Category Archives: Evolution

New Evidence Shows Peppered Moths Changed Color in Sync With the Industrial Revolution

Want to learn more about natural selection? Just look for a black peppered moth—Biston betularia. During the early 19th century in Britain, the moths used to have salt-and-pepper coloring. But over the years black versions of the moth began to prevail. … Continue reading

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New insights on Late Pleistocene modern human diversity in Africa

Cover image Journal of Human Evolution

Although questions of modern human origins and dispersal are subject to intense research within and outside Africa, the processes of modern human diversification during the Late Pleistocene are most often discussed within the context of recent human genetic data. This … Continue reading

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​​Neanderthals built complex underground structures 176,000 years ago – and no one knows why

Turns out we know a whole lot less about Neanderthals than we thought, because our cave-painting, tool-wielding, fire-conquering cousins were sophisticated enough to build complex subterranean structures as far back as 176,500 years ago, according to new archaeological evidence. Deep … Continue reading

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Rare evolutionary event detected in the lab

DNA HardDrive

It took nearly a half trillion tries before researchers at The University of Texas at Austin witnessed a rare event and perhaps solved an evolutionary puzzle about how introns, non-coding sequences of DNA located within genes, multiply in a genome. … Continue reading

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Life forms ‘went large’ a billion years ago

Life was already organising itself into large communities of cells more than a billion years ago, according to evidence from China. The centimetre-scale life forms were preserved in mudstones from the Yanshan area in the country’s north and are dated … Continue reading

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Dead Clade Walking

Dead clade walking also known as “survival without recovery” refers to a clade (group) of organisms which survived a mass extinction but never recovered in numbers, becoming extinct a few million years after the mass extinction or failed to recover in … Continue reading

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The oldest human genome ever has been sequenced, and it could rewrite our history

Scientists have sequenced the oldest human DNA ever, extracted from 430,000-year-old samples of fossilised tooth and a thigh bones, found in Spain’s Sima de los Huesos, which translates to “pit of bones”. In doing so, the team from Germany has … Continue reading

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How Does New Genetic Information Evolve?

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At 440 million years old, this fungus is the earliest land-based life ever found

Researchers in the UK have announced the discovery of a 440-million-year-old fungus fossil that was likely one of the first organisms to ever dwell on land, and might have kick-started the process of rot, which transformed the landscape to support … Continue reading

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Neanderthals and humans interbred ‘100,000 years ago’

Neanderthals and modern humans were interbreeding much earlier than was previously thought, scientists say. Traces of human DNA found in a Neanderthal genome suggest that we started mixing with our now-extinct relatives 100,000 years ago. Previously it had been thought … Continue reading

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Life on Earth originated 300 million years earlier than we thought, new evidence suggests

Researchers have found evidence of ancient microorganisms that lived in what is now Western Australia at least 4.1 billion years ago. If confirmed, the discovery suggests that life originated on Earth 300 million years earlier than previously thought. This would … Continue reading

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Ancient DNA reveals ‘into Africa’ migration

An ancient African genome has been sequenced for the first time. Researchers extracted DNA from a 4,500-year-old skull that was discovered in the highlands of Ethiopia. A comparison with genetic material from today’s Africans reveals how our ancient ancestors mixed … Continue reading

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The Colour of Dinosaur Feathers

jurasic park

At this point in science we know for sure that dinosaurs had feathers. We aren’t sure which ones did or did not, we do not know how much of their body was covered, and we have no idea what colours … Continue reading

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Fishing for the first Americans

On 17 September, a catamaran will set off into the Pacific Ocean on a week-long cruise back to the Pleistocene. Laden with sonar instruments, the research vessel Shearwater will probe the ocean bottom to find places that were beaches and … Continue reading

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New human-like species discovered in South Africa 

Scientists have discovered a new human-like species in a burial chamber deep in a cave system in South Africa. The discovery of 15 partial skeletons is the largest single discovery of its type in Africa. The researchers claim that the … Continue reading

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DNA clues to our inner neanderthal

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Zhenyuanlong suni: biggest ever winged dinosaur is found in China

An ancient feathered creature dug up in north-eastern China is the largest winged dinosaur ever found, researchers say. The fossil of the prehistoric raptor is so well preserved that scientists have been able to reconstruct its impressive plumage, from the … Continue reading

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Scientists say we’re entering Earth’s sixth mass extinction

Biologists have used conservative new estimates to prove that vertebrate species on Earth are disappearing faster than at any time since the extinction of the dinosaurs, and humans are now at risk of being wiped out. “[The study] shows without … Continue reading

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Comparison of bonobo anatomy to humans offers evolutionary clues

A pair of anthropology researchers, one with the University of California, the other Modesto College has found what they believe are clues to human evolutionary development by conducting a long term study of bonobo anatomy. In their paper published in … Continue reading

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Scientists may have worked out how life evolved from building blocks on Earth

The conditions that led to the first organisms evolving from the Earth’s ‘primordial soup’ of chemicals around 3.6 billion years ago are pretty mysterious, but scientists have just found a major clue that could explain how life originated on our … Continue reading

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