Category Archives: Evolution

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

Posted in Archaeology, Evolution | 1 Comment

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

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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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Oldest stone tools pre-date earliest humans

The world’s oldest stone tools have been discovered, scientists report. They were unearthed from the shores of Lake Turkana in Kenya, and date to 3.3 million years ago. They are 700,000 years older than any tools found before, even pre-dating … Continue reading

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Clues contained in ancient brain point to the origin of heads in early animals

A new study from the University of Cambridge has identified one of the oldest fossil brains ever discovered — more than 500 million years old — and used it to help determine how heads first evolved in early animals. The … Continue reading

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Missing link in the evolution of complex cells discovered

In a new study, published in Nature this week, a research team led from Uppsala University in Sweden presents the discovery of a new microbe that represents a missing link in the evolution of complex life. The study provides a … Continue reading

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A Bizarre New Flying Dinosaur, With Bat-Like Wings And Feathers

When it comes to big fossil finds, China is full of surprises. The latest dinosaur discovery, announced today in Nature, is a bizarre chicken-sized animal with a delightfully short scientific name, Yi qi, Mandarin for “strange wing” (pronounced “yee chee”). … Continue reading

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New mass extinction event identified by geologists

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Over the past 450 million years, life on Earth has been devastated by five mass extinction events that are widely recognised by geologists. Now, an international team of researchers proposes adding a sixth mass extinction to the list. The team … Continue reading

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The overlooked third man

The horticulturist who came up with the concept of ‘evolution by natural selection’ 27 years before Charles Darwin did should be more widely acknowledged for his contribution, states a new paper by a King’s College London geneticist. The paper, published … Continue reading

Posted in Evolution, History | 3 Comments

Giant sea lizards in the age of dinosaurs

Thanks to recently identified specimens at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, paleontologists now believe that mighty mosasaurs — which could grow to 50 feet long — gave birth to their young in the open ocean, not on or … Continue reading

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