GondwanaTalks is an online magazine for a wide audience and anyone fascinated by the natural world. Articles in easy language and in three languages.

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Our ancestors had an aquatic past, especially in early Pleistocene times. This insight is based in part on the latest medical-biological research by Belgian physician Marc Verhaegen, who has been fascinated by paleoanthropology for over 30 years and has published in leading journals. Our even earlier ancestors and relatives, several species of...

Ukraine's black soil has properties that made the country a global producer of commercial crops. Two-thirds of Ukraine consists of humus-rich Chernozems, the most fertile soils in the world. But fertile is not a synonym for resilient, unfortunately. And as war lashes the land, tanks roll over soils and clods of black earth fly around, many a soil...

Living legend Jane Goodall was in Belgium in early December 2022, on one of the many stops she's been making during her travels to raise awareness of environmental conservation around the world. I am a volunteer for the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) and I helped to organize the gala dinner "An Evening of Hope" where she was the guest of...

Join us on an exhilarating journey across Europe's volcanoes, some of which are quite unknown but not as dormant as we believe, and have erupted in the past the way Tonga did almost a year ago. The stories of these volcanoes are intertwined with European myths, legends and history. But the most poignant question is, are the volcanoes of...

The tree of heaven is invading all continents except Antarctica. The experts say they cause much damage to native ecosystems, and even call them trees of hell. But maybe it's just nature's way to laugh at our deforestation rage? Let's reflect about invasive species and how we have actually rolled out the red carpet for them.

It's 100 years since Tutankhamun's tomb has been opened. Therefore, I wanted to revisit some details of the world's most famous treasure: the pharaoh's golden funeral mask adorned with blue lapis lazuli stone. I wrote about this in some detail in one of my first GondwanaTalks articles. Let's now use Tutankhamun as a starting point to ponder on the...

In the run-up to the µMED - the international conference on microplastic pollution in the Mediterranean - let's expose the ever-growing mountain of disposable plastic in the Gulf of Naples. No one seems to worry, least of all the young people. Is the Gulf of Naples the only place where a plastic eruption is imminent? Certainly not. But...

As summer 2022 is ablaze with wildfires and heat waves, we may well have entered the Pyrocene, the age of fire. This name was coined by Stephen J Pyne, as an alternative for the Anthropocene: the era in which humanity leaves an ineradicable mark on the earth. Fire seems to play an increasingly important role in how we transform the...

We're six months after Tonga and yet there aren't signs that it affected the climate. But weren't large volcanic eruptions and their aerosols supposed to have a worldwide cooling effect? Tonga was indeed the largest eruption ever recorded by instruments. It is hence no surprise that people have been speculating whether it would have an impact on...

About six million years ago, almost all the water of the Mediterranean Sea evaporated as it became cut off from the global ocean. In a geological blink of an eye, the sea level dropped until only a few seething lagoons remained, at a depth of roughly 1,500 to 3,000 meters below mean sea leve, causing a huge ecological crisis. But then great natural floodgates opened in the Strait of Gibraltar and through a mega-flood the basin refilled with seawater. Read on.

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— One of the first GondwanaTalks articles —

An article by Kathelijne Bonne

From high mountain peaks to the pharaohs.

How precious stone lapis lazuli found its way from the world's most ancient mines to Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece, and to the canvases of the great painters, has been documented extensively. Discover how lapis lazuli formed, as it crystallized in seams of precious rocks in the midst of plate tectonic turmoil. 



Photo: géry60 on Foter.com / CC BY-ND

What is Gondwana?

The inspiration came from the great, lost continent of Gondwana. Gondwana was the land area in which all southern continents were once united into one great supercontinent. When it formed, life had exploded into a myriad of life forms and had risen from a mainly microscopic bacterial world to a world in which animals and plants came to dominate. When Gondwana fell apart, and continents drifted away, new, isolated life forms emerged, of which the peculiar fauna and flora of Australia are the best, but not the only, example.

GondwanaTalks is an online magazine on the natural world, for a wide audience. 

 

 










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