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Evolution

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La Brea Tar Pits

STICKY SITUATION  At the La Brea Tar Pits in today’s Los Angeles, mastodons, dire wolves, saber-toothed cats and thousands of other creatures — prey and predators — were trapped and later excavated.

Epipedobates anthonyi

SMALL BUT DEADLY  The potent toxin epibatidine was first discovered in 1974, when it was isolated from the skin of the phantasmal poison frog, Epipedobates anthonyi (one shown).

Polypterus

PRIMITIVE FISH  Polypterus (shown) is a living member of a large group of vertebrates called ray-finned fishes. New evidence suggests that ray-finned fishes arose about 360 million years ago, after a major extinction event, then their diversity exploded.

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