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The Neanderthal Dawn Chorus

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Research by Bournemouth University's John Stewart has found that birds living during the Ice Age were larger, with a mixture of birds unlike any seen today, and many species now exotic to Britain living in Northern England.

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Stony Brook Archaeologists Find the Earliest Evidence of Stone Tool Making

Our ancestors were making stone tools some 700,000 years earlier than we thought. That’s the finding co-led by Stony Brook University's Drs. Sonia Harmand and Jason Lewis—who have found the earliest stone artifacts, dating 3.3 million years ago.

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Agriculture, Declining Mobility Drove Humans' Shift to Lighter Bones

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Modern lifestyles have made our bones lighter weight than our hunter-gatherer ancestors. A study of the bones of hundreds of humans who lived during the past 33,000 years in Europe finds the rise of agriculture and a corresponding fall in mobility drove the change, rather than urbanization, nutrition or other factors.

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Did Ocean Acidification From the Asteroid Impact That Killed the Dinosaurs Cause the Extinction of Marine Molluscs?

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New research, led by the University of Southampton, has questioned the role played by ocean acidification, produced by the asteroid impact that killed the dinosaurs, in the extinction of ammonites and other planktonic calcifiers 66 million years ago.

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Life Scientist Shines Light on Origin of Bioluminescence

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Bioluminescence at least in one millipede may have evolved as a way to survive in a hot, dry environment, not as a means to ward off predators, according to scientists publishing in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Species’ Evolutionary Choice: Disperse or Adapt?

Dispersal and adaptation are two evolutionary strategies available to species given an environment. Generalists, like dandelions, send their offspring far and wide. Specialists, like alpine flowers, adapt to the conditions of a particular place. New research models the interplay between these two strategies and shows how even minor changes in an environment can create feedback and trigger dramatic shifts in evolutionary strategy.

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Testosterone Key to New Bird Bang Theory

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New research from a Wake Forest University biologist who studies animal behavior suggests that evolution is hard at work when it comes to the acrobatic courtship dances of a tropical bird species.

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Why We Have Chins

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Why are modern humans the only species to have chins? University of Iowa researchers say it's not due to mechanical forces, such as chewing, but may lie in our evolution: As our faces became smaller, it exposed the bony prominence at the lowest part of our heads. Results appear in the Journal of Anatomy.

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More Anti-inflammatory Genes Mean Longer Lifespans for Mammals

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We age in part thanks to “friendly fire” from the immune system — inflammation and chemically active molecules called reactive oxygen species that help fight infection, but also wreak molecular havoc, contributing to frailty, disability and disease. The CD33rSiglec family of proteins are known to help protect our cells from becoming inflammatory collateral damage, prompting researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine to ask whether CD33rSiglecs might help mammals live longer, too.

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Springing Ahead of Nature: Device Increases Walking Efficiency

It’s taken millions of years for humans to perfect the art of walking. But research results published today in the journal Nature show that humans can get better ‘gas mileage’ using an unpowered exoskeleton to modify the structure of their ankles.