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earth and environmental sciences

Life in the Precambrian may have been much livelier than previously thought

May. 18, 2017—An interdisciplinary study suggests the strange creatures that lived in the Garden of the Ediacaran more than 540 million years ago may have been much more dynamic than experts have thought.

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National assessment overstates public access to safe drinking water in Bangladesh

May. 12, 2017—According to the latest national assessment, 85 percent of the people in Bangladesh have access to safe drinking water. However, a new study raises serious questions about the nation's water security.

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The tale teeth tell about the legendary man-eating lions of Tsavo

Apr. 19, 2017—Analysis of the microscopic wear on the teeth of three man-eating lions reveals that painful dental disease may have been what drove the cats to hunt humans instead of larger prey.

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Fossils at the Fort is March 25

Mar. 15, 2017—Fossils at the Fort is happening on Saturday, March 25, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fort Negley Visitors Center and Park. The event is free and will take place rain or shine.

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Climate change helped kill off super-sized Ice Age animals in Australia

Jan. 26, 2017—A new study has compared the diet of a variety of Australian megafaunal herbivores from the period when they were widespread (350,000 to 570,000 years ago) to a period when they were in decline (30,000 to 40,000 years ago) by studying their fossil teeth. The analysis suggests that climate change had a significant impact on their diets and may well have been a primary factor in their extinction.

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$1M gift to support research and immersion experiences for Vanderbilt’s Earth and Environmental Sciences

Jan. 24, 2017—Vanderbilt’s College of Arts and Science received a $1 million anonymous gift to bolster faculty research and student immersion experiences in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

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Research that ruled in 2016: Readers’ favorite stories

Dec. 16, 2016—Artificial kidneys, gay-straight alliances and junkyard batteries captured readers' attention in 2016.

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Vanderbilt excavation begins to shed more light on the lives of early Peruvians

Oct. 4, 2016—Findings from archaeologist Tom Dillehay's dig at Huaca Prieta and Paredones include the world's earliest known use of indigo dye.

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Cave study designed to solve puzzle of prehistoric megadroughts in the western U.S.

Aug. 26, 2016—Paleoclimatic cave study in California is designed to identify the factors that made megadroughts commonplace in the western U.S. from 5,000 to 8,000 years ago.

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Newly discovered fossils strengthen proposition that world’s first mass extinction engineered by early animals

Jul. 29, 2016—New fossil evidence strengthens the proposition that the world’s first mass extinction was caused by ‘ecosystem engineers’ – newly evolved organisms that radically altered the environment.

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Super-eruptions may give only a year’s warning before they blow

Jul. 20, 2016—A microscopic analysis of quartz crystals from an ancient California super-eruption indicates that the process of decompression preceding the eruption took place less than a year before.

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Fossils at the Fort is March 19

Mar. 10, 2016—Fossils at the Fort is a free annual event providing young and old with an opportunity to journey into Middle Tennessee's astonishing ancient past.

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