evolution

Stories 1 - 20 |  Next >>

Snakes Used to Have Ankles

Ancestor likely had little toes, too

(Newser) - Scientists have created the most comprehensive family tree of snakes to date, and the ancestor at the very top looked different than the snakes we know today in one noticeable way: It "had tiny hind limbs, with complete ankles and toes," says a Yale researcher in a post... More »

Scientists Uncover Big Clue as to Why Men Exist

Sexual selection, by which males compete for females, improves gene pool: study

(Newser) - Scientists have long wondered why men exist. Sex between males and females is simply not nearly as efficient as asexual reproduction. But now a group out of the UK is reporting in the journal Nature that, after looking at several years of lab-controlled procreation of the Tribolium flour beetle, they'... More »

How Creatures Began Growing Heads

They started with a hard plate called the anterior sclerite: study

(Newser) - Ever wonder how creatures on Earth grew heads? Probably not, but they seem to have started with a hard plate in front of their brains. A recent study in Current Biology says fossils dating back hundreds of millions of years show the first signs of this plate, known as the... More »

Scientists Grow Chicken Embryos With Dino Snouts

As part of an effort to learn about beak evolution

(Newser) - It sounds straight out of Jurassic Park: Researchers have successfully created chicken embryos with what LiveScience frames as Velociraptor-like snouts. It's an end that has its beginning in a bird-dino quandary described by Carl Zimmer at the New York Times : "Even the most exquisitely preserved fossil can't... More »

Back Pain Sufferers Have Less Evolved Spines

Their vertebrae are more like those of chimps than the unafflicted

(Newser) - People who suffer from back pain have been dealt a lousy hand by evolution and might be more comfortable walking on their knuckles like our closest relatives, chimpanzees, according to Canadian, Scottish, and Icelandic researchers. Their study found that lower back pain sufferers have a lesion called a "Schmorl'... More »

DNA Analysis Fills in Piece of Dolphins' History

It suggests they moved into the Mediterranean roughly 18K years ago

(Newser) - Bottlenose dolphins may be an iconic draw to the Mediterranean, but they're not exactly indigenous. So say researches out of the University of Lincoln in the UK, who report in the journal Evolutionary Biology that the water-dwelling mammals didn't arrive until the end of the last Ice Age... More »

Scientists Uncover More Disturbing Form of Sexual Cannibalism

Some hungry praying mantises lure in males by lying about their health

(Newser) - If you don't know about sexual cannibalism, here's a quick primer: It's most common among insects and arachnids, and typically involves a female luring in a male for sex only to eat it, often via beheading, thereby promoting egg development and the likelihood of successful procreation. But... More »

We've Been Able to Hold Our Booze for 10M Years

That may have helped humans live on ground, rather than in trees

(Newser) - Studies have previously suggested that people started drinking alcohol about 9,000 years ago, around when we invented the means of making it. But new research suggests we could handle the stuff far before that: more along the lines of 10 million years, the Los Angeles Times reports. Humans have... More »

Did US Experts Just Resolve 'Darwin's Dilemma'?

He was bugged by the speed of evolution

(Newser) - Charles Darwin worried about a possible hole in his theory of evolution, but some American scientists may just have plugged it. For about a billion years after the dawn of life on Earth, organisms didn't evolve all that much. Then about 600 million years ago came the "Cambrian... More »

Insects Made History 400M Years Ago

They were first to grow wings, rule the skies

(Newser) - Want human beings to feel a massive ego-boost? Then look elsewhere, because a ground-breaking study published by Science finds that insects ruled the Earth about 400 million years ago and grew wings long before any other animal, reports Heritage Daily . They cropped up as plants began diversifying, in fact, and... More »

Here's How Penises Evolved

Scientists identify link between genitalia and growth of limbs

(Newser) - Most guys probably don't sit around the locker room pondering the finer points of how the male penis evolved, so leave this one to Harvard researchers: The mystery is solved thanks to … lizard limbs. Yup, Harvard scientists investigating the origin of external genitalia have found a link relating... More »

Amphibious 'Sea Monster' Made the Move to Water

Ancient ichthyosaur reveals missing link to evolutionary record

(Newser) - Scientists have found a real, not-live "sea monster" they say finally fills an evolutionary gap between sea and land dwellers around the time of the dinosaurs. Cartorhynchus lenticarpus—imagine a dolphin with huge flippers and a short snout—made waves in what is now China 248 million years ago,... More »

'Punxsutawney Phil on Steroids' Is Unearthed

'Vintana sertichi' dwarfed other mammals of its day

(Newser) - Back in the dinosaurs' day, mammals were the size of mice. But towering above them was one beefy rodent that one scientist calls "Punxsutawney Phil on steroids"—with super senses to boot. The 20-pound Vintana sertichi was accidentally found in a giant slab of sandstone in Madagascar, reports... More »

Pope Francis: Sorry, Creationists, God Has No 'Magic Wand'

God isn't a 'magician,' and the Big Bang makes sense, he says

(Newser) - Pope Francis has some bad news for creationists and those who believe in the theory of intelligent design: He thinks both camps are wrong. In remarks to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Francis embraced the concepts of evolution and the Big Bang theory in straightforward language, reports the Independent .
  • God
... More »

Whales Got So Big After Super-Sized Shark Died Out

Megalodon died out 2.6M years ago, scientists estimate

(Newser) - Great white sharks have nothing on the ancient megalodon, which grew up to 50 feet in length and sported teeth as long as 7 inches. And now scientists have their firmest timeframe yet for when the creature went extinct. Scientists at the University of Florida in Gainesville report this week... More »

Macho Men Have So-So Sperm

Tradeoff between looks and virility might be at play, says study

(Newser) - Macho guys may attract more women, but the quality of their sperm might not be of he-man standards, a new study suggests. Oddly, the sperm of good-looking guys—but not necessarily macho ones with square jaws and distinct cheekbones—is just fine, reports Medical Daily . The link was found when... More »

'Hallucigenia' Fossil Mystery Cracked

Surreal Cambrian creature has modern relatives

(Newser) - After four decades of confusion, scientists have finally figured out how to classify a creature so surreal it was given the name Hallucigenia. The tiny creature, found in fossils from the "Cambrian Explosion" of diverse life 500 million years ago, has 14 to 16 legs and large spikes on... More »

Why 5 Siblings Walk on All Fours and Can't Stand Up

Scientists call into question a 'reverse evolution' theory about the Turkish family

(Newser) - Some people walk on all fours for fun, or for sport, but not for long stretches and certainly not for ease of mobility. Yet five siblings in a family of 19 in Hatay, Turkey, walk not just primarily but only on all fours, and lack the balance to do otherwise.... More »

Triceratops Horns Were 1M Years in Making

Large nasal horn they are so famous for wasn't always so big

(Newser) - The rhino-like Triceratops, Greek for "three-horned face," didn't always embody its name in way we picture it doing. By comparing 50 skulls collected over a 15-year period from the Hell Creek Formation in Montana, paleontologists have learned that it took between 1 million and 2 million years... More »

Scientists Unravel Mystery of Electric Fish's Jolt

6-foot electric eel is 6-inch fish attached to a 5.5-foot cattle prod

(Newser) - For the first time, scientists have assembled the complete genome of an electric fish—the potent South American electric eel—and in doing so have identified something much larger: Exactly how this fish, along with electric fish from other families, evolved to create their jolt-delivering organ. The findings, out of... More »

Stories 1 - 20 |  Next >>

AROUND THE WEB


NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   HitFix   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   The Frisky   |   Owler