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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From the Hope diamond to the shiny bits in instant coffee, crystals have always held the power to fascinate us humans. Are they more than just a bunch of pretty facets?

By Nicholas Gerbis

From dinosaur skeletons to petrified wood, fossils help us learn about prehistoric creatures' anatomy and physiology. See pictures of incredible examples of fossils from around the world.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

Anthropologists specialize in, well, us. But studying humankind doesn't mean you have to hole up in a library or laboratory. Take a peek at this article to learn more about the dynamic, enriching field of anthropology.

By Nathan Chandler

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When it comes to fossils, specimens like Sue the Tyrannosaurus rex grab much of the attention. And while Sue is a staggering 67 million years old, she's a new kid on the block, compared to some of the oldest fossils ever found. What's older than Sue?

By Jonathan Atteberry

At best, fossilization is a long and tricky process that mineralizes an occasional Tyrannosaurus rex or other extraordinary find. How has that affected our chances at charting a model of life itself?

By Robert Lamb

It's easy to trace the evolution of the automobile. Your family tree poses a whole different challenge. Even an extensive genealogy chart can only reach back so far. So how do we chart the evolution of the human race?

By Robert Lamb

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

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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

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

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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

Researchers think the Chicxulub crater was caused by the massive asteroid that also killed off the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. What else do we know about this peak-ring crater?

By Mark Mancini

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

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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

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

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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

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

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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