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Your search has returned 478 articles:
  • It's Alive

    Parenting chores cut into how much these bird dads fool around

    The extreme dads of the bird world do all the work raising chicks while females fight intruders. The result: Male black coucals don’t sleep around as much when busy parenting.

    On occasion, a male black coucal (Centropus grillii) slips over to another male’s nest to sire a chick. The demands of incubating eggs, however, reduce a male’s excursions about 17 percent, on average, compared...

    04/17/2019 - 08:00 Animals, Evolution
  • News in Brief

    Peruvian fossils yield a four-legged otterlike whale with hooves

    An ancient four-legged whale walked across land on hooved toes and swam in the sea like an otter.

    The newly discovered species turned up in 2011 in a cache of fossilized bones in Playa Media Luna, a dry coastal area of Peru. Jawbones and teeth pegged it as an ancient cetacean, a member of the whale family. And more bones followed.

    “We were definitely surprised to find this type of...

    04/05/2019 - 15:22 Paleontology, Evolution
  • News

    How emus and ostriches lost the ability to fly

    Evolutionary tweaks to DNA that bosses genes around may have grounded some birds. 

    New genetic analyses show that mutations in regulatory DNA caused ratite birds to lose the ability to fly up to five separate times over their evolution, researchers report in the April 5 Science. Ratites include emus, ostriches, kiwis, rheas, cassowaries, tinamous and extinct moa and elephant birds. Only...

    04/04/2019 - 14:05 Evolution, Genetics, Molecular Evolution
  • Feature

    Saber-toothed cats were fierce and family-oriented

    The adolescent saber-toothed cat on a summertime hunt realized too late that she had made a terrible miscalculation. 

    Already the size of a modern-day tiger, with huge canine teeth, she had crept across grassy terrain to ambush a giant ground sloth bellowing in distress. Ready to pounce, the cat’s front paw sank into sticky ground. Pressing down with her other three paws to free herself...

    03/24/2019 - 06:00 Paleontology, Animals, Evolution
  • Introducing

    Meet India’s starry dwarf frog — a species with no close relatives

    A tiny new frog species discovered in tropical forests of southwest India has been one of a kind for millions of years.

    Palaniswamy Vijayakumar and his colleagues first spotted the new species one night in 2010 while surveying frogs and reptiles roughly 1,300 meters up in India’s Western Ghats mountain range. The frog hardly stood out — its brown back, orange belly and starlike spots...

    03/18/2019 - 10:00 Animals, Evolution
  • News

    The first male bees spotted babysitting are mostly stepdads

    Scientists have discovered the first case of male bees babysitting, and it turns out that these males often aren’t biological bee dads but hopeful stepdads of the youngsters. 

    Females of a small bluish-black Mediterranean bee (Ceratina nigrolabiata) dig out the pith of plant stems to make a nest, where a mom lays her eggs. Unlike honeybees, these are solitary bees with no colony of...

    03/11/2019 - 15:01 Animals, Evolution
  • News

    Human encroachment threatens chimpanzee culture

    From deep inside chimpanzee territory, the fieldworkers heard loud bangs and shouts. Hidden video cameras later revealed what the chimps in the Boé region of Guinea-Bissau were up to. Males were throwing rocks at trees and yelling.  

    Researchers don’t fully understand why the apes engage in this rare behavior, known as accumulative stone throwing. And scientists may not have much time to...

    03/07/2019 - 14:44 Conservation, Evolution, Anthropology
  • News

    This parasitic cuckoo bird shows cheaters don’t always get ahead

    Cheating pays, sort of. But for a glossy blue-black bird with a bright yellow eye, cheating doesn’t outdo regular honest parenting.

    The greater ani, a type of cuckoo found from Panama to the Amazon Basin, usually starts out as a dutiful parent. Two or three male-female pairs typically build and fill a communal nest “like a big basket of eggs,” says behavioral ecologist Christina Riehl of...

    02/27/2019 - 15:22 Animals, Evolution
  • News

    A deer-sized T. rex ancestor shows how fast tyrannosaurs became giants

    A new dinosaur shows that even Tyrannosaurus rex had humble beginnings.

    Dubbed Moros intrepidus, or “the harbinger of doom,” the new species is one of the smallest tyrannosaurs yet discovered from the Cretaceous Period. Analyses of the animal’s fossilized leg show that the creature would have stood only 1.2 meters at the hip, and weighed an estimated 78 kilograms — about the size of a...

    02/21/2019 - 09:00 Paleontology, Animals, Evolution
  • News

    Evolutionarily, grandmas are good for grandkids — up to a point

    Grandmothers are great — generally speaking. But evolutionarily speaking, it’s puzzling why women past their reproductive years live so long.

    Grandma’s age and how close she lives to her grandchildren can affect those children’s survival, suggest two new studies published February 7 in Current Biology.  One found that, among Finnish families in the 1700s–1800s, the survival rate of young...

    02/07/2019 - 11:00 Evolution, Science & Society, Anthropology