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Life & Evolution

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The 300-million-year-old meat-eating Eocasea martini (full animal in this illustration) may have made it possible for larger plant-eaters such as Cotylorhynchus (illustrated footprint shown) to exist.

HERS, NOT HIS  A small female Neotrogla bark louse extends an inflatable, penislike organ (less than a millimeter long, shown in orange), which fits into a vaginalike pocket inside the male of her species and collects his sperm.  

MMM…GUT SMELL  Adult fruit flies as well as larvae may use the whiff of excreted gut bacteria from youngsters of their kind to choose food sites where other fruit flies have flourished.

  • Animals

  • Plants

    
    Science Ticker

    Milkweed 'horns' may equal wins in reproduction battle

    Plants may be ripping a page right from bucks’ playbooks, developing hornlike weapons to improve their chances of reproduction.

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  • Microbes

    Say What?

    Osmotroph

    An organism that eats by osmosis, relying on nutrients diffusing into its body from a higher concentration in its environment.
  • Fungi

    It's Alive

    Fungal fight club

    Combat between fungal individuals is a bit like war between heaps of spaghetti.
  • Conservation

    
    Science Ticker

    Nonhuman city natives in decline but can be conserved

    Cities have been a downer on biodiversity but native populations still remain in urban areas, offering a starting point for possible conservation efforts.

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  • Evolution

  • Ecology

    Reviews & Previews

    Do your bit for bumblebees

    The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and its partners have launched the Bumble Bee Watch website to track sightings. When you see a bee bumbling around, snap a photo.
  • Paleontology

    
    Science Ticker

    Early meat-eater may have led to larger plant-eaters

    The newly identified Eocasea martini may have set the stage for later, much larger animals to become plant-eaters.

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    Science Ticker

    Fish gill fossils gnaw at ideas of jaw evolution

    Bony fishes, not modern sharks, may provide a better understanding of the earliest jawed animals and the evolution of the jaw itself.

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  • Biophysics

  • Other

    
    Deleted Scenes

    The Sopranos with feathers

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