Homo_naledi_assembled_skull

A few shortcuts to the latest Homo naledi news

Still feel as if you’re not quite yet on top of the biggest science news coming out of South Africa this week? About the latest news about Homo naledi? Here’s a few essential links:   Here’s the full press release from Wits University. The first two paragraphs read: “The Rising Star Cave system in South Africa…

Satyrium candidumKooels Mountains

New species named after the man who co-wrote the ultimate Cape orchid book

Bill Liltved, the driving force behind what many people call the “opus” of South Africa’s orchid species, has been honoured by having a newly identified white orchid species from the Kogelberg mountains being named after him: Satyrium liltvedianum. The new species is announced in the latest edition of the South African Journal of Botany which…

An Atherigon fly visiting a yellow carrion plant. Photo: Adam Shuttleworth

Carrion plant’s (only) little helper

Not all flies attracted to foul-smelling carrion plants help with its pollination In the life cycle of smelly yellow carrion plants (Orbea lutea subsp. lutea), all flies are not created equal. Their flowers, which quite literally reek, lure insects from far and wide that are attracted by the smell of decaying matter and faeces. However,…

Fossil of Moschops, a head butting dinocephalian therapsid, showing its decorative teeth

Age-old secret that Hollywood celebrities try to keep from you has been uncovered … by palaeontologists

Hollywood celebrities spend large amounts of dollars on it. The hunky stud at the local pub thinks he knows it. But the age-old secret has been carefully kept for millions of years. Yet, it seemed obvious to pre-mammalian reptiles that went so far as to evolve mouths full of beautifully crafted teeth. It’s your beautifully…

Dr Habibu Aliyu looked at the genetics of hardy bacteria in Antarctica  to figure out how they survive there. Photo: up.ac.za

Adapted to the Antarctic: a cold-lover’s genetics

First published on up.ac.za Life can thrive in the most extreme climates – from the very hot to the very cold. Something that not long ago was believed to belong in science fiction has now been brought into the realm of reality by a researcher at the University of Pretoria (UP). A fan of science…

Namaqua Daisies and other wild flowers growing on every bit of unused farmland in Namaqualand. Photo: 
Martin Heigan

Rocking with Namaqualand’s daisies

For the next few weeks, Scibraai will be featuring a few articles that appeared in the 2015 New Voices in Science publication. The articles are all written by postgraduate students of Stellenbosch University, and tell the stories of what they found out during the course of their research. First up is Caroli de Waal, who…

Dinosourus-kenner prof Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan. Foto: Peter Rudden

“Kry die dino-tannie se handtekening, Ma

  As jy gelukkig genoeg is om ‘n ouer te hê wat ‘n dinosouruskenner is, sal jy absoluut geen idee hê hoe dit voel om die kind van ‘n eertydse Latyn-onderwyseres te wees nie. Want waar jy gewoond is om ‘n hele paar “wow’s” te kry wanneer mense vra wat jou ma-hulle dan doen, is…