Science News Briefs from Around the Globe

Hi, I’m Scientific American podcast editor Steve Mirsky. And here’s a short piece from the December 2019 issue of the magazine, in the section called Advances: Dispatches From The Frontiers Of Science, Technology And Medicine. The article is titled Quick Hits, and it’s a rundown of some science and technology stories from around the globe, compiled by assistant news editor Sarah Lewin Frasier.

From Spain: Summer’s powerful drought revealed a more than 4,000-year-old oval of at least 100 standing stones called the Dolmen of Guadalperal, which had been submerged since 1963 in an engineered reservoir.

From Russia: Scientists identified a small group of Nordmann’s greenshanks, among the most endangered shorebirds, in a bog in Russia’s far eastern region. They helmed the first in-depth study of the bird since 1976 and are the first ever to capture a photograph of an adult on a nest.

From New Zealand: Researchers found that humpback whales traveling near Raoul Island, 700 miles off New Zealand’s coast, learn songs from members of other breeding grounds.

From Indonesia: Climate models have more firmly connected a record-setting cold European summer in 1816 to the previous year’s eruption of Indonesia’s Mount Tambora, which injected sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere and caused widespread surface cooling.

And from Brazil: A newfound species of electric eel in Brazil, Electrophorus voltai, produces the strongest shock scientists have ever measured from a living animal. It can produce 860 volts at up to one amp of current. 

That was Quick Hits, by Sarah Lewin Frasier.

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