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MIT researchers have found that the number of species and the average interaction strength determine whether different ecosystems would be stable or chaotic, reports Gabriel Popkin for Science. The researchers “grew microbes together in plastic wells and increase and decrease the concentration of nutrients to manipulate how strongly the different species interacted with each other,” explains Popkin. “The more nutrients, the more the different species competed.”


 Scientists at MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have found that while albatross couples typically mate for life, shy wandering albatross males are more likely to be divorced, reports Forbes. “This link between personality and divorce could help scientists predict the resilience of an albatross population over time."


HuffPost reporter Mary Papenfuss writes that a team of archeologists and scientists, including Research Scientist Jahandar Ramezani, have uncovered evidence of social behaviors in dinosaurs. “The bones were segregated by age, with eggs in a common nesting ground,” writes Papenfuss. “Juveniles likely were left in ‘schools’ while adults foraged.”

Scientific American

Research scientist Jahandar Ramezani speaks with Scientific American reporter Christopher Intagliata about his new study that provides evidence early dinosaurs exhibited herding behavior. “This is a critical time in the evolution of dinosaurs. This is pretty early on,” says Ramezani. “So the idea is: this type of behavior, this social behavior, may have actually contributed to the evolutionary success of dinosaurs.”

Popular Science

Researchers from MIT and other institutions have uncovered evidence that early dinosaurs may have lived in social herds, reports Kate Baggaley for Popular Science. “People have known for a long time that the more advanced dinosaurs, the ones that lived in the late Jurassic and Cretaceous, especially the large sauropods…moved and lived in herds,” explains research scientist Jahandar Ramezani. “But the question has always been, when did this behavior start?”

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Derrick Z. Jackson writes about Dr. Juliet Simpson’s work mapping the amount of carbon in Boston-area sea grass beds. Simpson explains that in undisturbed areas, half of a handful of salt marsh soil is “probably straight carbon.”

The Washington Post

“Chemical analysis of poop samples discovered at an archaeological site in Alicante, Spain, suggests Neanderthals may have enjoyed significant servings of plants too,” writes Washington Post reporter Gail Sullivan of new findings from MIT researchers concerning the diets of Neanderthals. 


In a piece for Salon, Sarah Gray reports that a team of researchers, “discovered 50,000-year-old human poop while excavating the ancient Neanderthal site El Salt, located in Spain near the port of Alicante on the Mediterranean.” Analysis of the fecal matter showed that the Neanderthals may have eaten more vegetables than previously thought.  


Nicholas St. Fleur of NPR examines new findings from MIT researchers concerning the Neanderthal diet. "This opens a new window into Neanderthal diet because it's the first time we actually know what they digested and consumed," Ainara Sistiaga says.

Boston Globe

Carolyn Johnson writes for The Boston Globe about MIT’s findings that the diets of Neanderthals included plants in addition to animals. The results, obtained by analyzing fecal samples, undermine previous beliefs that Neanderthals were carnivorous. 

Al Jazeera America

Al Jazeera America reports on research by scientists from MIT that indicates that Neanderthals ate plants, contrary to earlier beliefs about their diets. The researchers came to this conclusion after analyzing ancient fecal samples.


“Neanderthals spent at least some time digesting plants, according to a new study that analyzed fossilized ancient feces to find the most direct evidence yet of a varied diet for man’s ancestors,” writes Bloomberg News reporter Marie French. 

USA Today

Traci Watso reports for USA Today about new evidence uncovered by a team of researchers from MIT that could be the earliest known evidence that the Neanderthals were, “omnivores who ate significant quantities of plant-based food.” 

Los Angeles Times

Monte Morin of the Los Angeles Times reports on new MIT researching showing the Neanderthals did eat vegetation. “Using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, researchers studied the powdered samples for traces of stanols and sterols, lipids that are formed in the intestines when gut bacteria act on plant and animal matter,” Morin writes. 


Writing for The Huffington Post, Jacqueline Howard reports that an analysis of ancient fecal matter by MIT researchers shows that the Neanderthals ate more vegetables than originally thought.