Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Online Feature

How an app to decrypt criminal messages was born 'over a few beers' with the FBI

Australian and US law enforcement officials on Tuesday announced they’d sprung a trap three years in the making, catching major international crime figures using an encrypted app.

More than 200 underworld figures in Australia have been charged in what Australian Federal Police (AFP) say is their biggest-ever organised crime bust.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Introducing Australotitan: Australia's largest dinosaur yet spanned the length of 2 buses

Vlad Konstantinov, Scott Hocknull, Eromanga Natural History Museum, Author provided

Today, a new Aussie dinosaur is being welcomed into the fold.

Originally published in The Conversation.

The sex life aquatic: how moving from land to water led to the surprisingly touchy courtship of sea snakes

Claire Goiran, Author provided

Although sea snakes aren’t usually associated with intimate interactions, our new research is revealing their “sensitive” side.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Remembering Tilly Edinger, the pioneering 'brainy' woman who fled Nazi Germany and founded palaeoneurology

Biodiversity Heritage Library/ Harvard University Archives

Modern palaeontology dates back to the 19th century. But from time to time, entirely new branches of enquiry are developed.

Originally published in The Conversation.

Ancient bilby and bandicoot fossils shed light on the mystery of marsupial evolution

George Aldridge, Author provided

Bilbies and bandicoots are less famous than koalas and kangaroos, but several species of these small Australian marsupials are highly threatened.

Originally published in The Conversation.

NASA is returning to Venus, where surface temperatures are 470°C. Will we find life when we get there?


NASA has selected two missions, dubbed DAVINCI+ and VERITAS, to study the “lost habitable” world of Venus.

Originally published in The Conversation.

'Flash droughts' can dry out soil in weeks. New research shows what they look like in Australia

At the tail end of winter in 2015, the ground in the Wimmera in northwestern Victoria had been a little dry but conditions weren’t too bad for farmers. The crop season was going well.

The start of September looked promising. It was cool, and there were decent rains. One Wimmera lentil grower said, “As long as it doesn’t get too hot, we should actually be OK.”

Originally published in The Conversation.

World-first artefact dating method shows humans have lived in the shadow of the Himalayas for more than 5,000 years

Mark Aldenderfer, Author provided

Few parts of the world would seem as inhospitable to humans as the highlands of the Tibetan Plateau, near the Himalayas.

Originally published in The Conversation.