Biologists zero in on role of plasticity in evolution
For more than a century, scientists have suggested that the best way to settle the debate about how phenotypic plasticity—the way an organism changes in response to environment—may be connected to evolution ...
Research shows re-evolution of lost teeth in frogs after more than 200 million years
(PhysOrg.com) -- A new study by a Stony Brook University professor shows that structures that have been evolutionarily lost for hundreds of millions of years can be regained.
The quick and the dead among tropical reptiles: Study suggests some faster lizards can survive climate change
Some tropical reptiles may be able to adapt quickly to climate change rather than go extinct as widely expected, a Dartmouth-led study finds.
Evolution of marine crocodilians constrained by ocean temperatures
The ancestors of today's crocodiles colonised the seas during warm phases and became extinct during cold phases, according to a new Anglo-French study which establishes a link between marine crocodilian diversity ...
Lizard fossil provides missing link in debate over snake origins
(PhysOrg.com) -- Until a recent discovery, theories about the origins and evolutionary relationships of snakes barely had a leg to stand on.
New paper suggests High Tibet was cradle of evolution for cold-adapted mammals
For the last 2.5 million years, our planet has experienced cold and warm, millennia-long cycles that collectively have become known as the Ice Age. During cold periods, continental-scale ice sheets blanketed ...
Darwin's theory of gradual evolution not supported by geological history, scientist concludes
Charles Darwin's theory of gradual evolution is not supported by geological history, New York University Geologist Michael Rampino concludes in an essay in the journal Historical Biology. In fact, Rampino notes that a more ...
Researchers solve biological mystery and boost artificial intelligence
By simulating 25,000 generations of evolution within computers, Cornell University engineering and robotics researchers have discovered why biological networks tend to be organized as modules – a finding that will lead ...
Are flexible parents adaptable parents?
(Phys.org) —The flexibility of parental behaviours to respond to changes in behaviour of their offspring may actually constrain the ability of parents to adapt to changes in their wider environment.
Birds evolve 'signature' patterns to distinguish cuckoo eggs from their own
For some birds, recognising their own eggs can be a matter of life or death. In a new study, scientists have shown that many birds affected by the parasitic Common Cuckoo - which lays its lethal offspring ...
Researchers map the epic evolution of a 'ring species'
The Greenish Warbler, long considered an idealized example of a single species that diverged into two as it expanded its range, has a much more checkered family history than biologists previously realized.
Evolutionary explanation for why some lessons more easily learned than others
It's easy to guess why it doesn't take long to learn to avoid certain behaviors and embrace others. But how do we know what drives these predilections? A study led by Aimee Dunlap at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, ...
Slower evolving bacteria win in the end
In human evolution, changes in skin's barrier set Northern Europeans apart
The popular idea that Northern Europeans developed light skin to absorb more UV light so they could make more vitamin D – vital for healthy bones and immune function – is questioned by UC San Francisco ...