Geology

Geology is the study of the composition and physical properties of rocks, minerals, gems and other related earth materials, including diamonds and crystals. Scientists gain an understanding of the Earth's history by studying its composition.

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Crack open any science textbook and the authors will tell you that such things don't happen. So how did a couple of paleontologists and an acid bath turn that widespread belief on its head?

By Robert Lamb

Birds then dinosaurs or dinosaurs then birds? It's a lot like the chicken-and-egg question, only with paleontologists. Who's arguing what these days, and what are they citing as evidence?

By Robert Lamb

The world of our far-future descendants may be as unrecognizable to us as our bustling, urbanized world would be to our bewildered ancient forefathers. Will energy drive many of those changes?

By Robert Lamb

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The Doll's Theater of Carlsbad Caverns looks otherworldly and took ages to form. What other incredible sights await us below ground?

By Julia Layton

Sand dunes belch, moan and hum. They roll across the desert, seeking out new locales. You might even say they breed. It's no wonder people call these giant sand formations lifelike.

By Debra Ronca

Did you know that sand dunes can sing? And, their artistic curves certainly make for a gorgeous photograph. In fact, you might call the sand dune the diva of the desert.

By Debra Ronca

When some people hear the word "dinosaur," they immediately think of outdated technology. Does that mean that the dinosaurs themselves were failures?

By Tracy V. Wilson

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Many scientists believe that the impact from a massive asteroid was what killed off the dinosaurs. It's what started the Age of Mammals. But what if the asteroid had missed?

By Tracy V. Wilson

Sometimes dinosaur fossils are too large and heavy to display without damaging them. How are those enormous models built? And what makes them look so realistic?

By Tracy V. Wilson

Ever since its discovery in 2000, a dinosaur fossil named Leonardo has held the interest of paleontologists the world over. A 3-D model of the animal even toured the world. So what's the big deal?

By Tracy V. Wilson

Scientists believe that water pressure kept many dinosaurs from swimming. But does that mean that none of these massive animals took a prehistoric skinny-dip?

By Tracy V. Wilson

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Some people believe that dinosaurs were relatives of today's birds. But, you might ask, if that's so, why didn't they have feathers? Funny you should ask.

By Tracy V. Wilson

It's not a trick; before you are a number of reptilian footprints in the rock. They're dinosaur tracks, preserved for thousands of years. But how did they possibly get there?

By Tracy V. Wilson

Everyone knows that once a bone has fossilized, it's hard as a rock, right? So how did scientists find soft tissue inside a broken dinosaur bone?

By Tracy V. Wilson

Dinosaur eggs and the embryos inside can teach us a lot about dinosaur reproduction and behavior. But how do scientists get the rocky embryos out from the equally rocky shells?

By Tracy V. Wilson

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Hollywood makes T. rex seem fast and agile, but some scientists think it was a scavenger, like a vulture. So which was it?

By Tracy V. Wilson

We all know the cartoons of prehistoric people running from dinosaurs aren't realistic. But many animals living today have ancestors from that time.

By Tracy V. Wilson

When they discover dinosaur remains, how do scientists know whether they found a male or a female? Would you believe it all comes down to one bone?

By Tracy V. Wilson

Diamonds are some of the most brilliant and expensive natural features Earth has to offer. This collection of images displays diamonds in all their uncut and polished shapes and sizes. Obligatory pictures of very large diamonds are included of course.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

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One grows from the ground and one from the ceiling, but sometime's it's hard to remember which is the stalactite and which is the stalagmite. How do they get there, anyway?

By John Fuller

Earthquakes and volcanoes get all the press. But the landslides they trigger are often more devastating. What makes the ground suddenly rip downhill, taking trees and homes with it?

By Jennifer Horton & Mark Mancini

Saber-tooth cats have long been likened to tigers, but they aren't tigers at all. While they share some physical traits and hunting practices with tigers, saber-tooth cats are also quite different.

By Tracy V. Wilson

The 1993 movie "Jurassic Park" did a good job of bringing the idea of cloning dinosaurs into popular culture. It portrayed dinosaur cloning in a way that made sense to a lot of people, but is it really possible?

By Tracy V. Wilson

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Every time a new fossil is found, one of the first things scientists determine is how old that fossil really is. But how do they determine it, and how can they be completely accurate?

By Tracy V. Wilson

Fossils tell a story, much like the clues at the scene of a crime. Researchers look for evidence and paleontologists study that evidence to answer questions about the past.

By Tracy V. Wilson