Humans are a massive minority on Earth. Why don’t we act like it?

photo: red panda

The endangered Red Panda has a wild population of less than 10,000 mature individuals Image: REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

Most of us, including scientists, are blind to the full scope of the living world. This was illustrated by an informal survey which asked biologists and ecologists from elite universities two questions. In terms of mass, is the living world mostly composed of animals, plants or bacteria? And is there more global biomass … [more…]

Plant roots go to extreme lengths to find water

Illustration: a plant and its roots under the soil. Plant roots go to extreme lengths to find water

Understanding how plants will survive and adapt to climate change is crucial as they provide oxygen and take in carbon dioxide. A new study from Rutgers University-New Brunswick set to find how resilient plants are by looking at the roots and how deep they travel to find water.

The research revealed that some trees will send their roots down hundreds of feet and through rock cracks to get to a … [more…]