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E.g., 02/19/2018
E.g., 02/19/2018
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  • Matabele ant
  • fossil footprints
  • hummingbird
Your search has returned 428 articles:
  • News

    Ants practice combat triage and nurse their injured

    No wounded left behind — not quite. Ants that have evolved battlefield medevac carry only the moderately wounded home to the nest. There, those lucky injured fighters get fast and effective wound care.

    Insect colonies seething with workers may seem unlikely to stage elaborate rescues of individual fighters. Yet for Matabele ants (Megaponera analis) in sub-Saharan Africa — with a mere 1,...

    02/16/2018 - 14:14 Animals, Evolution, Ecology
  • News

    Fossil footprints may put lizards on two feet 110 million years ago

    Fossilized footprints from an iguana-like reptile provide what could be the earliest evidence of a lizard running on two legs.

    The 29 exceptionally well-preserved lizard tracks, found in a slab of rock from an abandoned quarry in Hadong County, South Korea, include back feet with curved digits and front feet with a slightly longer third digit. The back footprints outnumber the front ones...

    02/15/2018 - 13:19 Paleontology, Animals, Evolution
  • News

    Trove of hummingbird flight data reveals secrets of nimble flying

    View the video

    Lab-grade flight tracking has gone wild, creating a broad new way of studying some of the flashiest of natural acrobats, wild hummingbirds.

    One of the findings: Bigger hummingbird species don’t seem handicapped by their size when it comes to agility. A battleship may not be as maneuverable as a kayak, but in a study of 25 species, larger hummingbirds outdid smaller...

    02/08/2018 - 18:37 Animals, Biophysics, Evolution
  • News

    The wiring for walking developed long before fish left the sea

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    These fins were made for walking, and that’s just what these fish do — thanks to wiring that evolved long before vertebrates set foot on land.

    Little skates use two footlike fins on their undersides to move along the ocean floor. With an alternating left-right stride powered by muscles flexing and extending, the movement of these fish looks a lot like that of many...

    02/08/2018 - 17:40 Neuroscience, Evolution
  • Science Visualized

    This ancient creature looks like a spider with a tail

    What looks like a spider, but with a segmented rear plus a long spike of a tail, has turned up in amber that’s about 100 million years old.

    Roughly the size of a peppercorn (not including the tail, which stretches several times the body length), this newly described extinct species lived in forests in what is now Myanmar during the dinosaur-rich Cretaceous Period.

    Spiders as their...

    02/06/2018 - 15:35 Paleontology, Animals, Evolution
  • News in Brief

    A killer whale gives a raspberry and says ‘hello’

    Ready for sketch comedy she’s not. But a 14-year-old killer whale named Wikie has shown promise in mimicking strange sounds, such as a human “hello” — plus some rude noises.

    Scientists recorded Wikie at her home in Marineland Aquarium in Antibes, France, imitating another killer whale’s loud “raspberry” sounds, as well as a trumpeting elephant and humans saying such words as “one, two,...

    01/30/2018 - 19:19 Animals, Evolution
  • News

    Slower speed, tricky turns give prey a chance against cheetahs and lions

    First, a note to any impala suddenly rushed by a cheetah: Do not — repeat, do not — just zoom straight off as fast as four hooves can carry you.

    The best escape move, according to analysis of the most detailed chase data yet from big cat predators, is some fluky turn, even though turning requires a slower stride. Swerve far enough, and the cheetah will be racing too fast to make the same...

    01/29/2018 - 10:00 Animals, Biophysics, Evolution
  • News

    Life may have been possible in Earth’s earliest, most hellish eon

    Maybe Earth’s early years weren’t so hellish after all.

    Asteroid strikes repeatedly bombarded the planet during its first eon, but the heat released by those hits wasn’t as sterilizing as once thought, new research suggests. Simulations indicate that after the first few hundred million years of bombardment, the heat from the impacts had dissipated enough that 10 to 75 percent of the top...

    01/26/2018 - 07:00 Earth, Evolution
  • News

    Tiny scales in ancient lagoon may be the first fossil evidence of the moth-butterfly line

    Newly described little scaly bits could push back the fossil record of the moth-and-butterfly branch on the tree of life by some 70 million years. That raises the question of whether the drinking-straw mouthparts evolved long before the flower nectar many drink today.

    The microscopic ridged scales date from roughly 200 million years ago, around the time of one of Earth’s less famous mass...

    01/15/2018 - 07:00 Paleontology, Evolution, Animals
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers wrangle with definition of ‘species’

    Species shmecies

    In “Defining ‘species’ is a fuzzy art” (SN: 11/11/17, p. 22), Susan Milius asked scientists to define “species.” Schoolbooks may define the concept as a group of organisms that create fertile offspring when mating with each other but not when mating with outsiders. But for researchers specializing in the topic, a single definition is hard to come by.

    “It seems to me...

    01/10/2018 - 12:37 Evolution, Technology, Astronomy