Giraffes May Be Long-Necked for Fights, Not Just Food

Evolutionary theories said giraffes developed their height to get to better eats, but ancestors may have gained the advantage through head-butting battles.

#evolution-biology, #fossils, #giraffes, #head-body-part, #neck, #paleontology, #research, #science-journal, #skull-body-part, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

Courage Seemed to be Dead. Then Came Zelensky.

Can economics make sense of heroism?

#capitalism-theory-and-philosophy, #economics-theory-and-philosophy, #evolution-biology, #internal-sub-only-nl, #philosophy, #zelensky-volodymyr

Started Out as a Fish. How Did It End Up Like This?

A meme about the transitional fossil Tiktaalik argues that although we did emerge from the sea, we aren’t doing just fine.

#canada, #evolution-biology, #fish-and-other-marine-life, #fossils, #nunavut-canada, #paleontology, #shubin-neil-h, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

Life’s Preference for Symmetry Is Like ‘A New Law of Nature’

Techniques from computer science may help explain the tendency in biology for structures to repeat themselves.

#biology-and-biochemistry, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #proteins, #research, #rna-ribonucleic-acid, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

Cannibalistic Toads Reveal ‘Evolution in Fast Motion,’ Study Finds

The toxin that makes cane toads so poisonous is causing them to eat their young, but only in Australia, where they became an out-of-control pest.

#amphibians, #australia, #cannibalism, #central-america, #ecology-and-evolution-journal, #evolution-biology, #frogs, #invasive-species, #poisoning-and-poisons, #research, #your-feed-science

Fossil Reveals Secrets of One of Nature’s Most Mysterious Reptiles

The specimen shows that modern tuataras found in New Zealand are little changed from ancestors that lived 190 million years.

#communications-biology-journal, #evolution-biology, #fossils, #paleontology, #reptiles, #research, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

Act of ‘Heresy’ Adds Horseshoe Crabs to Arachnid Family Tree

A team of researchers say that rather than occupying their own branch in the history of life on Earth, horseshoe crabs are in the same group as spiders and scorpions.

#evolution-biology, #fish-and-other-marine-life, #fossils, #genetics-and-heredity, #molecular-biology-and-evolution-journal, #paleontology, #research, #spiders, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

Body Odor May Have Smelled Much Worse to Your Ancient Ancestors

Researchers worked out which receptors in your nose detect particular scent molecules, and found evidence of evolutionary change in some of these genes.

#china, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #plos-genetics-journal, #research, #smell-olfaction, #smells-and-odors, #your-feed-science

How Omicron’s Mutations Allow It To Thrive

Thirteen of Omicron’s mutations should have hurt the variant’s chances of survival. Instead, they worked together to make it thrive.

#antibodies, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #research, #viruses, #your-feed-science

E.O. Wilson, a Pioneer of Evolutionary Biology, Dies at 92

A Harvard professor for 46 years, he was an expert on insects and explored how natural selection and other forces could influence animal behavior. He then applied his research to humans.

#animal-behavior, #ants, #deaths-obituaries, #evolution-biology, #harvard-university, #wilson-edward-o

Prints Long Thought to Be Bear Tracks May Have Been Made by Human Ancestor

New research published in the journal Nature suggests that the prints, discovered in Tanzania in 1976, were left by an unidentified hominin, or early human ancestor, more than 3.6 million years ago.

#archaeology-and-anthropology, #australopithecines, #evolution-biology, #nature-journal, #paleontology, #research

How Covid Raised the Stakes of the War Between Faith and Science

The debate isn’t just about creationism and stem cells anymore.

#christians-and-christianity, #copernicus-nicolaus, #creationism-and-intelligent-design, #darwin-charles-robert, #euthanasia-and-assisted-suicide, #evolution-biology, #internal-sub-only-nl, #republican-party, #science-and-technology, #vaccination-and-immunization

Why Strawberries Turn a Ghostly Shade of White

Researchers unlocked some of the genetic secrets that helped the colorful fruit evolve into so many varieties around the world.

#china, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #research, #strawberries, #your-feed-science

How Did Elephants and Walruses Get Their Tusks? It’s a Long Story.

A new study reveals how some mammals evolved nature’s most impressive chompers (which are not always used for chomping).

#animals, #elephants, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #evolution-biology, #mammals, #paleontology, #pangaea, #proceedings-of-the-royal-society-b-journal, #teeth-and-dentistry

These Singing Lemurs Have Rhythm

For the first time, researchers have found a nonhuman animal that seems to have a sense of the beat.

#animal-behavior, #animal-cognition, #current-biology-journal, #evolution-biology, #lemurs, #madagascar, #max-planck-institute-for-psycholinguistics, #music, #ravignani-andrea, #research, #your-feed-science

Tuskless Elephants Escape Poachers, but May Evolve New Problems

Scientists identified the genes that played a role in many female elephants of Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park being born without tusks.

#elephants, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #gorongosa-national-park-mozambique, #ivory, #mozambique, #research, #science-journal, #teeth-and-dentistry, #wildlife-trade-and-poaching, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

What the Future May Hold for the Coronavirus and Us

Viral evolution is a long game. Here’s where scientists think we could be headed.

#antibodies, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-delta-variant, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #evolution-biology, #garry-robert, #genetics-and-heredity, #gounder-celine, #immune-system, #influenza, #sars-severe-acute-respiratory-syndrome, #vaccination-and-immunization, #wuhan-china, #your-feed-health, #your-feed-science

Looks Like Bird Poop. But It’s Really a Predatory Spider.

Many creatures use mimicry to hide from predators. This one also uses it to lure in prey.

#camouflage, #current-zoology-journal, #evolution-biology, #research, #southeast-asia, #spiders, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

This Rattlesnake Dares You to Call Its Bluff

Scientists designed a virtual reality experiment to understand just how tricky rattlesnakes can be.

#audio-recordings-downloads-and-streaming, #current-biology-journal, #evolution-biology, #research, #snakes, #virtual-reality-computers, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

This Flower Hides a Secret: It’s Actually a Carnivore

That this perennial wildflower digests trapped insects suggests that other plants’ appetites for animals may be overlooked.

#canada, #evolution-biology, #flowers-and-plants, #insects, #pacific-northwestern-states-us, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #research, #university-of-british-columbia, #your-feed-science

Australia’s Trash Parrots Invent New Skill in Suburbs

Sydney’s clever and adaptable sulfur-crested cockatoos learn how to pry open garbage bins by watching one another.

#animal-behavior, #animal-cognition, #birds, #evolution-biology, #parrots, #research, #science-journal, #sydney-australia, #waste-materials-and-disposal, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

Discovery of ‘Dragon Man’ Skull in China May Add Species to Human Family Tree

A laborer discovered the fossil and hid it in a well for 85 years. Scientists say it could help sort out the human family tree and how our species emerged.

#china, #denisova-hominid, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #evolution-biology, #fossils, #harbin-china, #neanderthal-man, #paleontology, #research, #skull-body-part, #the-innovation

David Wake, Expert on Salamanders and Evolution, Dies at 84

While on a college field trip to collect beetles, he found salamanders. He became an authority and later grew alarmed by the disappearance of many amphibians.

#amphibians, #deaths-obituaries, #evolution-biology, #global-warming, #salamanders, #university-of-california-berkeley, #wake-david-1936-2021, #wildlife-die-offs

Some Male Birds Fly Under False Colors to Attract Mates, Study Suggests

Elaborate feather microstructures allow male tanagers to enhance their colors, making them seem as if they are higher quality mates.

#animal-behavior, #birds, #color, #evolution-biology, #feathers, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

This Endangered Bird Lost Its Song in Australia

New generations of a critically endangered species of songbird are failing to learn the tunes they need for courtship. It could lead to extinction.

#australia, #biodiversity, #birds, #evolution-biology

When the Aliens Arrive, What Will They Look Like? A Zoologist Has Answers

In “A Zoologist’s Guide to the Galaxy,” Arik Kershenbaum uses his knowledge of the various species here on Earth to speculate about what might exist out there.

#books-and-literature, #evolution-biology, #extraterrestrial-life, #kershenbaum-arik, #planets, #space-and-astronomy, #stars-and-galaxies, #the-zoologists-guide-to-the-galaxy-what-animals-on-earth-reveal-about-aliens-and-ourselves-book

The Power of Playing Dead

A study shows that pretending to be immobile — sometimes for an hour or more — helps larvae of insects called antlions outlast hungry predators.

#animal-behavior, #biology-and-biochemistry, #biology-letters-journal, #evolution-biology, #insects, #research, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

How Do Blind Worms See the Color Blue?

Eyeless roundworms may have hacked other cellular warning systems to give themselves a form of color vision.

#bacteria, #color, #evolution-biology, #eyes-and-eyesight, #genetics-and-heredity, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #light, #research, #science-journal, #senses-and-sensation, #worms, #your-feed-science

7 Virus Variants Found in U.S. Carrying the Same Mutation

Scientists don’t know yet whether the mutation makes the variants more contagious, but they are concerned that it might.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #evolution-biology, #viruses, #your-feed-healthcare, #your-feed-science

Tiny Blobs of Brain Cells Could Reveal How Your Mind Differs From a Neanderthal’s

Researchers grew clusters of brain cells in the lab with a gene carried by our ancient ancestors.

#brain, #evolution-biology, #genetic-engineering, #genetics-and-heredity, #monkeys-and-apes, #neanderthal-man, #research, #your-feed-science

Running Is a Total Body Affair

We can thank our heads and shoulders — and not just our knees and toes — that we evolved to run as well as we do.

#american-journal-of-physical-anthropology, #content-type-service, #evolution-biology, #exercise, #harvard-university, #head-body-part, #muscles, #running

The Coronavirus Is a Master of Mixing Its Genome, Worrying Scientists

New studies underscore how coronaviruses frequently mix their genetic components — which could contribute to the rise of dangerous variants.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #research, #rna-ribonucleic-acid, #your-feed-healthcare

Darwin’s Dim View of the Second Sex

The father of evolutionary theory held women to be intellectually inferior to men, with one notable exception. Michael Sims explains.

#books-and-literature, #content-type-personal-profile, #darwin-charles-robert, #evolution-biology, #martineau-harriet-1802-76, #women-and-girls

These Lizards Have a Hot Trick to Escape Hungry Snakes

On some Japanese islands where lizards live, the ones that fear predators have higher body temperatures that help them run faster.

#anatomy-and-physiology, #ecology-letters-journal, #evolution-biology, #izu-islands-japan, #japan, #lizards, #miyake-island-japan, #research, #snakes, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

A Question Hidden in the Platypus Genome: Are We the Weird Ones?

Researchers have produced the most comprehensive platypus genome yet, as well as that of another monotreme, an echidna.

#australia, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #mammals, #platypus, #research, #your-feed-science

How Did Mistletoe Get Into the Treetops?

Before someone hung it up in your home, some animal had to get it into the canopies where it thrives to this day.

#american-naturalist-the-journal, #christmas, #evolution-biology, #mammals, #mistletoe, #research, #trees-and-shrubs, #your-feed-science

The Coronavirus Is Mutating. What Does That Mean for Us?

Officials in Britain and South Africa claim new variants are more easily transmitted. There’s a lot more to the story, scientists say.

#antibodies, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #immune-system, #influenza, #vaccination-and-immunization, #viruses, #your-feed-science

He’s Too Quiet for His Mate to Hear Him. So He Makes a Megaphone.

Some tree crickets amplify their calls with leaves, giving them an opportunity to mate that they otherwise might miss.

#animal-behavior, #bangalore-india, #biology-and-biochemistry, #crickets, #evolution-biology, #insects, #proceedings-of-the-royal-society-b-journal, #research, #your-feed-science

Does Autism Hold the Key to What Makes Humans Special?

In Simon Baron-Cohen’s “The Pattern Seekers,” the psychologist posits that the systematizing part of our brain, so pronounced in people with autism, might be what makes us unique.

#autism, #baron-cohen-simon, #books-and-literature, #evolution-biology, #the-pattern-seekers-a-new-theory-of-human-invention-book

This Plant Evolved to Hide From a Predator. It Might Be Us.

While people deliberately breed plants, a team of researchers say humans have inadvertently prompted this one to develop camouflage.

#camouflage, #china, #current-biology-journal, #evolution-biology, #flowers-and-plants, #herbs, #research, #your-feed-science

He Was a Stick, She Was a Leaf; Together They Made History

A surprise clutch of eggs has solved a century-old leaf insect mystery.

#biology-and-biochemistry, #brock-paul, #cumming-royce, #evolution-biology, #insectarium, #insects, #le-tirant-stephane, #montreal-quebec, #papua-new-guinea, #reproduction-biological, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science, #zookeys-journal

The Coronavirus Won’t Stop Evolving When the Vaccine Arrives

The coronavirus is not a shape shifter like the flu virus, but it could become vaccine resistant over time. That prompts researchers to urge vigilance.

#china, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #denmark, #evolution-biology, #food-and-drug-administration, #immune-system, #moderna-inc, #pfizer-inc, #plos-biology-journal, #university-of-pittsburgh, #vaccination-and-immunization, #your-feed-healthcare

Jane Goodall on Chimps, Presidents and Other Alpha Males

The 86-year-old primatologist says it takes more than having opposable thumbs to save our planet.

#africa, #environment, #evolution-biology, #global-warming, #goodall-jane, #trump-donald-j

How Some Skinks Lost Their Legs and Then Evolved New Ones

The lizards have complicated a rule of thumb that in evolution, once you lose a body part, you don’t regain it.

#evolution-biology, #philippines, #proceedings-of-the-royal-society-b-journal, #reptiles, #research, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

We’ve Rarely Seen a Dinosaur Brain Like This Before

While later dinosaurs in this lineage were giant herbivores with tiny brains, this small species packed a lot more power in its skull.

#animal-behavior, #brain, #brazil, #dinosaurs, #evolution-biology, #fossils, #journal-of-anatomy, #paleontology, #research, #skull-body-part, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

Meet the Diabolical Ironclad Beetle. It’s Almost Uncrushable.

Just about any other living thing would be liquefied at the forces this insect can withstand.

#anatomy-and-physiology, #beetles, #evolution-biology, #nature-journal, #research, #skeletons

Why So Blue, Tarantula? A Mystery Gets a New Clue

The large arachnids have long been thought to be colorblind, but new evidence suggests they can perceive each others’ brilliant coloring.

#camouflage, #color, #evolution-biology, #proceedings-of-the-royal-society-b-journal, #research, #spiders, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

The Pandemic, from the Coronavirus’s Perspective

The career of the coronavirus so far is, in Darwinian terms, a great success story.

#acquired-immune-deficiency-syndrome, #aristotle, #bats, #caves-and-caverns, #cell-journal, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #evolution-biology, #fauci-anthony-s, #hahn-beatrice-h, #monkeys-and-apes, #plague, #rats, #sars-severe-acute-respiratory-syndrome, #worobey-michael-g-1970

The Coronavirus Is Mutating, and That’s Fine (So Far)

SARS-CoV-2 has been slowly changing in small ways, without getting more dangerous.

#australia, #cell-journal, #china, #content-type-service, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #evolution-biology, #hong-kong, #immune-system, #influenza, #italy, #mutation, #new-south-wales-australia, #rna-ribonucleic-acid, #rumors-and-misinformation, #sars-severe-acute-respiratory-syndrome, #vaccination-and-immunization, #victoria-australia, #viruses, #wuhan-china

These Hummingbirds Take Extreme Naps. Some May Even Hibernate.

To adapt to life in the Andes Mountains, some South American species go into exceptionally deep torpor to save energy.

#andes-mountains, #biology-letters-journal, #evolution-biology, #hibernation, #hummingbirds, #research, #south-america, #your-feed-science