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
Jan. 22, 2021 ~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

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

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

Vampire finches: how little birds in the Galápagos evolved to drink blood

Finches have evolved to feed off blood from red-footed and Nazca boobies – and we've seen it first-hand.

Jaime Chaves, Assistant Professor, Ecology and Evolution, San Francisco State University • conversation
Jan. 15, 2021 ~7 min

evolution birds natural-selection mutualism darwins-finches parasitism galapagos

What you need to know about the new COVID-19 variants

A biologist who studies the evolution of diseases explains what's different about the two new virus strains that have been found recently, and what that means for vaccine effectiveness.

David Kennedy, Assistant Professor of Biology, Penn State • conversation
Jan. 15, 2021 ~7 min

evolution covid-19 coronavirus vaccines mutation

Vampire finches: how little birds in the Galápagos got a taste for big bird blood

Finches have evolved to feed off blood from red-footed and Nazca boobies – and we've seen it first-hand.

Jaime Chaves, Assistant Professor, Ecology and Evolution, San Francisco State University • conversation
Jan. 15, 2021 ~7 min

evolution birds natural-selection mutualism darwins-finches parasitism galapagos

Dire wolves went extinct 13,000 years ago but thanks to new genetic analysis their true story can now be told

Our research shows dire wolves lived in the tropics not the Arctic, and were not especially close relatives of the grey wolf.

Laurent Frantz, Professor of Palaeogenomics, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich • conversation
Jan. 13, 2021 ~6 min

evolution megafaunal-extinction wolves evolutionary-genetics extinct-species

Crocodiles today look the same as they did 200 million years ago – our study explains why

New research shows crocodiles have landed upon an equilibrium state of evolution.

Max Stockdale, Teaching Associate, Vertebrate Macroevolution and Palaeoecology, University of Bristol • conversation
Jan. 7, 2021 ~6 min

evolution dinosaurs fossils animals crocodiles

A tropical fish evolved to endure rising temperatures – but it may not be fast enough to survive climate change

Species can evolve to tolerate higher temperatures – but there's a ceiling beyond which adaptation isn't possible.

Rachael Morgan, Postdoctoral Research Associate in Ecophysiology, University of Glasgow • conversation
Dec. 15, 2020 ~5 min

evolution climate-change global-warming zebrafish tropical-fish climate-change-adaptation heatwave rising-temperatures

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