Llamas are having a moment in the US, but they've been icons in South America for millennia

Llama toys, therapy lamas, petting zoo llamas: llamas are hot in the US, surpassing unicorns in popularity, but their relationship with South American people stretches over 7,000 years.

Emily Wakild, Professor of History and Director, Environmental Studies Program, Boise State University • conversation
Dec. 18, 2020 ~8 min

south-america wildlife livestock peru bolivia religion-and-society andes llamas

Demand for meat is driving deforestation in Brazil – changing the soy industry could stop it

Deforestation in Brazil recently reached a 12-year high, prompting France to cut soybean imports from the country.

Malika Virah-Sawmy, Visiting Scientist, Humboldt University of Berlin • conversation
Dec. 17, 2020 ~7 min

sustainability south-america agriculture brazil deforestation amazon-forest meat savanna soy commodities

The world's southernmost tree hangs on in one of the windiest places on Earth – but climate change is shifting those winds

A team of researchers found the southernmost tree and forest on Earth at the extreme tip of South America. Wind limits where trees grow on Isla Hornos and those wind patterns are shifting.

Brian Buma, Assistant Professor of Integrative Biology, University of Colorado Denver • conversation
Sept. 30, 2020 ~6 min

climate-change south-america trees wind discovery exploration

Uruguay quietly beats coronavirus, distinguishing itself from its South American neighbors – yet again

Pandemic devastation surrounds it on all sides, but tiny Uruguay has COVID-19 under control – just the latest win for a country that's always stood out.

Jennifer Pribble, Associate Professor of Political Science and Global Studies, University of Richmond • conversation
June 15, 2020 ~7 min

covid-19 coronavirus south-america latin-america democracy uruguay public-trust

COVID-19 is deadlier for black Brazilians, a legacy of structural racism that dates back to slavery

In Brazil, black COVID-19 patients are dying at higher rates than white patients. Worse housing quality, working conditions and health care help to explain the pandemic's racially disparate toll.

Edna Maria de Araújo, Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology, State University of Feira de Santana (Brazil) • conversation
June 10, 2020 ~8 min

covid-19 coronavirus south-america brazil latin-america racism structural-racism health-equity social-determinants-of-health access-to-healthcare afro-brazilians racial-injustice human-development

How indigenous people in the Amazon are coping with the coronavirus pandemic

The lockdown may be a greater worry than the disease itself.

JM Pedersen, Honorary Research Fellow, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University • conversation
April 27, 2020 ~5 min

covid-19 coronavirus south-america brazil viruses indigenous-people amazonia

See the fossil shell: This extinct turtle was truly enormous

"The carapace of some Stupendemys individuals reached almost three meters, making it one of the largest, if not the largest turtle that ever existed."

U. Zurich • futurity
Feb. 13, 2020 ~3 min

south-america fossils turtles featured science-and-technology

The cultural significance of carbon-storing peatlands to rural communities

A group of UK and Peruvian researchers have carried out the first detailed study of how rural communities interact with peatlands in the Peruvian Amazon, a landscape that is one of the world’s largest stores of carbon.

Cambridge University News • cambridge
May 21, 2019 ~6 min

environment spotlight-on-sustainability-and-the-environment spotlight-on-biodiversity-conservation carbon anthropology amazon south-america

Why S. America got more grass-eaters 6M years ago

About 7 to 6 million years ago, the the Hadley circulation intensified, changing the mammals of South America.

Mari Jensen-Arizona • futurity
May 2, 2019 ~6 min

climate-change mammals south-america teeth science-and-technology grasses