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Meet the 'Hercules parrot' from prehistoric New Zealand – the biggest ever discovered

_Heracles inexpectatus_ on the forest floor, with three small wrens foraging at its feet. Brian Choo, Author provided

Say hello to Heracles inexpectatus, a parrot the size of a human child. But don’t worry, you won’t meet one face to face.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Curious Kids: why is air colder the higher up you go?

The air up high is just really bad at 'holding' onto the radiation coming from the Sun, and the warmth passes straight through it on its journey toward the ground. Kevin Spencer/flicr, The Conversation.

AI is here to stay. Now we need to ensure everyone benefits

Specialist machine learning and narrow AI could help us to start removing the "four Ds" - dirty, dull, difficult, dangerous - from our daily work. from www.shutterstock.com, CC BY-ND


Originally published in The Conversation.

Australian media regulators face the challenge of dealing with global platforms Google and Facebook

'Google and Facebook are global companies, headquartered in the US, for whom Australia is a significant but relatively small market.' Shutterstock/Roman Pyshchyk

With concerns growing worldwide about the economic power of digital technology giants such as Googl


Originally published in The Conversation.

Buffet buddies: footage reveals that fierce leopard seals work together when king penguin is on the menu

A wild leopard seal on South Georgia. James Robbins, Author provided

Some people don’t like sharing their food – we all have a friend who gets cranky when you steal a chip from their plate.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Think your metadata is only visible to national security agencies? Think again

It was bound to happen, and it did. Poorly crafted legislation – designed to allow national security agencies to collect information with the aim of protecting Australians from terrorists – is now reportedly being exploited by a range of different government agencies for other purposes.


Originally published in The Conversation.

An astronomy expert explains how The Bachelor's research will help us discover new planets

Astrophysicist Matt Agnew is looking for love on the Bachelor Australia. Network 10

As an astronomer, I’m used to talking about the stars - the ones above, the distant suns and the worlds that orbit them.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Australia can pick up its game and land a Moon mission

The 'Stairway to the Moon' as seen from Western Australia. Flickr/Gary Tindale, CC BY

Now all the celebrations of the 50th anniversary


Originally published in The Conversation.

Breeding Thoroughbreds is far from natural in the race for a winner

Not all Thoroughbreds mate in the natural way. Shutterstock/Svetlana Ryazantseva

Happy birthday to each and every Australian Thoroughbred racehorse, as today (August 1) is considered their official “horse birthday” in the southern hemisphere, no matter what date they w


Originally published in The Conversation.

Curious Kids: can Earth be affected by a black hole in the future?

Another reason you don’t want to get too close to a black hole is because of something we call 'spaghettification'. If this happened to Earth it would be... unpleasant.


Originally published in The Conversation.