New light shed on Charles Darwin's 'abominable mystery'

Historical documents are uncovered that provide clues to a puzzle that haunted Charles Darwin.

today ~6 min

evolution fossils

Dinosaurs may have 'flashed' each other with their bottoms, newly discovered fossil shows

A reconstruction of a dinosaur's back passage reveals it may have been used for visual communication.

Diane A. Kelly, Senior Research Fellow, University of Massachusetts Amherst • conversation
yesterday ~6 min

evolution dinosaurs paleontology social-communication paleolithic reconstruction

Spitting cobras may have evolved unique venom to defend from ancient humans

A toxin unique to spitting cobras means their venom causes more pain than other snakes.

Wolfgang Wüster, Reader in Zoology, Bangor University • conversation
Jan. 21, 2021 ~7 min

evolution animals venomous-snakes

Stickiness is a weapon some plants use to fend off hungry insects

For some sand-dwelling plants, stickiness is a defense tactic that keeps predators at bay.

Eric LoPresti, Assistant Professor of Plant Biology, Ecology and Evolution, Oklahoma State University • conversation
Jan. 20, 2021 ~6 min

insects biology plants botany ants evolutionary-biology seeds convergent-evolution camouflage caterpillars

Natural wonder: Wing 'clap' solves mystery of butterfly flight

The cupped clap of a butterfly's wings may be the key to their flying abilities and their survival.

Jan. 20, 2021 ~4 min

evolution nature

New starfish-like fossil reveals evolution in action

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have discovered a fossil of the earliest starfish-like animal, which helps us understand the origins of the

Cambridge University News • cambridge
Jan. 20, 2021 ~5 min

evolution fossil palaeontology

Starfish: rare fossil helps answer the mystery of how they evolved arms

New study sheds light on how the starfish evolved.

Aaron W Hunter, Science Guide & Tutor, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge • conversation
Jan. 20, 2021 ~6 min

evolution fossils animals starfish

Wing imprints reveal dino-era praying mantis

Researchers have identified a new species of praying mantis after discovering imprints of its fossilized wings in present-day Quebec.

Katherine Gombay-McGill • futurity
Jan. 19, 2021 ~6 min

evolution insects fossils wings new-species science-and-technology

Parasites: what causes some species to evolve to exploit others

Even the most mutually-beneficial evolutionary relationship can turn sour.

Louise Gentle, Senior Lecturer in Wildlife Conservation, Nottingham Trent University • conversation
Jan. 19, 2021 ~7 min

evolution animal-behaviour parasites parasitism cleaner-fish

One termite lineage took over by switching diets

"Termites are mostly misunderstood," says entomologist Thomas Chouvenc. Tracing their evolution shows they do more than eat wood and destroy homes.

Lourdes Rodriguez-U. Florida • futurity
Jan. 15, 2021 ~7 min

evolution insects termites science-and-technology earth-and-environment