evolution

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Researchers Solve a Mystery About How Boas Breathe
Now We Know Why Boa
Constrictors Don't Suffocate
new study

Now We Know Why Boa Constrictors Don't Suffocate

They can shift their breathing to different areas of their body while eating

(Newser) - Scientists and snake fans have long wondered how exactly boas and other constrictors can ingest massive prey without suffocating. Biomechanics researcher John Capano of Brown University found the answer somewhere in the 200-plus pairs of ribs that run the length of a boa’s body, reports NPR News. In new...

GOP Senate Candidate Has Some Thoughts on Evolution

'Why are there still apes?' asks Herschel Walker

(Newser) - More controversy for Senate candidate Herschel Walker: The candidate, who is seeking the GOP nomination in Georgia, is taking flak over comments he made questioning the theory of evolution, NPR reports. "At one time, science said man came from apes, did it not?" Walker told pastor Chuck Allen at...

Humans Are 'Literally Changing the Anatomy' of Elephants

Genetic mutation passes from tuskless females ignored by poachers in Mozambique

(Newser) - Human behavior is "literally changing the anatomy of animals," according to the author of a new study that finds decades of ivory poaching in Mozambique has encouraged the evolution of elephants without tusks . What was once a rare genetic mutation causing tusklessness in female elephants at Mozambique's...

They Ran Out of Big Game to Hunt. Then Their Brains Swelled

Researchers say shift to hunting smaller game caused early humans' brains to nearly triple in size

(Newser) - In hunting large mammals to near extinction, early modern humans may have prompted an explosion in brain size—in a good way. Humans emerged as big-game hunters in Africa 2.6 million years ago but would ultimately see large animals dwindle as a result of hunting practices, according to Miki...

Study of Dire Wolf DNA Has Surprising Results

They're 'not related closely in any way' to gray wolves

(Newser) - Biologists have long observed that a nature has a tendency to evolve things into crabs . It also appears to like making wolves. Scientists say they were very surprised when an analysis of the genome of the dire wolf, a North American predator that went extinct around 11,000 years ago,...

You Might Have an Extra Artery in Your Arm
Fast-Evolving Human Trait:
An Extra Artery in Our Arms
in case you missed it

Fast-Evolving Human Trait: An Extra Artery in Our Arms

Researchers say having 3 is becoming more common

(Newser) - A study out of Australia suggests that textbooks on human anatomy will have to reflect a fundamental change by the end of this century: Most of us will have three blood vessels running down our arm, instead of two. Researchers studying adult cadavers report a sharp increase in this third...

Fossil of 4-Legged Whale Found in Peru

Scientists believe it swam like an otter

(Newser) - What's 13 feet long and has webbed feet with small hooves? It's a whale, according to researchers examining a 42.6-million-year-old fossil found near Peru's Pacific coast. The four-legged early whale, which could apparently move on land as well as in the sea, is the most complete...

A New Study Just Rewrote the History Book on Plants

Study suggests they appeared 500M years ago, or 100M years earlier than believed

(Newser) - The arrival of plants on Earth changed the planet and its inhabitants in big ways, and a new study suggests they arrived far earlier than thought. University of Bristol researchers now say that land plants evolved from pond scum about 500 million years ago—a whopping 100 million years earlier...

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...

'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...

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...

Arthritis Is the Byproduct of Adapting to Cold Climates
Humans Developed Arthritis
as They Moved Out of Africa
in case you missed it

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...

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...

Your Romantic Partners Likely Resemble Your Siblings
Women Date
Guys Who
Look Like
Their Brothers
new study

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...

'Healthiest Dead Things You'll Ever See' Found in S. Africa
Bones Found in 2nd Chamber
of Cave Spur Huge Questions
in case you missed it

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...

The Real Reason Fish Grew Legs
The Real Reason
Fish Grew Legs 
new study

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...

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...

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 ...

Mothers Tend to Hold Babies on the Left
'Ancient'
Signal Dictates
Where Mom
Holds Baby
new study

'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"...

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...

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