A team of evolutionary biologists has shown that Anolis lizards, or anoles, are able to breathe underwater with the aid of a bubble clinging to their snouts. Some anoles are stream specialists, and these semi-aquatic species frequently dive underwater to avoid predators, where they can remain submerged for as long as 18 minutes. The researchers termed the process 'rebreathing' after the scuba-diving technology.
The wild California condor population dropped to 22 before rescue and captive breeding allowed reintroduction into the wild. A new assembly of the complete genome of the bird reveals some inbreeding as a result, but overall high genomic diversity attesting to large populations of condors in the past, likely in the tens of thousands. Comparison to Andean condor and turkey vulture genomes reveals declines in their populations also, and lower genomic diversity than California condor.
The relevance of pet dog biobanking in molecular research and the initiative to make pioneering steps in this field. The Hungarian Canine Brain and Tissue Bank (CBTB) was established by the research team of the Senior Family Dog Project in 2017, following the examples of human tissue banks. In a recent paper, the team reports findings, which would not have been possible without the CBTB, and may augment further progress in dog aging and biomarker research.
The evolution of ankle and foot bones into different shapes and sizes helped mammals adapt and thrive after the extinction of the dinosaurs, a study suggests.
A new approach to genomic species delineation could impact policy and lend clarity to legislation for designating a species as endangered or at risk. Evolutionary biologists model the process of speciation, which follows population formation, improving on current species delineation methods.
Researchers report the discovery of several sets of fossilized tracks, likely from the brown bear-sized Coryphodon, that represent the earliest known evidence of mammals gathering near an ocean.
All modern life is cellular, but how life came to be cellular remains uncertain. New research shows that simple chemical compounds known as hydroxy acids, which were likely common on primitive Earth, spontaneously link together and form structures reminiscent of cells when dried from solution, as may have happened on primitive beaches. The resulting structures may have helped scaffold the emergence of biological cellularity, and offer scientists a new avenue for studying early proto-biological evolution.
Fossilised footprint tracks, recently discovered within the Hanna Formation in Wyoming, USA, which have been dated to 58 million years ago, may represent the earliest evidence of mammals gathering by the sea, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. Findings suggest that mammals may have first used marine habitats at least 9.4 million years earlier than previously thought, in the late Paleocene (66-56 million years ago), rather than the Eocene (56-33.9 million years ago).
A new whole genome sequence for the Yap hadal snailfish provides insights into how the unusual fish survives in some of the deepest parts of the ocean. Xinhua Chen of the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University and Qiong Shi of the BGI Academy of Marine Sciences published their analysis of the new genome May 13th in the journal PLOS Genetics.
Joslin Diabetes Center scientists have found dramatic differences between gut microbiomes from ancient North American peoples and modern microbiomes, offering new evidence on how these microbes may evolve with different diets.