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E.g., 10/22/2017
E.g., 10/22/2017
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  • La Brea Tar Pits
  • Epipedobates anthonyi
  • Polypterus
Your search has returned 396 articles:
  • The Science Life

    Surgeon aims to diagnose deformities of extinct saber-toothed cats

    Robert Klapper has examined scores of damaged and diseased human knees, hips and shoulders. But a visit to the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum introduced the orthopedic surgeon to the suffering of an extinct cat — and a scientific mystery. In 2000, Klapper took a break from his patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles to visit the nearby tar pits, where myriad mammals and other...

    10/13/2017 - 09:00 Animals, Evolution
  • News

    The way poison frogs keep from poisoning themselves is complicated

    View the video

    For some poison dart frogs, gaining resistance to one of their own toxins came with a price.

    The genetic change that gives one group of frogs immunity to a particularly lethal toxin also disrupts a key chemical messenger in the brain. But the frogs have managed to sidestep the potentially damaging side effect through other genetic tweaks, researchers report in the...

    09/22/2017 - 11:56 Toxicology, Evolution, Animals
  • Rethink

    3-D scans of fossils suggest new fish family tree

    When it comes to some oddball fish, looks can be deceiving.

    Polypterus, today found only in Africa, and its close kin have generally been considered some of the most primitive ray-finned fishes alive, thanks in part to skeletal features that resemble those on some ancient fish. Now a new analysis of fish fossils of an early polypterid relative called Fukangichthys unearthed in China...

    09/18/2017 - 14:17 Animals, Evolution, Paleontology
  • News

    Woolly rhinos may have grown strange extra ribs before going extinct

    As time ran out for the woolly rhino, strange things happened. Before going extinct, some of the beasts faced an unusually high risk of growing bizarre ribs in their neck, a new study suggests. Those misplaced ribs might have signaled the animals’ impending demise.

    Scientists examined neck bones from 32 woolly rhinos and found indented spots on five of them where ribs had once attached...

    09/07/2017 - 11:00 Paleontology, Evolution, Physiology
  • News

    Bones reveal what it was like to grow up dodo

    Dumb extinction jokes aside, dodos’ life history is largely unknown.

    Now the first closeup look inside the long-gone birds’ bones is giving a glimpse into their lives, an international research team reports August 24 in Scientific Reports. Until now, almost nothing has been known about the basic biology of dodos, such as when they mated or how quickly they grew.

    Based on 22 bones...

    08/29/2017 - 07:00 Animals, Physiology, Evolution
  • News

    How horses lost their toes

    Horses can leap over high hurdles, gallop at speeds of up to 70 kilometers per hour and haul around up to nearly 1,000 kilograms of body weight — and all with just one big toe on each foot. Now, a new study published August 23 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B helps explain why: Streamlined digits improved horses’ strength and speed.

    Along with zebras and donkeys, horses are among...

    08/28/2017 - 09:00 Evolution, Animals
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘Darwin’s Backyard’ chronicles naturalist’s homespun experiments

    Darwin’s Backyard James T. CostaW.W. Norton & Co., $27.95

    The story of how Charles Darwin’s trip around the world on the HMS Beagle inspired his ideas about evolution is well-known. Less familiar, however, may be the decades of detailed research that he conducted after that 1830s voyage. As biologist James Costa chronicles in Darwin’s Backyard, many of those studies took place at...

    08/24/2017 - 10:00 Evolution, History of Science
  • News

    Polluted water: It’s where sea snakes wear black

    Maybe it’s more than reptile fashion. The high percentage of citified sea snakes wearing black might be a sign that pollution is an evolutionary force.

    Off the coasts of Australia and New Caledonia, some turtle-headed sea snakes (Emydocephalus annulatus) sport pale bands on their dark skins. Others go all black. In 15 places surveyed, the all-black form was more likely to predominate in...

    08/14/2017 - 09:00 Evolution, Animals
  • News in Brief

    A new portrait of the world’s first flower is unveiled

    Our view of the earliest flowers just bloomed. A new reconstruction, the most detailed to date, suggests the flowers were bisexual, with more than five female reproductive organs, or carpels, and more than 10 male reproductive organs, or stamen. Petallike structures, grouped in sets of three, surrounded the sex organs, researchers report August 1 in Nature Communications.

    Flowering...

    08/01/2017 - 12:44 Plants, Evolution
  • News

    Tardigrades aren’t champion gene swappers after all

    A peek at tardigrades' genetic diaries may dispel a rumor about an amazing feat the tiny creatures were supposed to perform: borrowing large numbers of genes from other organisms.

    Tardigrades — also known as water bears and moss piglets — hardly ever borrow DNA from other creatures, researchers report July 27 in PLOS Biology.

    New analyses of DNA from two species of water bear,...

    07/27/2017 - 14:06 Genetics, Animals, Evolution