By tinkering with some of life's oldest components, astrobiologists hope to find clues about how life emerged. In a recent paper, a group led by Betül Kaçar at the University of Arizona report an unexpected discovery, hinting at an effect that prevents organisms from ever reaching evolutionary perfection.
The larynx is larger, more variable in size, and has undergone faster rates of evolution in primates than in carnivores, according to a study published August 11, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Daniel Bowling of Stanford University, W. Tecumseh Fitch of the University of Vienna, and colleagues.
New research by Dr Camilla Whittington and her team at the University of Sydney has found male seahorses transport nutrients to their developing babies during pregnancy. This discovery provides an opportunity for further comparative evolutionary research.
Social inequalities, specifically racism and classism, are impacting the biodiversity, evolutionary shifts and ecological health of plants and animals in our cities. That's the main finding of a review paper published Aug. 13 in Science led by the University of Washington, with co-authors at the University of California, Berkeley, and University of Michigan.
Researchers have shed fresh light on the evolution and function of the shapes we see in nature - using as a model the heart shaped fruits of the Capsella genus.
The internal structure of a 429-million-year-old fossilized trilobite eye is almost identical to that of modern bees, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. The findings suggest that the principles of vision in many insects and crustaceans today are at least half a billion years old.
Although overhunting led to the demise of some prehistoric megafauna after the last ice age, a study appearing August 13 in the journal Current Biology found that the extinction of the woolly rhinoceros may have been caused by climate change. By sequencing ancient DNA from 14 woolly rhinos, researchers found that their population remained stable and diverse until only a few thousand years before it disappeared from Siberia, when temperatures likely rose too high.
Vision is essential for the survival of most animal species and tears provide potentially life-saving protection for the eyes. A new first-of-its-kind study looks at the composition of bird and reptile tears and compares these findings to human tears. These results provide clues about tear evolution, as well as potential starting points for better eye treatments.
An Iowa State University scientists contributed to a global effort to assemble the genome of the tuatara, a rare reptile species native to New Zealand. The tuatara genome sheds light on the genomic structure of a huge range of species, including humans.
From 2007 to 2009, a devastating yellow fever virus outbreak nearly decimated brown and black and gold howler monkey populations at El Parque El Piñalito in northeastern Argentina. An international research team tested if howlers who survived the outbreak had any genetic variations that may have kept them alive. In brown howlers, they found two mutations on immune genes that resulted in amino acid changes in the part of the protein that detects the disease.