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 blue planet, as far as we know, is unique in the universe. But our precious water resources are under extreme pressure, from pollution, overuse and fishing, and drought. We need to revalue water and the seas. That thought came to me when I recently had the privilege to look in the eyes of two beautiful white beluga whales...

The Permian-Triassic mass extinction was the largest biodiversity crisis ever, called the Great Dying. Almost 90% of all life died while the environment underwent a dramatic transformation. In this article we look at causes and compare it with the biodiversity crisis we face today. We also do a little experiment: putting humans in the...

The series of earthquakes on 6 February struck at the intersection of two extremely hazardous faults: the East Anatolian Fault and the Dead Sea Transform. These faults are the boundaries between three tectonic plates that converge in the so-called Maraş triple junction, near the town Kahramanmaraş. The small Anatolian tectonic plate, on which much...

Our ancestors lived in aquatic habitats according to the controversial but highly plausible Waterside hypothesis, formerly known as the Aquatic Ape Theory. Frequent wading in water led, among other things, to our most striking feature: walking upright on two legs. However, many paleoanthropologists still believe that bipedalism is the result of our...

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...

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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