered

npr.org – Scientists have found that two-way communication is possible with someone who is asleep and dreaming. Specifically, lucid dreaming — dreaming while being aware you're dreaming.

Source: Karen R. Konkoly, et al. Real-time dialogue between experimenters and dreamers during REM sleep. Current Biology, 2021.

Ancient skeletal hand could reveal evolutionary secrets

eurekalert.org – Evolutionary expert Charles Darwin and others recognized a close evolutionary relationship between humans, chimps and gorillas based on their shared anatomies, raising some big questions: how are humans related to other primates, and exactly how did early humans move around? Research by a Texas A&M University professor may provide some answers.

Source: Thomas C. Prang, Kristen Ramirez, Mark Grabowski, Scott A. Williams. Ardipithecus hand provides evidence that humans and chimpanzees evolved from an ancestor with suspensory adaptations. Science Advances, 2021.

Astronomers find the fastest spinning black hole to date

livescience.com – The first black hole ever discovered just put on a lot of mass, and it has astronomers confused.

Source: James C. A. Miller-Jones, et al. Cygnus X-1 contains a 21–solar mass black hole—Implications for massive star winds. Science, 2021.

Earliest American dog hints pets accompanied first people in Americas

newscientist.com – The oldest confirmed dog remains found in North America support the idea that the first Americans – and their dogs – travelled along the Pacific coast

Source: Flavio Augusto da Silva Coelho, Stephanie Gill, Crystal M. Tomlin, Timothy H. Heaton, Charlotte Lindqvist. An early dog from southeast Alaska supports a coastal route for the first dog migration into the Americas. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2021.

We Still Don’t Know How Well Covid Vaccines Stop Transmission

wired.com – Two new studies are being hailed as proof that vaccinated people can doff masks and pod-hop worry-free. But not so fast.

Source: Noa Dagan, et al. BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine in a Nationwide Mass Vaccination Setting. New England Journal of Medicine, 2021.

Lone high-energy neutrino likely came from shredded star in distant galaxy

arstechnica.com – Provides evidence that tidal disruption events can also be cosmic particle accelerators.

Source: Robert Stein, et al. A tidal disruption event coincident with a high-energy neutrino. Nature Astronomy, 2021.