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E.g., 01/16/2018
E.g., 01/16/2018
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Your search has returned 420 articles:
  • 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
  • News

    ‘Laid-back’ bonobos take a shine to belligerents

    Despite a reputation as mellow apes, bonobos have a thing for bad guys.

    Rather than latching on to individuals with a track record of helpfulness, adult bonobos favor obstructionists who keep others from getting what they want. The result may help explain what differentiates humans’ cooperative skills from those of other apes, biological anthropologists Christopher Krupenye of the...

    01/05/2018 - 15:18 Anthropology, Animals, Evolution
  • Year in Review

    2017 delivered amazing biology finds from organisms large and small

    2017 revealed some surprising biology of organisms large and small, from quick-dozing elephants to sex-changing lizards and carbon-dumping sea creatures.

    Switch it up

    Toasty temperatures trump genetics when it comes to the sex of a bearded dragon lizard. Now researchers have found how RNA editing helps turn overheated male embryos into females (SN Online: 6/14/17).

    Homegrown...
    12/27/2017 - 07:00 Animals, Plants, Evolution
  • The Science Life

    In marine mammals’ battle of the sexes, vaginal folds can make the difference

    The battle of the sexes, at least among certain ocean mammals, may come down to well-placed skin folds, suggests research by Patricia Brennan, an evolutionary biologist at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., and colleagues.

    In some species, enhanced male-female genital fit has evolved over time in ways that make mating easier. This is an example of what scientists call...

    12/15/2017 - 12:00 Animals, Evolution
  • Introducing

    This ancient marsupial lion had an early version of ‘bolt-cutter’ teeth

    A skull and other fossils from northeastern Australia belong to a new species in the extinct family of marsupial lions.

    This newly named species, Wakaleo schouteni, was a predator about the size of a border collie, says vertebrate paleontologist Anna Gillespie of the University of New South Wales in Sydney. At least 18 million years ago (and perhaps as early as 23 million years ago), it...

    12/11/2017 - 07:00 Animals, Paleontology, Evolution
  • Introducing

    This new dinosaur species was one odd duck

    It may have walked like a duck and swum like a penguin, but a flipper-limbed creature discovered in what is now Mongolia was no bird. The strange new species is the first known nonavian dinosaur that could both run and swim, researchers say.

    To compensate for a long swanlike neck, probably used for dipping underwater for fish, this dino’s center of mass shifted toward its hips, allowing...

    12/06/2017 - 13:29 Paleontology, Animals, Evolution
  • It's Alive

    Studying giant tortoise flips without tipping the animals over is a delicate business

    It would be a memorable sight. But it would also be so wrong to tip over Galápagos giant tortoises to see how shell shape affects their efforts to leg-pump, neck-stretch and rock right-side up again.

    Shell shape matters, says evolutionary biologist Ylenia Chiari, though not the way she expected. It’s taken years, plus special insights from a coauthor who more typically studies scorpions...

    11/30/2017 - 09:00 Animals, Biophysics, Evolution
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers debate ethics of resurrecting extinct species

    Culture club

    The book Rise of the Necrofauna tackles the challenges of using gene-editing tools to bring woolly mammoths and other long-gone species back from the dead. These “de-extincted” creatures would have to contend with a radically changed world that includes new habitats and diseases, Tina Hesman Saey wrote in her review “Resurrecting extinct species raises ethical questions” (SN:...

    11/29/2017 - 15:36 Evolution, Science & Society
  • News

    These spiders may have the world’s fastest body clocks

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — If it takes you a while to recover from a few lost hours of sleep, be grateful you aren’t an orb weaver. 

    Three orb-weaving spiders — Allocyclosa bifurca, Cyclosa turbinata and Gasteracantha cancriformis — may have the shortest natural circadian rhythms discovered in an animal thus far, researchers reported November 12 at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting...

    11/14/2017 - 16:00 Animals, Evolution, Development