Researchers study fossils for the sake of pure science, because they speak volumes about the world around us and its ancient history. But frequently, such “pure” research yields far wider benefits

They usually are less than a centimeter in diameter, but they can build colonies sometimes running kilometers in length. How do corals manage these massive feats of construction, and what part do single-cell algae play?

They lived around 200 million years ago, and they resembled today’s squids and cuttlefishes. Belemnites can reveal a wealth of fascinating information about climate in past geological eras


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