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Siobhán Cooke, Evolution, Fossils, Extinct Species

Understanding Caribbean Mammal Extinctions of the Past Spurs Renewed Focus on Conservation

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A Johns Hopkins paleontologist and her collaborative team of scientists report they have clear evidence that the arrival of humans and subsequent human activity throughout the islands of the Caribbean were likely the primary causes of the extinction of native mammal species there. The evidence, they say, highlights the need for urgent human intervention to protect the native mammal species still inhabiting the region.

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Evolution, Coevolution, Herbivores, tropical plants

Evolutionary Arms “Chase”

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The study analyzed multiple species of Inga, a genus of tropical trees that produces defensive chemicals, and their various insect herbivores. The researchers found that closely-related plants evolved very different defensive traits. Additionally, their analysis revealed that herbivores may drive evolution of plant defenses, but may not show coevolutionary adaptations. Instead, they may ‘chase’ plants based on the herbivore’s own traits at the time they encounter a new host.

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Paleontology, Imaging, X-Ray, neutron imaging, CT imaging

Unique Imaging of a Dinosaur’s Skull Tells Evolutionary Tale

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Researchers using Los Alamos’ unique neutron-imaging and high-energy X-ray capabilities have exposed the inner structures of the fossil skull of a 74-million-year-old tyrannosauroid dinosaur nicknamed the Bisti Beast in the highest-resolution scan of tyrannosaur skull ever done.

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Fossils, Apes and Human Evolution, Apes, Evolution, Science, Environment, Africa, Kenya, Anthropology, Miocene, South Turkana, Napudet, Nyanzapithecus alesi, Nyanzapithecines, Skull, Geology, Humans, Primates, Hominoids, Cranium, lava, volcanic ash, Basalt, Oligocene, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, Rutgers, Rutgers University, RU, New Jersey, NJ, Rutgers Geology Mus

New Ape Species Named After 13-Million-Year-Old Skull Discovery

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A 13-million-year-old infant ape skull – the oldest known fossil of its kind – is a new species that enhances knowledge of ape and human evolution, according to a study by an international team of scientists, including Craig S. Feibel at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

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Evolution Biology, Mutation, Drosophila, Fruit Flies, Evolution

Fruit Fly Mutation Foretells 40 Million Years of Evolution

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Small, seemingly insignificant mutations in fruit flies may actually hold clues as to how a species will evolve tens of millions of years in the future.

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Siobhán Cooke, Monkey, Xenothrix mcgregori, Jamaica, Fossil, evoluion

Extinction Mystery Solved? Fossil Evidence Suggests Humans Played a Role in Monkey’s Demise in Jamaica

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Radiocarbon dating of a fossilized leg bone from a Jamaican monkey called Xenothrix mcgregori suggests it may be the one of the most recent primate species anywhere in the world to become extinct, and it may solve a long-standing mystery about the cause of its demise. The short answer: human settlement of its island home.

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Evolution, population history, admixture, Neanderthal, Denisovan, Human Evolution, archaic, DNA

New Look at Archaic DNA Rewrites Human Evolution Story

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A U-led team developed a method for analyzing DNA sequence data to reconstruct early history of archaic human populations, revealing an evolutionary story that contradicts conventional wisdom about modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans. The Neanderthal-Denisovan lineage nearly went extinct after separating from modern humans. Just 300 generations later, Neanderthals and Denisovans diverged around 744,000 years ago. The global Neanderthal population grew to tens of thousands of individuals living in fragmented, isolated populations.

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Biology, Evolution, Ecology, Zoology, Insect

Animal Coloration Research: On the Threshold of a New Era

In the last 20 years, the field of animal coloration research has experienced explosive growth thanks to numerous technological advances, and it now stands on the threshold of a new era.

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trapdoor spider, Australia, South Africa, Biology, Evolution, Zoology, Arthropods

Trapdoor spiders crossed Indian Ocean to get to Australia

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An Australian trapdoor spider, which usually moves no further than a couple of metres from where it was hatched, must have travelled to Australia over the Indian Ocean from South Africa, University of Adelaide research has shown.

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Nature Communications, Flowers, Evolution, flowering plants, Charles Darwin, an abominable mystery, Juerg Schoenenberger, Hervé Sauquet, earliest flowers, revonstruction

What Flowers Looked Like 100 Million Years Ago

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Flowering plants with at least 300,000 species are by far the most diverse group of plants on Earth. They include almost all the species used by people for food, medicine, and many other purposes. However, flowering plants arose only about 140 million years ago, quite late in the evolution of plants, toward the end of the age of the dinosaurs, but since then have diversified spectacularly. No one knows exactly how this happened, and the origin and early evolution of flowering plants and especially their flowers still remains one of the biggest enigmas in biology, almost 140 years after Charles Darwin called their rapid rise in the Cretaceous "an abominable mystery". A new study, coordinated by Juerg Schoenenberger from the University of Vienna and Hervé Sauquet of the Université Paris-Sud and published in "Nature Communications" reconstructs the evolution of flowers and sheds new light on what the earliest flowers might have looked like.







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