64 Evolution News Articles
from 2nd Quarter of 2015
Click on the links below to get the full story from its source
6-29-15 Zoologger: The vertebrate that digs the deepest nest
Zoologger: The vertebrate that digs the deepest nest
An Australian monitor lizard digs a looping tunnel 3-metres deep to provide its eggs with the most stable environment seen among reptiles. This mystery has real twists and turns. Bizarre burrows spiral down about 3 metres into the dark depths of the soil. It is thought that the unusual structures are used as nests that can protect eggs from dry and hot weather above.
6-26-15 Rats dream about the places they wish to go
Rats dream about the places they wish to go
When a rat really wants to get somewhere but can't, it seems to see that place in its dreams – just like that holiday you're saving up for. When the animals are shown a food treat at the end of a path they cannot access and then take a nap, the neurons representing that route in their brains fire as they sleep – as if they are dreaming about running down the corridor to grab the grub.
6-25-15 Taking giraffes for a scientific walk
Taking giraffes for a scientific walk
The giraffes at Whipsnade Zoo have been undergoing a walking test - to help researchers find out just how their incredibly long legs work. The team, from the Royal Veterinary College, are studying the animals as they walk to find out whether being so tall is an advantage or a disadvantage when it comes to simply moving around. The scientists also hope to solve the evolutionary mystery of how giraffes evolved from their more modestly proportioned ancestors.
6-25-15 Wakey wakey! Yawning elephants snapped in the act
Wakey wakey! Yawning elephants snapped in the act
Chimps do it. Hippos do it. Now sleepy elephants have been caught having an early morning yawn. Next, the research team wants to find out whether elephant yawns are contagious. This behaviour is not unique to humans: chimps have been observed catching yawns from dominant males,while budgies can make each other yawn, suggesting that they are capable of empathy.
6-25-15 Our eye sockets give us a wider field of view than other apes
Our eye sockets give us a wider field of view than other apes
The unique positioning of our eyes within our skulls may have played a part in our early evolution. Among primates, humans are the kings of lateral thinking – and also of lateral vision. It seems that the shape of our eye sockets means we can view more of our world without moving our head than other great apes. This may have given our ancestors an edge when they descended from forests into savannahs – but whether it drove our evolution or was the consequence of it is unclear.
6-25-15 Why 'RNA world' theory on origin of life may be wrong after all
Why 'RNA world' theory on origin of life may be wrong after all
The discovery of a relic inside our cells is shaking up our understanding of the origin of life – a marriage of RNA and proteins may be how it all really began.
6-24-15 Selection for a 'speed gene' behind increase in racehorse speed
Selection for a 'speed gene' behind increase in racehorse speed
Racehorses have been getting steadily faster since 1850, challenging the belief that thoroughbreds had already reached their speed limit. Racehorses have been getting ever faster in races over all distances, a study of finishing times over the past 162 years has found. The findings challenge previous research that thoroughbreds had reached the limits of their speed. If anything, the improvement among sprinters is now accelerating. "These analyses support the notion that selection is shifting speed, and more so at shorter distances," says Cunningham. "Selection is becoming more effective, with extended use of top stallions and increasing use of selection for a 'speed gene' – a variant of the gene that makes myostatin, a muscle protein." (Webmaster's comment: It's probably not a single gene, it's probably several, but selective breeding works. It works for dogs, cats, horses, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, for any animal. All the different breeds of dogs with their different characteristics, and the same for other animals, came from deliberate selective breeding.)
6-22-15 One gene may drive leap from single cell to multicellular life
One gene may drive leap from single cell to multicellular life
A major transition in the evolution of life – from single to multicellular organisms – could be kicked off by the mutation of a single gene. The leap from single-celled life to multicellular creatures is easier than we ever thought. And it seems there's more than one way it can happen. The mutation of a single gene is enough to transform single-celled brewer's yeast into a "snowflake" that evolves as a multicellular organism. Similarly, single-celled algae quickly evolve into spherical multicellular organisms when faced with predators that eat single cells. These findings back the emerging idea that this leap in complexity isn't the giant evolutionary hurdle it was thought to be. At some point after life first emerged, some cells came together to form the first multicellular organism. This happened perhaps as early as 2.1 billion years ago. Others followed – multicellularity is thought to have evolved independently at least 20 times – eventually giving rise to complex life, such as humans. But no organism is known to have made that transition in the past 200 million years, so how and why it happened is hard to study.
6-22-15 Modern humans and Neanderthals interbred in Europe, an analysis of 40,000-year-old DNA suggests.
Modern humans and Neanderthals interbred in Europe, an analysis of 40,000-year-old DNA suggests.
Modern humans and Neanderthals interbred in Europe, an analysis of 40,000-year-old DNA suggests. The study suggests an early Homo sapiens settler in Europe harboured a Neanderthal ancestor just a few generations back in his family line. Previous work has shown our ancestors had interbred with Neanderthals 55,000 years ago, possibly in the Middle East. The new results reveal there was additional mixing once modern humans pushed north into Europe. (Webmaster's comment: The human drive to breed is so strong that many humans will attempt to breed with just about anything. From very young children to dead humans, from horses to chickens, anything with a hole will do.)
6-19-15 Cradle of creation: Evolution shapes up new ecosystem in the lab
Cradle of creation: Evolution shapes up new ecosystem in the lab
The longest running evolutionary lab experiment is letting us watch one major evolutionary change transform an entire ecosystem. The longest running evolutionary lab experiment has reproduced yet another aspect of the natural world, showing how a major change in one creature can transform its environment, and alter the evolutionary trajectory of all the creatures inhabiting that space.
6-18-15 Silver coat lets Saharan ants withstand scorching desert heat
Silver coat lets Saharan ants withstand scorching desert heat
Unique triangular hairs help keep Saharan silver ants cool at 70°C by manipulating the physics of light. The ant's adaption resembles cutting-edge, heat-resistant surfaces – and may inspire new approaches to such materials.
6-18-15 Most kangaroos are 'left-handed'
Most kangaroos are 'left-handed'
Wild kangaroos tend to favour their left hands during common tasks like grooming and feeding, a study suggests. The red-necked wallaby was one of three species found to be predominantly left-handed. The researchers say this is the first demonstration of population-level "handedness" in a species other than humans, who are mostly right-handed.
6-18-15 Switching on happy memories 'perks up' stressed mice
Switching on happy memories 'perks up' stressed mice
Neuroscientists have discovered that artificially stimulating a positive memory can cause mice to snap out of depression-like behaviour. Brain cells storing a good memory were labelled and then later re-activated, after the mice were stressed. "Turning on" the memory for just a few minutes eliminated signs of depression.
6-16-15 Zoologger: The fish that can vanish in 2 seconds flat
Zoologger: The fish that can vanish in 2 seconds flat
The slender filefish can quickly blend in with its surroundings thanks to pigment cell and specialised skin flaps. Now you see it. Now you don't. The slender filefish has a way to stay off the seafood menu – it has evolved the ability to become almost invisible. The fish can camouflage its body patterns and shape to match its marine surroundings in seconds.
6-16-15 Single-celled creature hunts with its complex eye like a sniper
Single-celled creature hunts with its complex eye like a sniper
It doesn't even have a brain, but a type of plankton seems to use the smallest camera-like eye to catch nearly invisible prey using polarised light. It is perhaps the most extraordinary eye in the living world – so extraordinary that no one believed the biologist who first described it more than a century ago. Now it appears that the tiny owner of this eye uses it to catch invisible prey by detecting polarised light. This suggestion is also likely to be greeted with disbelief, for the eye belongs to a single-celled organism called Erythropsidinium. It has no nerves, let alone a brain. So how could it "see" its prey? (Webmaster's comment: So much for the idea that a seeing eye is too complex to have evolved, and that God must have designed it. Evolution is far more powerful than ignorant religious people could ever imagine.)
6-11-15 Milk digestion's 'more recent rise'
Milk digestion's 'more recent rise'
The ability to digest milk may have become common only relatively recently in Europe, a major study of ancient DNA shows. The analysis of genomes from 101 ancient adults suggests the gene for breaking down the lactose sugar in milk was still rare in the Bronze Age. The results come as something of a surprise because the gene is widespread among modern Europeans.
6-4-15 First evidence of how parents' lives could change children's DNA
First evidence of how parents' lives could change children's DNA
For the first time, scientists have discovered a mechanism in humans that could explain how your lifestyle choices may impact your children and grandchildren's genes. Mounting evidence suggests that environmental factors such as smoking, diet and stress, can leave their mark on the genes of your children and grandchildren. For example, girls born to Dutch women who were pregnant during a long famine at the end of the second world war had twice the usual risk of developing schizophrenia. Likewise, male mice that experience early life stress give rise to two generations of offspring that have increased depression and anxiety, despite being raised in a caring environment.
6-3-15 Cooking skills may have emerged millions of years ago
Cooking skills may have emerged millions of years ago
New research suggests that chimps have most of the mental capabilities needed to cook food. This suggests that the ability to cook food is deep seated and may have arisen in human ancestors millions of years ago. The conclusions also indicate that humans may have developed the ability to cook very soon after they learned how to control fire. Cooking did not happen, however, until 300,000 to 400,000 years ago, but that was before our species (Homo Sapiens) finally evolved.
6-1-15 Sawfish is first vertebrate known to clone itself in the wild
Sawfish is first vertebrate known to clone itself in the wild
Endangered fish seem to have undergone virgin births – cloning themselves in what might be a last-ditch ploy to avoid extinction.
6-1-15 'Virgin-born' sawfish are a first in the wild
'Virgin-born' sawfish are a first in the wild
Seven sawfish in Florida have become the first virgin-born animals ever found in the wild from a sexually reproducing species. The discovery suggests that such births may be a natural response to dwindling numbers, rather than a freak occurrence largely seen in captivity.
5-31-15 Artificial DNA links up just like the real thing
Artificial DNA links up just like the real thing
Fake DNA letters designed in the lab are good enough to form the same long chains as the real thing, and could be incorporated into living cells.
5-28-15 Gene study shows humans took Egyptian path out of Africa
Gene study shows humans took Egyptian path out of Africa
Eurasian genomes have more in common with Egyptian than Ethiopian ones, suggesting Eurasians left Africa via a northern route.
5-28-15 Empathetic budgies yawn when they see their peers do the same
Empathetic budgies yawn when they see their peers do the same
Your budgie isn't bored, it just finds yawning as contagious as you do. These common pets are the first non-mammals in which yawning has been caught spreading.
5-28-15 'New species' of ancient human found
'New species' of ancient human found
A new species of ancient human has been unearthed in the Afar region of Ethiopia, scientists report. Researchers discovered jaw bones and teeth, which date to between 3.3m and 3.5m years old. It means this new hominin was alive at the same time as several other early human species, suggesting our family tree is more complicated than was thought. The ancient remains are thought to belong to four individuals, who would have had both ape and human-like features.
5-28-15 Evidence of 430,000-year-old human violence found
Evidence of 430,000-year-old human violence found
Human remains from a cave in northern Spain show evidence of a lethal attack 430,000 years ago, a study has shown. Researchers examining one skull concluded that two fractures on that skull were likely to have been caused by "multiple blows" and imply "an intention to kill".
5-27-15 New species of early human was Lucy's neighbour in Africa
New species of early human was Lucy's neighbour in Africa
Fossils of a new species of Australopithecus have been found near the site of Lucy's species, Australopithecus afarensis, suggesting the two species interacted. Australopithicus afarensis was not alone in the neighbourhood some 3.2 million years ago – they lived alongside at least one other type of early human. Australopithecus deyiremeda lived in what is now the central Afar region of the East African Rift Valley around 3.3 million years ago, only 35 kilometres north of known Australopithecus afarensis sites.
5-27-15 CSI Stone Age: was 430,000-year-old hominin murdered?
CSI Stone Age: was 430,000-year-old hominin murdered?
Forensic scientists have identified the earliest clear case of human-on-human violence. The victim, found in northern Spain, died after blows to the head. A forensic analysis suggests that an ancient human who lived 430,000 years ago died as the result of a deliberate attack by a right-handed assailant armed with a spear or hand axe. The crime is the earliest evidence of human-on-human violence in the fossil record – and the way the body was found strongly suggests that hominins were engaging in funerary rituals hundreds of thousands of years before our species evolved.
5-21-15 First evidence that dinosaurs laid colourful blue-green eggs
First evidence that dinosaurs laid colourful blue-green eggs
It should be raptor egg blue instead of robin egg blue. Some modern birds lay colourful eggs, but now we know it's a trick their dinosaur ancestors used too.
5-21-15 Ancient DNA suggests dogs split from wolves 40,000 years ago
Ancient DNA suggests dogs split from wolves 40,000 years ago
An extinct wolf's DNA has pushed back the origin of dogs by more than 10,000 years, but when humans domesticated them is still lost in the mists of time.
5-21-15 DNA hints at earlier dog evolution
DNA hints at earlier dog evolution
Swedish researchers say that dogs may have been domesticated much earlier than some other studies suggest. A genetic study indicates that dogs may have begun to split from wolves 27,000 years ago.
5-20-15 Oldest stone tools pre-date earliest humans
Oldest stone tools pre-date earliest humans
The world's oldest stone tools have been discovered, scientists report. They were unearthed from the shores of Lake Turkana in Kenya, and date to 3.3 million years ago. They are 700,000 years older than any tools found before, even pre-dating the earliest humans in the Homo genus.
Earliest Pre-Human Stone Tools
5-20-15 Oldest broken bone reveals our ancestors' switch to life on land
Oldest broken bone reveals our ancestors' switch to life on land
The first known leg break could only have happened on land, pushing back the transition of our four-legged ancestors from water to land by 2 million years to 333 million years.
5-20-15 Bigger brains help female fish outwit predators and live longer
Bigger brains help female fish outwit predators and live longer
For the first time, bigger brains have been found to help animals survive. The discovery sheds light on how bigger human brains might have evolved. Intelligence does matter to these tropical fish: big-brained guppies are more likely to outwit predators and live longer than their dim-witted peers.
5-16-15 Genes may influence placebo effect
Genes may influence placebo effect
Response to sham treatment depends on certain DNA details.
5-15-15 Warm-blooded fish traps its own heat in the deep
Warm-blooded fish traps its own heat in the deep
The large and colourful opah has become the first known "warm-blooded" fish, as scientists discovered it can regulate the temperature of its whole body.
5-14-15 Rewiring of senses in a mouse brain revealed in glorious colour
Rewiring of senses in a mouse brain revealed in glorious colour
Brain images show that mouse neurons can be altered during early development, so areas deal with different senses from the ones they typically process. It's easy for a mouse to change its mind, at least when it's very young. Neurons normally responsible for interpreting sound or touch, for example, can swap senses while they are maturing, taking on vision instead. In the brain image above, neurons shown in yellow have been rewired, changing the type of sensory input they are able to process.
5-13-15 Evolution in reverse: Chicken grows face of dinosaur
Evolution in reverse: Chicken grows face of dinosaur
A chicken embryo with a dinosaur-like snout instead of a beak has been developed by scientists.
5-13-15 Donut-shaped 'compass' glimpsed inside fly brain
Donut-shaped 'compass' glimpsed inside fly brain
A cluster of cells in the brain of a fly can track the animal's orientation like a compass, a study has revealed. Mammals have similar "head direction cells" but this is a first for flies.
5-12-15 Genes have seasonal cycles that can play havoc with your health
Genes have seasonal cycles that can play havoc with your health
In winter, genes make your immune system more active. This protects you from cold and flu bugs, but also leads to heart attacks and autoimmune illness. The activity of some of our genes varies with the seasons throughout the year. The discovery comes from an analysis of blood samples from more than 16,000 people in both hemispheres. The most striking pattern was that 147 genes involved in the immune system made it more reactive or "pro-inflammatory" during winter or rainy seasons, probably to battle the onslaught of cold and flu viruses. (Webmaster's comment: The details we are learning about the role of genetics is amazing.)
5-8-15 These microscopic mites live on your face
These microscopic mites live on your face
We all seem to have Demodex mites living on our faces. Far from being harmful, these uninvited guests could reveal our evolutionary history. You can't see them, but they're there. They are microscopic mites, eight-legged creatures rather like spiders. Almost every human being has them. They spend their entire lives on our faces, where they eat, mate and finally die. (Webmaster's comment: Each of us is a giant colony of 10's of thousands of microorganisms essential for keeping us alive and healthy. Without them we'd just simply drop dead.)
5-5-15 Feathery fossils peg early birds to even earlier date
Feathery fossils peg early birds to even earlier date
Scientists in China have described a new species of early bird, from two fossils with intact plumage dating to 130 million years ago. Based on the age of the surrounding rocks, this is the earliest known member of the clade that produced today's birds: Ornithuromorpha. It pushes back the branching-out of this evolutionary group by at least five million years. The little bird appears to have been a wader, capable of nimble flight.
4-30-15 US 'will not fund research for modifying embryo DNA'
US 'will not fund research for modifying embryo DNA'
Modifying the DNA of embryos is a "line that should not be crossed", a leading figure in US research says. Dr Francis Collins, National Institutes of Health director, was responding to reports that the first embryos had been modified in China. He argued there were "serious and unquantifiable safety issues", big ethical questions and no compelling medical reason to do it. He said the NIH would not fund such research in the US. The advent of "Crispr technology" - which is a more precise way of editing DNA than anything that has come before - has spurred huge progress in genetics. But there had been growing concern these tremendous advances were making the modification of human embryos more likely. (Webmaster's comment: Preventing the use of human knowledge has never worked in the past, and it won't work now.)
4-29-15 Human gene editing has arrived – here's why it matters
Human gene editing has arrived – here's why it matters
It's becoming possible to edit our genes to treat and prevent conditions like HIV and sickle cell disease or, more controversially, create designer babies. GENE editing is here. The first work attempting to edit human embryos grabbed headlines last week. And another study showed how gene editing might prevent children inheriting disease. It could be decades before it is safe to snip out and replace stretches of DNA to genetically engineer babies – even if it is deemed ethically acceptable. But the approach is already being tested for treating disease in adults and could soon be used to treat a wide range of disorders.
4-29-15 s dinosaur had wings like a bat, but did it fly like one?
s dinosaur had wings like a bat, but did it fly like one?
A fossil from China may have had unique membrane-like wings to glide or even fly, suggesting dinosaurs dabbled in flight before evolving into birds.
4-28-15 Antarctica's Blood Falls are a sign of life below ground
Antarctica's Blood Falls are a sign of life below ground
A vast underground network of aquifers storing water – and potentially teeming with microbes - may be linked to Antarctica's bleeding glacier. The iron in the water – which oxidises to give the falls their vivid red colour – comes from the weathering of the bedrock beneath the ice, a process enhanced by microbial action.
4-25-15 The first complex life on Earth got eaten to extinction
The first complex life on Earth got eaten to extinction
Fossil evidence suggests it wasn't climate change that killed off the enigmatic Ediacarans, Earth's first complex life, but competition from Cambrian life forms. Strange and largely immobile organisms made of tubes were the first complex life on Earth. Appearing 579 million years ago, they thrived on the seafloor for some 37 million years, then vanished. New fossil evidence from Namibia suggests that the Ediacarans had their world turned upside by an explosion of life forms at the beginning of the Cambrian period 541 million years ago. Some of these may have evolved to eat their enigmatic predecessors and to bioengineer the environment in ways that left little hope for the passive Ediacarans.
4-23-15 Mammoth genome sequence completed
Mammoth genome sequence completed
Swedish scientists have decoded the DNA of woolly mammoths raising the possibility of recreating the now extinct creatures. An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. A US team is already attempting to study the animals' characteristics by inserting mammoth genes into elephant stem cells. They want to find out what made the mammoths different from their modern relatives and how their adaptations helped them survive the ice ages.
4-22-15 Caribbean super-rat history extracted from DNA
Caribbean super-rat history extracted from DNA
Scientists have pieced together the evolutionary history of a fascinating group of extinct Caribbean rats, some of which grew to the size of cats. The diversity of this group of rodents had been greatly underappreciated. They were driven to oblivion by the activities of European settlers.
4-21-15 New mass extinction event proposed by geologists
New mass extinction event proposed by geologists
Over the past 450 million years, life on Earth has been devastated by five mass extinction events that are widely recognized by geologists. Now, an international team of researchers proposes adding a sixth mass extinction to the list. The team believes it has accumulated sufficient evidence to promote the Capitanian event to the rank of mass extinction. The extinction occurred approximately 262 million years ago.
4-20-15 New species of lizards, bats and plants are discoverd
New species of lizards, bats and plants are discoverd
An expedition to a wildlife haven on Papua New Guinea islands covers new species of frogs, bats, lizards and plants. (Webmaster's comment: Evolution is at work all the time filling all environmental niches with life forms best adapted for those enviroments.)
4-20-15 Patrick Matthew: The first natural selection proponent
Patrick Matthew: The first natural selection proponent
Horticulturist Patrick Matthew developed a concept of evolution by natural selection that pre-dates Charles Darwin's by 27 years. King's College London geneticist Michael Weale suggests Matthew should be given more recognition for his work.
4-16-15 Dogs tap into human bonding system to get close to our hearts
Dogs tap into human bonding system to get close to our hearts
Exchanging gazes with dogs boosts levels of a bonding hormone in both them and us, suggesting they evolved to hijack a uniquely human way of bonding. Knock-on chemical and behavioural effects occur when humans bond: eye contact leads to release of the "love hormone" oxytocin, which elicits caring behaviour, and this in turn causes the release of more oxytocin. This loop has been shown to be important for human bonding, for example between mothers and their children. But when she and her colleagues got a bunch of dog owners to gaze into their pets' eyes, they found that oxytocin levels rose not just in the humans – but in the pooches too.
4-16-15 Dogs bond with humans like babies
Dogs bond with humans like babies
Gazing into a dog's eyes can stimulate the same bonding process that occurs between mother and child. Eye contact between a mother and her baby strengthens their attachment by activating the so-called 'love hormone' – oxytocin – in the mother’s brain. This drives emotional bonding between parent and offspring by encouraging both nurturing and interactive behaviours. Studies have shown that stroking or making eye contact with a dog can trigger a similar release of oxytocin in a human’s brain.
4-15-15 Women may have pioneered hunting with weapons
Women may have pioneered hunting with weapons
Most chimps that use jabbing weapons to hunt prey are female, a pattern of behaviour that may also have been true of the first humans. Women could have been the first humans to use weapons to hunt. An analysis of spear-wielding chimps, most of which are females, suggests the idea may not be as eccentric as it might sound.
4-13-15 Your own personal placebo: Genes reveal response to sugar pill
Your own personal placebo: Genes reveal response to sugar pill
There are tremendous differences in the placebo effect between individuals, says Kathryn Hall of Harvard Medical School. "It can vary from no measurable response to someone getting significantly better." Having drawn together all the studies carried out so far, Hall says there is reasonable evidence for at least 11 genes that influence a person's susceptibility.
4-13-15 Are there some animals that have stopped evolving?
Are there some animals that have stopped evolving?
Some modern animals look just like their long-extinct ancestors. Have these "living fossils" really not changed in millions of years? (Webmaster's comment: If an animal has succesfully adapted such that it survives and breeds successfully regardless of the changing environments, what evolutionary pressure is there to change what works so well?
4-10-15 Did neurons evolve more than once on Earth?
Did neurons evolve more than once on Earth?
TRANSLUCENT comb jellies are some of the most primitive animals on Earth, yet they have remarkable nervous systems. Controversial data discussed at a meeting in London last month proposes that their neurons are unlike any others on Earth. This could be evidence that neurons evolved more than once in the history of animal life.
4-9-15 Acidic oceans helped fuel extinction
Acidic oceans helped fuel extinction
Acidic oceans helped fuel the biggest mass extinction in the history of life on Earth, a study says. Two separate pulses of CO2 into the atmosphere - a "one-two punch" - may have helped fuel the die-off, new research suggests. Changes to ocean acidity would have been one of the consequences, according to the study in Science journal. Computer models suggested that this CO2 may have been released by massive bouts of volcanism from the Siberian Traps, now represented as a large region of volcanic rock in northern Eurasia. The Permian-Triassic mass extinction, which took place 252 million years ago, wiped out more than 90% of marine species and more than two-thirds of the animals living on land. The event is thought to have played out over a 60,000-year period and acidification of the oceans lasted for about 10,000 years.
4-9-15 Extreme inbreeding is no big deal for mountain gorillas
Extreme inbreeding is no big deal for mountain gorillas
The most endangered gorillas seem to have been interbreeding for thousands of years, and they've purged themselves of potentially fatal mutations.
4-9-15 Sparks of consciousness mapped in most detail yet
Sparks of consciousness mapped in most detail yet
The hallmark of consciousness is a stable response to sensory input – a detailed look at this signature could be used to gauge a person's level of awareness. HOLD that thought. When it comes to consciousness, the brain may be doing just that. It now seems that conscious perception requires brain activity to hold steady for hundreds of milliseconds. This signature in the pattern of brainwaves can be used to distinguish between levels of impaired consciousness in people with brain injury.
4-8-15 Sexy men make others take bigger risks with money
Sexy men make others take bigger risks with money
Watch out. Men might be tricked into taking risky bets when they are shown images of men they view as more attractive than themselves.
4-8-15 Life below Antarctic ice survives on ancient forests
Life below Antarctic ice survives on ancient forests
The fossils of marine organisms and Antarctica's former forests are today supporting the extreme microbial community of a subglacial lake.
4-8-15 Cave crustaceans 'losing visual brain'
Cave crustaceans 'losing visual brain'
A study of blind crustaceans living in deep, dark caves has revealed that evolution is rapidly withering the visual parts of their brain.
4-6-15 Development of chins linked to cooking
Development of chins linked to cooking
Researchers have been trying to work out why humans appear to be the only mammals with chins and now think it may be down to the fact that humans started cooking food. Dr James Pampush, from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Florida, says he couldn't link it with any natural selection and thinks it is connected to teeth shrinking as our early ancestors started cooking food and large teeth were no longer needed.
Animal Facts: Humans have 5 million olfactory receptors, dogs have 220 million, 44 times more than humans. Dogs literally "see" the world through their nose.
Dolphins communicate, and see the world using echolocation, with frequencies up to 150,000 hertz. We are limited to 22,000 hertz. We can not hear them talk, we can not image what they see. They can "see" (echolocate) a tennis ball a football field away in murky water. A task hard for many of us even in clean air. (Webmaster's comment: Animals adapt in ways (evolve abilities) that would best help them survive and breed. In the case of dogs it's the sense of smell. In dolphins it's sensing and using sound. A dolphin has a larger brain than a human. It's thought that a lot of that "extra" brain size is needed to process echolocation signals so that the animal can "see" using them.)
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64 Evolution News Articles
from 2nd Quarter of 2015
Evolution News Articles from 1st Quarter of 2015