Scientists assemble a new map of the world's living organisms and their relationships to one another. Crows are recruited to demonstrate their usage of tools. And the impact of global warming on Alaska's permafrost is considered. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on science and Earth-related news! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

How do all the Earth's organisms relate to one another? And what does that tell us about their past, present, and future? These are the kind of questions scientists are hoping to answer with their newly assembled "tree of life," which maps the relationships between all living organisms on the planet.

Was Nefertiti buried with her husband's son (and possibly her son as well) Tutankhamun? And what does a newly discovered Etruscan tomb tell us about ancient Italy. Check out The Wild Hunt's collection of recent archaeological news here.

Scientists have known for some time that crows, like humans and our close-relatives, are one of the few species capable of using tools. Now, scientists are trying to get a look at crows' tool-use through the birds' own eyes, by using cameras attached to the birds to examine tool use in their natural environment. You can read about the results at Discover Magazine's website.

As global warming continues, largely unabated, it's beginning to affect the layers of permafrost (ice that stays frozen for at least two years) in the arctic and subarctic regions of the world. If you aren't sure what this means, check out Scientific American's article on the subject here.

Solar, wind, hydroelectic, and geothermal power are more viable than ever before. But they may not be enough to sustain our civilization's current energy needs. What then about nuclear (fission)? Science and gadget website Gizmodo evaluates the current status of American nuclear power here, remarking on what needs to improve.


Top image by TawsifSalam