Tagged With evolution

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Meet Jianianhualong tengi, a distinctly chicken-like dinosaur that lived 125 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period. This newly discovered species of dinosaur now represents the earliest known common ancestor of birds and closely related bird-like dinos, with a feathering pattern associated with aerodynamics. Its discovery is offering new insights into the evolution of feathers and flight.

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For years, a debate has raged among scientists as to which ancient creature represents the first true animal, sponges or jellies. Using a new genetic technique, a collaborative team of researchers has concluded that ctenophores — also known as comb jellies — were the first animals to appear on Earth. It's an important step forward in this longstanding debate, but this issue is far from being resolved.

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Boning is one of the most important actions in the evolutionary game. Who we bone ultimately decides what traits get passed on to the next generation, and whether we continue along as one species with a diverse set of traits, or if isolation of certain traits eventually turns us into multiple species. But what if we bone a lot of different partners all over the world?

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The common house mouse is one of the most recognisable creatures on the planet, yet we know surprisingly little about the origins of this crafty rodent. New research shows that house mice first entered human settlements far earlier than previously thought — but they had to fight a rival species to maintain their status as one of humanity's most reviled pests.

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Mohave rattlesnakes and Merriam kangaroo rats are currently embroiled in an evolutionary arms race, pitting wily predator against fast-acting prey. Dramatic high-speed video shows how quick and creative snakes need to be to launch an attack — and how rodents still manage to evade capture.

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Although we call erections "boners", anyone who has basic familiarity with human anatomy knows our slang deceives us — for unlike most mammals, men have no penis bones. For decades scientists have wondered, "Why no penis bone?" A new study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society might finally answer the mystery of what killed the penis bone: Monogamy.

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A new study from the University of Vienna, Austria, suggests that Cesarean sections are changing the trajectory of human evolution, altering physical characteristics in both mothers and babies. Trouble is, the researchers presented virtually no empirical evidence to support their extraordinary claim, and the credulous media simply took it at face-value.

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The Arctic is a stunning 20°C warmer than average for this time of year. This is really bad news for layers of sea ice that regulate Earth's climate, and land-based ice sheets that keep sea levels where they should be. As we stare down a US presidency where the transition leader for the Environmental Protection Agency is a climate denier, it's easy to wonder whether it's too late to prevent climate change from destroying our civilisation.

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As Charles Darwin showed nearly 150 years ago, species can adapt to changing environmental conditions through the trial-and-error process of natural selection. A discouraging new study shows that climate change is happening too fast for evolution to keep up, placing countless plant and animal species at risk.