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geology's oldest rocks

hamburg, GERMANY - The recent discovery of the oldest known rocks on Earth is another link in the planet's geological history. The rocks, discovered in northern Canada, are more than 4.03 billion years old. The find means that the impact of a large meteorite between 4.6 billion and 3.8 billion years ago wasn't enough to destroy the earth's entire crust. It also narrows the gap between the planet's formation 4.56 billion years ago and the oldest remaining rock.

Bowser's family tree

HAMBURG, GERMANY - Scientists have offered an answer to the question of the origin of today's diverse dog breeds: They're all descended from the wolf. Based on bone finds, the domestication of wolves and genetic selection of certain traits can be traced to Stone Age hunters who captured pups on hunting forays. In the following millennia, they were so isolated from wild animals in some places that the transition from wolf to dog is clearly recognizable in build and shape.


Tagging icebergs

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - Using a helicopter and a little elbow grease, explorers participating in an Antarctic research program are tagging drifting icebergs with satellite transmitters. The transmitters - which are wrapped in waterproof packaging and then buried in the snow - will help researchers track the icebergs' positions on a daily basis, says project leader Eberhard Fahrbach. They also plan to obtain data on ocean currents, iceberg drift, and their influence on surrounding waters.


Pay a fine, plant a tree

MANILA - Officials from companies violating Philippine pollution laws will be required to plant fruit trees in metropolitan Manila as punishment. The program is aimed at promoting environmental protection and giving the dirty capital a facelift, says Antonio Cerilles, environment and natural resources secretary.

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