evolution

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How the Tiger Snake's Venom Beat Evolution

Australian tiger snake venom hasn't changed in 10M years

(Newser) - With its exceedingly deadly venom unchanged over the past 10 million years, the Australian tiger snake has essentially defeated evolution. Researcher Bryan Fry says in a press release it's "really unusual" for venom to remain unchanged over such a long period of time. Typically, predators and prey evolve... More »

'Frankenstein' Dinosaur Transforms Evolutionary Tree

Chilesaurus bridges two major dino groups, scientists say

(Newser) - Like the theropod dinosaur T. rex, Chilesaurus stood upright, with strong hind legs and shorter front limbs. But its flat teeth were more closely related to ornithischians like triceratops and stegosaurus. That's just one thing that irked scientists when Chilesaurus was named a theropod following its discovery in Chile... More »

Scientists 'Very Excited' About 150K-Year-Old Baby Tooth

It's the oldest Denisovan fossil yet, found in a Siberian cave

(Newser) - Scientists are "very excited" to learn more about a baby tooth that only the most sophisticated DNA dating tech can analyze. Some 150,000 years ago, a young girl lost her baby tooth, and it fell into the sediment of a cave in Siberia from which the first three... More »

Humans Developed Arthritis as They Moved Out of Africa

Joint pain is the price we paid for evolution

(Newser) - Arthritis causes pain and suffering for millions of people around the world, but it's also the byproduct of an evolutionary mutation that allowed early humans to make the move from Africa to colder climates tens of thousands of years ago. Researchers at Stanford University have discovered that a genetic... More »

Turkey Isn't Going to Teach Kids About Evolution Anymore

Official says evolution is 'controversial' and too complicated for students

(Newser) - Schools in Turkey will no longer teach evolution, and critics worry the country is moving further away from secularism, the Guardian reports. Alpaslan Durmus, a senior education official under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, says evolution is "controversial" and still being debated. He also says it's too complicated a... More »

Women Date Guys Who Look Like Their Brothers

At least a little bit, researchers find

(Newser) - A new study suggests that when it comes to dating, women tend to pick partners who bear at least a slight resemblance to their own brothers. Reporting in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior , the researchers write that selecting "optimal" breeding mates—not too closely related, but not too... More »

Bones Found in 2nd Chamber of Cave Spur Huge Questions

More bones unearthed from H. naledi species, upending evolution beliefs

(Newser) - In 2015 it was a discovery described as "unlike anything we have seen." Now even more so. A second chamber in a South African cave system has produced bones belonging to Homo naledi, a species scientists now believe may have existed around the same time as Homo sapiens... More »

The Real Reason Fish Grew Legs

Study: Big eyes came first, then limbs evolved to catch prey they were seeing

(Newser) - Some 385 million years ago, our watery ancestors evolved into land mammals, their fins slowly evolving into limbs. But a new study out of Northwestern suggests that when it comes to fish evolution, it all comes down to the eyes. Fish could see far better above the water line, and... More »

Tully Monster Mystery Not Solved After All

Scientists call for re-examination of the Tully Monster

(Newser) - Some creatures are so weird they seem to defy classification. They're even assigned the word "Problematica," a classification that serves as a sort of purgatory for the strangest of the strange as our understanding of the evolutionary tree of life continues to deepen. Such is the case... More »

Vampire Bats Now Feasting on Human Blood

Scientists in Brazil say they're evolving because of a decline in birds

(Newser) - Human encroachment typically means bad news for a given species (recent examples include giraffes and cheetahs ), but one mammal appears to be fighting back. Researchers say the hairy-legged vampire bat has adapted surprisingly fast from drinking the blood of birds to that of humans to survive, reports the Telegraph ... More »

'Ancient' Signal Dictates Where Mom Holds Baby

'Positional bias' is common among humans and wild animals

(Newser) - It's long been observed that mothers tend to cradle their infants on their left side, and this has long been at least informally attributed to handedness (so that right-handed mothers have the right hand free). Now researchers report in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution that "positional bias"... More »

Fossil Fills in Big Blank About the Mysterious 'Ghost Shark'

It belongs to an early chimaera, not a shark

(Newser) - The chimaera, or so-called "ghost shark," is an elusive deep-water fish that has fascinated biologists for more than a century. Like its relative the shark, however, it's made of cartilage and thus rarely fossilizes, so little is known about its evolutionary past, reports Live Science . Now the... More »

Viruses May Hit Men Harder Than Women for a Reason

From a virus' perspective, women are the superior host

(Newser) - It is now well established that many viruses wreak more havoc on men than on women. Examples: Men are five times as likely to develop cancer from HPV as women, twice as likely to develop Hodgkin's lymphoma from the Epstein-Barr virus, and 1.5 times as likely to die... More »

Scientists Figure Out Why Men Have No Penis Bone

Human sex is just too speedy: study

(Newser) - Monkeys have them. In walruses, they might be up to two feet long. Mice have teeny, tiny ones. So why don't human men have a penis bone? Scientists have a theory, and gentlemen, it might hurt your ego a bit. While researching the bone—known as the baculum—researchers... More »

Female Fish Fight Bigger Penises With Bigger Brains

At least when it comes to mosquitofish, where males attack instead of court females

(Newser) - The tiny eastern mosquitofish, indigenous to the southern and eastern US, is unlike much of the rest of the animal kingdom when it comes to reproduction, starting with the differing objectives of the females and males of the species. Because they have to bear the burden of actually carrying the... More »

New Twist on Why Dinosaurs Got So Big So Fast

Those with funky-looking skulls grew most quickly

(Newser) - For years, paleontologists have theorized that many of the world's largest dinosaurs sported head ornaments (think horns, knobs, and crests) as a means of intimidation and defense, and that these giants evolved to be so big because size helped them be more effective killers. But now new research published... More »

Humans Are Natural Killers But We're Not the Worst

Monkeys and meerkats are far more likely to murder their own, researchers say

(Newser) - Violence comes naturally to humans, but we are far less murderous than we used to be, a new study shows. Scientists in Spain who examined the tendency among more than 1,000 mammal species to kill their own found that humans have been "particularly violent" throughout our history, reports... More »

What Roar? Some Dinosaurs Likely Cooed

They perhaps made 'closed-mouth vocalizations' like birds

(Newser) - Dinosaurs may have been much more like modern birds than we knew—and not just because some had feathers . A new study suggests that mighty dinosaurs of yore didn't roar, contrary to every dinosaur movie you've ever seen. Instead, they made a decidedly less scary sound called a... More »

Today's Sperm Whales Descended From One 'Eve'

An ancient whale appears to be the mother of all modern sperm whales

(Newser) - While investigating samples of toxic levels of heavy metals found in sperm whales, researchers stumbled upon a surprising discovery: All of today's sperm whales appear to have descended from the same female, reports Hakai magazine. They've named her Eve and say she lived between 10,000 and 80,... More »

'Missing Link' Fish Found in Slimy Cave

Endangered species in Thailand could explain a lot

(Newser) - According to evolutionary theory, something must have crawled from the sea onto land hundreds of millions of years ago—but what? How about a blind fish called Cryptotora thamicola, which uses four fins like crutches to wriggle up waterfalls and across slimy rocks, the Smithsonian reports. Discovered in northern Thailand... More »

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