The remains of a tree are seen in front of a boulder in the Dome Wilderness area of New Mexico in August 2012. The Las Conchas Fire torched the land in 2011, burning through more than 150,000 acres of forest. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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Once Resilient, Trees In The West Now More Vulnerable To Fires

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An out-of-control natural gas well in the Gulf of Mexico continued to burn Wednesday after it blew out and caught fire. Beams supporting some of the "Hercules 265 jack-up rig" have collapsed. U.S. Coast Guard via AP hide caption

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Dead trees mark the path of the 2003 Winslow fire. Conservationists have considered the fire beneficial for the steppe habitat of the Centennial Valley. Smaller, contained fires like this one have been a crucial part of this ecosystem for thousands of years. John W. Poole/NPR hide caption

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Fighting Fire With Fire: Why Some Burns Are Good For Nature

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An aircraft lays down a line of fire retardant between a wildfire and homes in the dry, densely wooded Black Forest area northeast of Colorado Springs, Colo., on June 13. John Wark/AP hide caption

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Wildfires Will Worsen, And Further Strain The Forest Service

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Mind The Teeth: Fossils indicate that Tyrannosaurus rex was an active hunter, in addition to being a scavenger. And in Jurassic Park, it also had a sweet tooth for lawyers. Universal Pictures/Getty Images hide caption

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Om Nom Nom: T. Rex Was, Indeed, A Voracious Hunter

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A geothermal energy plant near the Salton Sea in California taps deep underground heat from the southern San Andreas Fault rift zone. A new study ties the amount of water pulled from the ground by the geothermal plant here to the frequency of earthquakes. David McNew/Getty Images hide caption

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Wastewater Wells, Geothermal Power Triggering Earthquakes

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Trumpeter swans cruise a lake in Centennial Valley. Swan populations recovered in the valley years ago after ecologists dammed streams to enlarge wetland habitat. John W. Poole/NPR hide caption

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Saving One Species At The Expense Of Another

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The wide-open prairie of the Centennial Valley in southwestern Montana. Sage grouse living here could be placed on the endangered species list if its numbers and prairie habitat continue to decline. John W. Poole/NPR hide caption

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In Montana Wilds, An Unlikely Alliance To Save The Sage Grouse

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A man checks the quality of ivory stocks before an auction at the London docks in January 1948. Popperfoto/Getty Images hide caption

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Radiocarbon Clues Help Track Down Poached Elephant Ivory

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This young female rhinoceros, photographed in Kenya in 2011, was killed by ivory poachers a few months after this photo was taken. Courtesy of Tom Snitch hide caption

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To Crack Down On Rhino Poaching, Authorities Turn To Drones

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Artistic reconstruction of Archicebus achilles in its natural habitat of trees. Xijun Ni/Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences hide caption

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Tiny, Ancient Tree-Dweller Was One Of Earth's Earliest Primates

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Nom Nom Nom: From left, a cast of teeth from a chimpanzee, Australopithecus afarensis and a modern human. We switched from an ape-like diet of fruits and leaves about 3.5 million years ago, according to fresh research. There's evidence that meat-eating came about a million years or so later. William Kimbel/Institute of Human Origins hide caption

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Channel-billed toucans are important seed dispersers in rain forests. Courtesy of Lindolfo Souto/AAAS/Science hide caption

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Big-Mouthed Toucans Key To Forest Evolution

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Colonists built the original glass-blowing kiln in Jamestown, Va., at this beach for easy access to the sand. Now the site is just inches above the water level. John W. Poole/NPR hide caption

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With Rising Seas, America's Birthplace Could Disappear

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The four cuts at the top of this skull "are clear chops to the forehead," says Smithsonian forensic anthropologist Douglas Owsley. Based on forensic evidence, researchers think the blows were made after the person died. Donald E. Hurlbert/Smithsonian hide caption

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Bones Tell Tale Of Desperation Among The Starving At Jamestown

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