Archive for 2002

Bronze Age Factory Discovered in Jordan

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 25, 2002   View Article

Archaeologists working at a desert site in Jordan have excavated a large and very well-preserved copper factory from the Early Bronze Age. The discovery is providing insight into metal production as the first urban cultures emerged.

“This unique find gives us a remarkable window on the role of craft production in some of the earliest urban societies in the world,” said Thomas Levy, an archaeologist at the University of California–San Diego, who led the excavation.

Fossil Leaves Suggest Asteroid Killed Dinosaurs

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 17, 2002   View Article

A team of scientists says evidence from fossilized leaves indicates that dinosaurs appear to have become extinct as a result of the catastrophic impact of an asteroid and not volcanic activity.

Dinosaurs, along with an estimated 70 percent of all life on Earth, are believed to have gone extinct 65 million years ago as a result of a series of dramatic temperature changes. The extinctions are known as the K-T extinctions because they fall on the boundary between the Cretaceous (geological symbol K) and the Tertiary periods.

Saving the Potato in its Andean Birthplace

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 10, 2002   View Article

The Spanish conquistadors toppled the Inca Empire in the 16th century in their quest for silver and gold. They returned to Europe with a different sort of earthly nugget dug from the elaborate terraces sculpted into the sides of the Andes—the potato.

Potatoes have since spread to nearly 150 countries around the world; hundreds of millions of tons are grown annually, and the potato has become a staple in the world’s diet.

Dinosaur Tracks Shed Light on Sauropod Evolution

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 30, 2002   View Article

Dinosaur tracks made on the edge of a coastal plain 163 million years ago in middle England are providing a team of researchers with new insights into the evolution and behavior of sauropods.

Sauropods are the group of plant-eating dinosaurs distinguished by their long necks and tails. They include some of the largest creatures ever to walk on Earth.

Zoo Primates Go Bananas Over National Geographic

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 13, 2002   View Article

National Geographic may have just acquired a new fan base; but is it the pictures, or the cool covers? The chimpanzees at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin, recently received six boxes of back issues from a group of local schoolchildren, and the publications appear to be a big hit.

The magazines are scattered about their living quarters to simulate the big leafy plants found in their native habitat, said Jim Hubing, director of the zoo. But the chimps sometimes flip through the glossy pages, and react to certain pictures.

New Zealand Tries to Cap Gaseous Sheep Burps

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 13, 2002   View Article

New Zealand scientists trying to curb their country’s influence on global warming may have found an answer to belch about: Livestock that eat plants high in condensed tannins produce up to 16 percent less methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

Tannins are the yellow-brown chemical compounds found in many plants and give red wine its distinctive flavor.

Fighter Jet Fights for “Vulcanoid” Asteroids

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 6, 2002   View Article

Space scientists hitched a ride earlier this year aboard an F/A-18B fighter jet traveling through the stratosphere at 0.92 Mach. From the cockpit, the night sky was inky black and pierced with diamond-like planets, streaks of comet dust, and a zodiac of light.

Not out merely for a night ride, the scientists had their eyes trained on the western horizon, where twilight hung low in a range from deep blue to glowing red.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach