evolution
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Genetic Clues Reveal How Giraffes Got Their Long Necks

For the first time ever, scientists have sequenced the genome of the world’s tallest land species, the giraffe. Surprisingly, this majestic creature required only a small handful of mutations to attain its remarkable physical stature and physiology — but these mutations packed an evolutionary punch.


Where Did Kissing Come From?

Kissing is so commonplace that most people rarely think to stop and ask where humans picked up the habit in the first place. Where in humanity’s evolutionary history did smooshing our faces together come to be regarded as a display of lust, care, friendship, and love?


Saharan Silver Ants Have Evolved An Awesome Way Of Fighting Extreme Desert Heat

The strikingly beautiful Saharan silver ant is capable of withstanding some of the most extreme temperatures on the planet. New research shows that their silver sheen serves as a heat-repellent system, reflecting incoming sunlight like a prism.


The Most Unfortunate Design Flaws In The Human Body

Sometimes evolution is stupid, and the human body is proof. Here are the most problematic physical and behavioural “scars of evolution” we humans have to deal with.


Why Bed Bugs Are Getting Harder To Kill

Bed bugs are among the most dreaded pests we have to deal with, and they’re proving to be a formidable foe. New research suggests that bed bugs are able to ward off insecticides by developing thicker skins.


How To Survive A Mass Extinction

If we want to know what sorts of creatures will survive the next mass extinction, the best place to look is the fossil record. After examining the bones of Lystrosaurus, a vertebrate that famously thrived during the worst apocalypse in the history of life on Earth, a team of palaeontologists think they know how it managed to adapt.


Orphan Black's Crazy Bioweapon Actually Exists In Nature

Last year, season 3 of Orphan Black introduced a line of genetically male clones to its tale, and with them came a scary new twist in the Orphan Black biology. How scientifically realistic is this weird new development? Well, something like it does happen in the real world — but only with fruit flies, not humans. Spoilers for season 3 of Orphan Black ahead…


We Finally Know What This Freaky-Arse Creature Is

A retractable, jawed proboscis. A lithe, slippery body. A tiny dumbbell with slow blinking eyes. Meet the Tully monster, an actual sea creature that seems to have sprung to life out of a drug-induced fever dream involving vibrators and surgical tools. At long last, scientists think they know what kind of creature it is.


Behold Timurlengia, The Elusive Missing Link In Tyrannosaur Evolution

Say hello to Timurlengia euotica, a horse-sized dinosaur that lived roughly 90 million years ago. Discovered in Uzbekistan, this newly described species was a distant relative of Tyrannosaurus rex, and it’s helping scientists explain how relatively small carnivores evolved into the gigantic predators that dominated the Late Cretaceous.


How Ants, Once Blind, Evolved To See AgainĀ 

About 80 million years ago, several kinds of tropical army ants went underground. Like many predominantly subterranean species, they lost their sight. They also lost the parts of the brain associated with sight.


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