stone age Gobi

At http://scienceinpoland.pap.pl/en/news/news,410066,archaeologist-many-tho... ... life flourished not just in the Gobi but in the Mongolian Gobi (and the Altai mountain region). The Gobi is the second largest desert in the world - but that was not always so. Nowadays, where only nomadic people live on the fringes of the Gobi, the region was full of humans and abundant wildlife (anaimals and vegetation).

Black Hole jets

At http://phys.org/print385385980.html ... a paper in the Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (Oxford University Press, June 2016) concerns a simulation of the powerful jets ejected by supermassive black holes at the centre of large galaxies. Some 10 per cent of galaxies (assumed to have black holes) have jets of gas spouting in the opposite direction from the core. Hot ionised gas (plasma) is propelled outwards 'by the twisting magnetic fields of the rotating black hole.' You may note that streams of plasma coming from the Sun are produced within the Sun, a star.

testosterone

Testosterone and its effects on evolution - go to https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/when-it-comes-to-e... ... another kind of change to the pure Darwinian model of evolution is being suggested - and one that involves testosterone levels. Animals with high testosterone have an edge on those of their own species with a more relaxed attitude to mating, display, and the competition for food resources.

Footprints in the sand

At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/earliest-footprint... ... footprints in the dry region of Eritrea have been dated to 800,000 years ago. Humans living at that time, assumed to be Homo erectus, left behind footprints in what had been sand or silt on the side of a lake - or possibly on the dried up bed of a lake. The footprints are very similar to those of modern people which says a lot about Homo erectus - how different were they really?

Deer and magnetism

At http://blog.drwile.com/?p=14883 ... Dr Wile discusses animals reacting to earth's magnetic field such as migrating Monarch butterflies and salmon. Homing pigeons are a well known example and some people even claim if you throw your snails over next door's fence they will find their way back home (if you take them in a bucket to a nearby piece of waste ground the same thing is said to happen).

Lost river

At http://phys.org/print385104508.html ... the fasted flowing of the glaciers on Greenland is actually situated on a lost river - in fact a huge river basin 12km wide and as deep as 1400m in places (all hidden under the ice). The river was in existence prior to glaciation.

At http://phys.org/print385106365.html ... giant sink holes in Texas - are growing.

Beech Woods

At http://phys.org/print385196521.html ... one and half million pounds, it is alleged, have been used to fund a rather strange story by environmental scientists at the University of Stirling in the southern Highlands of Scotland. They make the bold claim that beech woodland in southern England is actually under threat - from rising temperatures and a more common occurrence of drought. The problem is that their information or point of stat is based on a drought in 1976. My wife was pregnant in that year and I remember it well.

Mosquitoes in History

Mosquitoes are blamed for spreading the Zika virus but the variety appears to have crossed the Atlantic in slaving ships in the 15th and 16th centuries - see www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-lowly-mosquito-helped-america-... ... the variety of mosquito known as Aedes aegypti has a preference for human blood. It has also learned to live in human environments, laying eggs in artificial containers, pots and cans, barrels, wells and cisterns etc..

Stellar Explosion

  In the June 2016 issue of Scientific American Daniel Kasen of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has focused on developing new theoretical and computer models to explain the various types of supernovae.

More on Surprising Mars

Gary Gilligan has replied to the first post, June 14th, and raised some interesting points about silica, and to the apparent violent history of Mars. The link provided, at http://finance.yahoo.com/news/scientists-find-something-mars-could-19010... ... actually implies that on earth tridymite forms at extremely high temperatures in an explosive paroxysm known as silicic volcanism (and Mount St Helens is cited as an example).