Land rising above the sea 2.4 billion years ago changed planet Earth

Chemical signatures in shale, the Earth's most common sedimentary rock, point to a rapid rise of land above the ocean 2.4 billion years ago that possibly triggered dramatic changes in climate and life, according to Science Daily.

In a study, researchers report that shale sampled from around the world contains archival quality evidence of almost imperceptible traces of rainwater that caused weathering of land from as old as 3.5 billion years ago.

Birds had to learn to fly all over again after the asteroid apocalypse that killed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago

Bird species had to learn to fly all over again, after the colossal asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs some 66 million years ago also grounded all avian life.

That's the finding of new research that sheds new light on how bird species survived the devastating asteroid impact that ended the reign of the dinosaurs, according to Daily Mail.

Scientists believe the asteroid also triggered the destruction of forests across the globe. With their natural habitat destroyed, tree-dwelling bird species soon died out.

Only avian species that lived on the ground were able to survive the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction, known as K-Pg.

Emerging from the ashes of the cataclysm were these larger species of land dwelling birds, equivalent to today's emus and ostriches.

Giraffes surprise biologists yet again

New research has highlighted how little we know about giraffe behaviour and ecology, according to Science Daily.

It is commonly accepted that group sizes of animals increase when there is a risk of predation, since larger group sizes reduce the risk of individuals being killed, and there are 'many eyes' to spot any potential predation risk.

Now, in the first study of its kind, PhD student Zoe Muller has found that this is not true for giraffes, and that the size of giraffe groups is not influenced by the presence of predators.

Chimpanzees 'keep their beds cleaner than humans' because they build complex tree nests out of branches and leaves which contains less bacteria than most households

Chimpanzees keep their beds cleaner than humans, scientists have discovered.

The great apes build complex tree nests out of branches and leaves in which they sleep. And they set an example the average human teenager would find tough to follow, according to Daily Mail.

In fact chimp forest nests contain fewer body bacteria - such as those shed from the skin - than beds in most human households.

PhD student Megan Thoemmes, who led a team collecting swab samples from 41 chimpanzee nests, found the chimp nests had a much greater variety of bugs - a finding that was not unexpected in tropical forests.

However, they were far less likely to harbour ‘dirty’ bacteria from the mouth, skin or elsewhere in the body.

‘We found almost none of those microbes in the chimpanzee nests, which was a little surprising,’ said Ms Thoemmes.

Scientists train spider to jump on demand to discover secrets of animal movement

Scientists have unlocked the secrets of how some predatory spiders catch their prey whilst hunting by successfully training one to jump different distances and heights for the first time, according to Science Daily.

The study, conducted by researchers, is the most advanced of its kind to date and first to use 3D CT scanning and high-speed, high-resolution cameras to record, monitor and analyse a spider's movement and behaviour.