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Tree of Life
Plant Flower, Tree
Invertebrate Octopus, Ant, Bee, Butterfly, Spider, Lobster
Vertebrate Fish, Seahorse, Ray, Shark, Frog, Turtle, Tortoise, Dinosaur
Bird, Ostrich, Owl, Crow, Parrot
Mammal Bat, Rabbit, Giraffe, Camel, Horse, Elephant, Mammoth
Whale, Dolphin, Walrus, Seal, Polar Bear, Bear, Cat, Tiger, Lion, Dog, Wolf
Monkey, Chimpanzee, Human
These are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma. More…
desert : arid land with usually sparse vegetation
especially : such land having a very warm climate and receiving less than 25 centimeters (10 inches) of sporadic rainfall annually — Webster
Desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and consequently living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to the processes of denudation. About one third of the land surface of the world is arid or semi-arid. This includes much of the polar regions where little precipitation occurs and which are sometimes called polar deserts or “cold deserts”. Deserts can be classified by the amount of precipitation that falls, by the temperature that prevails, by the causes of desertification or by their geographical location. — Wikipedia
Desert climate, also known as an arid climate, is a climate in which precipitation is too low to sustain any vegetation at all, or at most a very scanty shrub, and does not meet the criteria to be classified as a polar climate.
An area that features this climate usually experiences from 25 to 200 mm (7.87 inches) per year of precipitation and in some years may experience no precipitation at all. Averages may be even less such as in Arica, Chile, where precipitation normals annually stand at around 1 mm per year. In some instances, an area may experience more than 200 mm of precipitation annually, but is considered a desert climate because the region loses more water via evapotranspiration than falls as precipitation (Tucson, Arizona, and Alice Springs, Northern Territory, are examples of this). — Wikipedia
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Climate change will lead to abrupt shifts in...
on February 14, 2020 at 2:38 pm
Drylands cover about 41% of the Earth's land surface and host one in three humans inhabiting our planet. In these areas, life is highly influenced by aridity, i.e. the balance between the amount of rainwater and the water lost by evaporation. In this sense, aridity is increasing worldwide as a result of climate change. A study conducted by the Dryland Ecology and Global Change Lab at the University of Alicante (UA) led by Fernando T. Maestre and published in Science revealed for the first time […]
What we learned from dinosaur teeth in North...
on February 11, 2020 at 4:30 pm
As dinosaurs go, Spinosaurus is one of the most recognizable: a predator with sharp claws, a long jaw full of teeth, and a big sail on its back. It lived near rivers, hunting for fish, 100 million years ago in a place that's now desert; the Kem Kem beds, a geological formation in North Africa.
Tropical trees are living time capsules of human...
on February 6, 2020 at 4:00 pm
In a new article published in Trends in Plant Science, an international team of scientists presents the combined use of dendrochronology, radiocarbon dating and isotopic and genetic analysis as a means of investigating the effects of human activities on forest disturbances and the growth dynamics of tropical tree species. The study presents the potential applicability of these methods for investigating prehistoric, historical and industrial periods in tropical forests around the world and […]
Australian animals under extreme stress in...
on February 3, 2020 at 2:20 pm
As climate change-related drought fanned catastrophic wildfires across Australia, claiming lives, homes, and farms, the richly diverse flora and fauna took a tragic toll. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that more than one billion animals have been killed, including thousands of koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, kookaburras, and cockatoos. Many thousands more are injured and homeless—and under deep stress.
The skin of the earth is home to pac-man-like...
on January 25, 2020 at 8:13 am
Pac-Man, the open-mouthed face of the most successful arcade game ever, is much more well-known than any of the one-celled organisms called protists, at least among people over 30. But the first study to characterize protists in soils from around the world—co-authored by Smithsonian scientists—found that the most common groups of soil protists behave exactly like Pac-Man: moving through the soil matrix, gobbling up bacteria. Their results are published in Science Advances.