Every few summers, the park becomes an active archaeological site when Sissel Schroeder leads a field school there, to better understand those who lived at Aztalan nearly 1,000 years ago.
Scientists and nonscientists alike have often associated larger brains with greater intelligence, but a new study may challenge that notion. “Maybe brain size isn’t all it’s cracked up to be,” says John Hawks, one of the study’s corresponding authors.
New research shows that the common house spider and its arachnid relatives have dispensed with a gene involved in creating segmented heads, instead recycling leg genes to accomplish the task.
Researchers at UCLA and the University of Wisconsin–Madison have confirmed that microscopic fossils discovered in a nearly 3.5 billion-year-old piece of rock in Western Australia are the oldest fossils ever found and indeed the earliest direct evidence of life on Earth.
In 2011, Lake Erie turned into a toxic pea soup. One-sixth of the lake harbored a thick and deadly algal bloom that killed fish, closed beaches and struck a blow to Toledo, Ohio’s tourism industry. The bloom was three times larger than any algal bloom ever recorded there. The contamination was forecast by ecologists in 2011, said Stephen Carpenter, newly retired as director of the Center for Limnology, at a recent campus symposium centered around a new effort to understand, predict and prevent these kinds of abrupt ecological changes.
Tropical forests boast a diversity of tree species — Barro Colorado Island, for example, has roughly as many tree species as all of Europe — and as part of his Ph.D. research, Jacob Usinowicz wanted to understand why and how they all manage to coexist.
This fall, in a field in rural Wisconsin, you can get lost in a trilobite. Bug-like and armored, with as many as 100 legs, these now-extinct marine creatures once cruised the planet’s seas, including those that covered Wisconsin. With some help from the UW-Madison Geology Museum, it is also the defining feature of this year’s award-winning Treinen Farm Corn Maze in Lodi.