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Science

Growers don’t bust record at pumpkin-weighing contest; but 1,969-pound winner is no small feat

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. A rippled white whopper weighing in at 1,969 pounds (893 kilograms) took the title Monday for plumpest pumpkin at an annual San Francisco Bay Area contest.

Growers gathered with their gargantuan offerings to try to break the world record of 2,323 pounds (1,054 kilograms), which was set by a Swiss grower during a competition in Germany last year.

NASA says Mars appears to have flowing water; could there be life on the red planet?

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. Mars appears to have flowing rivulets of salty water, at least in the summer, scientists reported Monday in a finding that could have major implications for the possibility of life on the red planet.

“It suggests that it would be possible for there to be life today on Mars,” NASA’s science mission chief, John Grunsfeld, said at a news conference.

Scientists: Relentless drought stressing California’s towering, old Giant Sequoia trees

SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, Calif. Giant Sequoias growing in California’s Sierra Nevada are among the largest and oldest living things on earth, but scientists climbing high up into their green canopies say they are seeing symptoms of stress caused by the state’s historic drought.

Researchers say fossils of new plant-eating dinosaur species found in northern Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska Researchers have uncovered a new species of plant-eating dinosaur in Alaska, according to a report published Tuesday.

The animal was a variety of hadrosaur, a duck-billed dinosaur that roamed in herds, said Pat Druckenmiller, earth sciences curator at the University of Alaska Museum in Fairbanks.

Burning controversy: Shift in US firefighting strategy prioritizes sage grouse brush in West

RENO, Nev. Federal agencies deciding how to deploy firefighters during one of the West’s worst wildfire seasons are considering a new factor in their deliberations: an imperiled bird that inhabits a vast stretch of sagebrush from California to the Dakotas.