Feature Channels: Evolution and Darwin

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Released: 10-Jun-2021 1:10 PM EDT
The survivability of animal species depends on the number of offspring
Tel Aviv University

Researchers from Tel Aviv University took part in a new international study proposing an amendment to the widely accepted theory on the extinction of animal species - by moving the focus from the animal's body size to its reproductive capacity.

Newswise: Scientists develop the ‘evotype’ to help unlock the power of evolution for better engineering biology
Released: 8-Jun-2021 12:05 PM EDT
Scientists develop the ‘evotype’ to help unlock the power of evolution for better engineering biology
University of Bristol

Scientists from the University of Bristol have pioneered a new approach to help biological engineers both harness and design the evolutionary potential of new biosystems. Their concept of the ‘evotype’ lays a foundation for the next generation of stable, safe and self-improving biotechnologies.

Released: 7-Jun-2021 2:50 PM EDT
Popularity runs in families
Rice University

If identical versions of 20 people lived out their lives in dozens of different worlds, would the same people be popular in each world?

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Released: 7-Jun-2021 1:15 PM EDT
Paleontologists for the first time discover the pierced skull of a Pleistocene cave bear
Ural Federal University

Russian paleontologists discovered the skull of a Pleistocene small cave bear with artificial damage in the Imanay Cave (Bashkiria, Russia).

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Released: 2-Jun-2021 10:30 AM EDT
Young T. rexes had a powerful bite, capable of exerting one-sixth the force of an adult
University of California, Berkeley

Jack Tseng loves bone-crunching animals -- hyenas are his favorite -- so when paleontologist Joseph Peterson discovered fossilized dinosaur bones that had teeth marks from a juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex, Tseng decided to try to replicate the bite marks and measure how hard those kids could actually chomp down.

Newswise: Fossil secret may shed light on the diversity of Earth’s first animals
1-Jun-2021 5:05 AM EDT
Fossil secret may shed light on the diversity of Earth’s first animals
University of Portsmouth

A large group of iconic fossils widely believed to shed light on the origins of many of Earth’s animals and the communities they lived in may be hiding a secret. Scientists are the first to model how exceptionally well preserved fossils that record the largest and most intense burst of evolution ever seen could have been moved by mudflows.

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Released: 1-Jun-2021 12:10 PM EDT
Newly discovered African 'climate seesaw' drove human evolution
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History

While it is widely accepted that climate change drove the evolution of our species in Africa, the exact character of that climate change and its impacts are not well understood.

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Released: 27-May-2021 4:40 PM EDT
Jebel Sahaba: A succession of violence rather than a prehistoric war
CNRS (Centre National de Recherche Scientifique / National Center of Scientific Research)

Since its discovery in the 1960s, the Jebel Sahaba cemetery (Nile Valley, Sudan), 13 millennia old, was considered to be one of the oldest testimonies to prehistoric warfare.

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Released: 26-May-2021 3:15 PM EDT
How antibiotic-filled poop helps 'bessbug' beetles stay healthy
University of California, Berkeley

The lifestyle of the horned passalus beetle, commonly known as the bessbug or betsy beetle, might seem downright disgusting to the average human: Not only does this shiny black beetle eat its own poop, known as frass, but it uses its feces to line the walls of its living space and to help build protective chambers around its developing young.

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Released: 26-May-2021 3:10 PM EDT
Study finds ongoing evolution in Tasmanian Devils' response to transmissible cancer
University of Idaho

University of Idaho researchers partnered with other scientists from the United States and Australia to study the evolution of Tasmanian devils in response to a unique transmissible cancer.

Released: 25-May-2021 10:05 AM EDT
“Scuba-diving” lizards use bubble attached to snout to breathe underwater
Binghamton University, State University of New York

A team of evolutionary biologists including faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York have shown that some Anolis lizards, or anoles, have adapted to rebreathe exhaled air underwater using a bubble clinging to their snouts.

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Released: 24-May-2021 3:10 PM EDT
Experimental broadcast of whitewater river noise drives bats and birds away
Boise State University

While many might consider a walk in the woods to be a quiet, peaceful escape from their noisy urban life, we often don't consider just how incredibly noisy some natural environments can be.

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Released: 24-May-2021 10:35 AM EDT
Dental crowding: Ancient baleen whales had a mouth full
San Diego State University

A strange phenomenon happens with modern blue whales, humpback whales and gray whales: they have teeth in the womb but are born toothless.

Newswise: Pandemic-era paleontology: A wayward skull, at-home fossil analyses and a first for Antarctic amphibians
Released: 21-May-2021 12:05 PM EDT
Pandemic-era paleontology: A wayward skull, at-home fossil analyses and a first for Antarctic amphibians
University of Washington

Researchers at the University of Washington have discovered the first fossil evidence of an ancient amphibian, Micropholis stowi, from Antarctica. Micropholis lived in the Early Triassic, shortly after Earth's largest mass extinction. It was previously known only from fossils in South Africa.

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Released: 20-May-2021 3:10 PM EDT
Young orangutans have sex-specific role models
University of Zurich

Orangutans are closely related to humans. And yet, they are much less sociable than other species of great apes.

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Released: 20-May-2021 12:40 PM EDT
The entire genome from Peştera Muierii 1 sequenced
Uppsala University

For the first time, researchers have successfully sequenced the entire genome from the skull of Peştera Muierii 1, a woman who lived in today's Romania 35,000 years ago.

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Released: 19-May-2021 3:50 PM EDT
How a small fish coped with being isolated from the sea
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

The last ice age ended almost 12 000 years ago in Norway. The land rebounded slowly as the weight of the ice disappeared and the land uplift caused many bays to become narrower and form lakes.

Newswise: Did Earth’s Early Rise in Oxygen Support The Evolution of Multicellular Life — or Suppress It?
Released: 18-May-2021 4:05 PM EDT
Did Earth’s Early Rise in Oxygen Support The Evolution of Multicellular Life — or Suppress It?
Georgia Institute of Technology

Study offers significant new information on the correlations between oxygenation of the early Earth and the rise of large multicellular organisms. “We show that the effect of oxygen is more complex than previously imagined," said Will Ratcliff with Georgia Tech's School of Biological Sciences.

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Released: 14-May-2021 2:25 PM EDT
Evolutionary biologists discover mechanism that enables lizards to breathe underwater
University of Toronto

A team of evolutionary biologists from the University of Toronto has shown that Anolis lizards, or anoles, are able to breathe underwater with the aid of a bubble clinging to their snouts.

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Released: 14-May-2021 12:05 PM EDT
Which animals will survive climate change?
McGill University

Climate change is exacerbating problems like habitat loss and temperatures swings that have already pushed many animal species to the brink.

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Released: 13-May-2021 10:15 AM EDT
Ankle and foot bone evolution gave prehistoric mammals a leg up
University of Edinburgh

The evolution of ankle and foot bones into different shapes and sizes helped mammals adapt and thrive after the extinction of the dinosaurs, a study suggests.

Released: 6-May-2021 12:30 PM EDT
Evidence suggests bubonic plague had long-term effect on human immunity genes
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Scientists examining the remains of 36 bubonic plague victims from a 16th century mass grave in Germany have found the first evidence that evolutionary adaptive processes, driven by the disease, may have conferred immunity on later generations of people from the region.

Newswise: Study Shows Independent Evolutionary Origins of Vertebrate Dentitions
5-May-2021 11:00 AM EDT
Study Shows Independent Evolutionary Origins of Vertebrate Dentitions
University of Bristol

The origins of a pretty smile have long been sought in the fearsome jaws of living sharks which have been considered living fossils reflecting the ancestral condition for vertebrate tooth development and inference of its evolution. However, this view ignores real fossils which more accurately reflect the nature of ancient ancestors.

Released: 5-May-2021 5:00 PM EDT
UNH Research: More Than One Way for Animals to Survive Climate Change
University of New Hampshire

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire found that to live in hotter more desert-like surroundings, and exist without water, there is more than one genetic mechanism allowing animals to adapt. This is important not only for their survival but may also provide important biomedical groundwork to develop gene therapies to treat human dehydration related illnesses, like kidney disease.

Newswise: Newly identified saber-toothed cat is one of largest in history
Released: 3-May-2021 12:05 PM EDT
Newly identified saber-toothed cat is one of largest in history
Ohio State University

A giant saber-toothed cat lived in North America between 5 million and 9 million years ago, weighing up to 900 pounds and hunting prey that likely weighed 1,000 to 2,000 pounds, scientists reported today in a new study.

Released: 29-Apr-2021 11:35 AM EDT
Molecular biologists travel back in time 3 billion years
Uppsala University

A research group working at Uppsala University has succeeded in studying 'translation factors' - important components of a cell's protein synthesis machinery - that are several billion years old.

Newswise: New Study Has Scientists Re-Evaluating Relative Brain Size and Mammalian Intelligence
26-Apr-2021 9:30 AM EDT
New Study Has Scientists Re-Evaluating Relative Brain Size and Mammalian Intelligence
Stony Brook University

Scientists from Stony Brook University and the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior have pieced together a timeline of how brain and body size evolved in mammals over the last 150 million years. The findings will be published in Science Advances.

20-Apr-2021 9:00 AM EDT
Brain Development Is Surprisingly Similar between Humans and Other Primates
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB)

What makes the human brain special? It’s not the time it takes to mature, according to new research. Scientists report the human frontal cortex, the part of the brain involved in higher-level thinking and reasoning, follows a developmental trajectory similar to that of other primates including chimpanzees and macaques.

20-Apr-2021 9:00 AM EDT
How Does a Nose Evolve into a Blowhole? Study Suggests There’s More than One Way
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB)

The two major types of cetaceans appear to have evolved their characteristic blowholes through different anatomical transformations, according to a study being presented at the American Association for Anatomy annual meeting during the Experimental Biology (EB) 2021 meeting, held virtually April 27-30.

20-Apr-2021 9:00 AM EDT
How Did Dinosaurs Deliver Bone-Crushing Bites? By Keeping a Stiff Lower Jaw.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB)

Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaurs chomped through bone by keeping a joint in their lower jaw steady like an alligator, rather than flexible like a snake, according to a study being presented at the American Association for Anatomy annual meeting during the Experimental Biology (EB) 2021 meeting, held virtually April 27-30.

Released: 26-Apr-2021 12:10 PM EDT
We've been at it a long time
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Few sites in the world preserve a continuous archaeological record spanning millions of years. Wonderwerk Cave, located in South Africa's Kalahari Desert, is one of those rare sites.

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Released: 23-Apr-2021 2:05 PM EDT
First description of a new octopus species without using a scalpel
University of Bonn

An evolutionary biologist from the University of Bonn brought a new octopus species to light from depths of more than 4,000 meters in the North Pacific Ocean.

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Released: 23-Apr-2021 1:20 PM EDT
Travel paths of primates show how their minds work
Oxford Brookes University

How primates get from A to B gives vital information about their cognitive evolution, say researchers in a new study looking at the travel paths of animals in the wild.

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Released: 21-Apr-2021 5:35 PM EDT
Creativity and Community: How Modern Humans Overcame the Neanderthals
American Museum of Natural History

A new study is the first-ever to identify the genes for creativity in Homo sapiens that distinguish modern humans from chimpanzees and Neanderthals.

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Released: 20-Apr-2021 3:25 PM EDT
Little Foot fossil shows early human ancestor clung closely to trees
University of Southern California (USC)

A long-awaited, high-tech analysis of the upper body of famed fossil "Little Foot" opens a window to a pivotal period when human ancestors diverged from apes, new USC research shows.

Released: 20-Apr-2021 9:00 AM EDT
Experimental Biology 2021 Press Materials Available Now
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB)

Embargoed press materials are now available for the virtual Experimental Biology (EB) 2021 meeting, featuring cutting-edge multidisciplinary research from across the life sciences. EB 2021, to be held April 27–30, is the annual meeting of five scientific societies bringing together thousands of scientists and 25 guest societies in one interdisciplinary community.

Newswise: New Approach Helps Determine How Much Microbial Community Composition Is Driven by Selection and How Much by Chance
Released: 19-Apr-2021 11:45 AM EDT
New Approach Helps Determine How Much Microbial Community Composition Is Driven by Selection and How Much by Chance
Department of Energy, Office of Science

Quantifying the relative importance of natural selection, migration, and random shifts to a species is a major challenge in ecology research, especially for microbes. This study develops an approach named iCAMP that is based on the concept that different processes can govern different groups of species in a diverse community. Applied to grassland microbial communities, iCAMP revealed that environmental changes altered the relative importance of the ecological processes.

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Released: 15-Apr-2021 2:45 PM EDT
Study of Marten Genomes Suggests Coastal Safe Havens Aided Peopling of Americas
University of Kansas

How did the first humans migrate to populate North America? It's one of the great scientific puzzles of our day, especially because forbidding glaciers covered most of Canada, Alaska and Pacific Northwest during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM).

Released: 13-Apr-2021 5:05 PM EDT
The Chillest Ape: How Humans Evolved A Super-High Cooling Capacity
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Humans have a uniquely high density of sweat glands embedded in their skin—10 times the density of chimpanzees and macaques. Now, researchers at Penn Medicine have discovered how this distinctive, hyper-cooling trait evolved in the human genome.

Newswise: Study cements age and location of hotly debated skull from early human Homo erectus
Released: 13-Apr-2021 1:05 PM EDT
Study cements age and location of hotly debated skull from early human Homo erectus
American Museum of Natural History

Scientists also find two new, nearly 2-million-year-old specimens--likely the earliest pieces of the H. erectus skeleton yet discovered

Released: 7-Apr-2021 3:25 PM EDT
Genomes of the earliest Europeans
Max Planck Society (Max-Planck-Gesellschaft)

An international research team has sequenced the genomes of the oldest securely dated modern humans in Europe who lived around 45,000 years ago in Bacho Kiro Cave, Bulgaria.

Released: 6-Apr-2021 9:50 AM EDT
Moffitt Researchers Demonstrate Tissue Architecture Regulates Tumor Evolution Location Matters
Moffitt Cancer Center

In a new article published in Nature Communications, Moffitt Cancer Center researchers show how the location of the tumor and spatial constraints put on it by the surrounding tissue architecture impact genetic heterogeneity of tumors.

Released: 31-Mar-2021 12:55 PM EDT
Study: Female Monkeys Use Males as “Hired Guns” for Defense Against Predators
Wildlife Conservation Society

Researchers with the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Congo Program and the Nouabalé-Ndoki Foundation found that female putty-nosed monkeys (Cercopithecus nictitans) use males as “hired guns” to defend from predators such as leopards.

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Released: 25-Mar-2021 12:50 PM EDT
Study introduces 13 new, threatened species of sparkly moths from Hawaii
Florida Museum of Natural History

Akito Kawahara was snapping pictures at a scenic outlook in Hawaii when he spotted the moth equivalent of a dodo.

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Released: 25-Mar-2021 11:35 AM EDT
Does selfishness evolve? Ask a cannibal
Rice University

One of nature's most prolific cannibals could be hiding in your pantry, and biologists have used it to show how social structure affects the evolution of selfish behavior.

Newswise: Where do the gender differences in the human pelvis come from?
Released: 25-Mar-2021 11:00 AM EDT
Where do the gender differences in the human pelvis come from?
University of Vienna

The pelvis is the part of the human skeleton with the largest differences between females and males. The female birth canal is on average more spacious and exhibits shape features that enable birth of a large baby with a big brain. In forensics, these pelvic differences are used for sex identification of human skeletons. Thus far it was unclear when these pelvic differences first appeared in human evolution. Barbara Fischer from the University of Vienna and her coauthors have published a study in Nature Ecology & Evolution presenting new insights into the evolutionary origin of pelvic sex differences.

Newswise: Snappy evolution was behind the success of ancient crocodiles
22-Mar-2021 11:00 AM EDT
Snappy evolution was behind the success of ancient crocodiles
University of Bristol

New research led by the University of Bristol has revealed that crocodiles once flourished on land and in the oceans as a result of fast evolution.

Newswise: Penguin hemoglobin evolved to meet oxygen demands of diving
Released: 23-Mar-2021 4:05 PM EDT
Penguin hemoglobin evolved to meet oxygen demands of diving
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Experiments on ancient proteins reveal evolution of better oxygen capture, release

Newswise: New evidence in search for the mysterious Denisovans
Released: 23-Mar-2021 8:05 AM EDT
New evidence in search for the mysterious Denisovans
University of Adelaide

An international group of researchers led by the University of Adelaide has conducted a comprehensive genetic analysis and found no evidence of interbreeding between modern humans and the ancient humans known from fossil records in Island Southeast Asia. They did find further DNA evidence of our mysterious ancient cousins, the Denisovans, which could mean there are major discoveries to come in the region.

Released: 22-Mar-2021 1:35 PM EDT
Spider study explores how body type affects running
Cornell University

Cornell researchers discovered that male huntsman spiders, who travel long distances to find mates, have small bodies relative to their long legs, while the females, who secure and defend their nests and don’t stray far from it, have bigger abdomens compared to their leg lengths.


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