The US National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) is a scientific research center located in Durham, North Carolina. Known by its acronym NESCent (which rhymes with 'crescent'), the center's goal is to promote collaborative, cross-disciplinary research in evolutionary biology.
Small but speedy: Short plants live in the evolutionary fast lane
Biologists have known for a long time that some creatures evolve more quickly than others. Exactly why isn't well understood, particularly for plants. But it may be that height plays a role, says Robert Lanfear of Australian ...
Bird fossil sheds light on how swift and hummingbird flight came to be
A tiny bird fossil discovered in Wyoming offers clues to the precursors of swift and hummingbird wings. The fossil is unusual in having exceptionally well-preserved feathers, which allowed the researchers ...
Study proposes alternative way to explain life's complexity
Evolution skeptics argue that some biological structures, like the brain or the eye, are simply too complex for natural selection to explain. Biologists have proposed various ways that so-called 'irreducibly complex' structures ...
Fossil finds shed light on penguins' evolutionary past
Africa isn't the kind of place you might expect to find penguins. But one species lives along Africa's southern coast today, and newly found fossils confirm that as many as four penguin species coexisted ...
The safer sex? For a little-known primate, a new understanding of why females outlive males
Researchers studying aging in an endangered lemur known as the Milne-Edwards' sifaka report that in old age, females are the safer sex.
Peacock love songs lure eavesdropping females from afar
Deep in the scrublands of Keoladeo National Park in northwest India, one thing was hard for biologist Jessica Yorzinski to ignore: It wasn't the heat. It wasn't the jackals. It was the squawks of peacocks ...
Model sheds light on the chemistry that sparked the origin of life
The question of how life began on a molecular level has been a longstanding problem in science. However, recent mathematical research sheds light on a possible mechanism by which life may have gotten a foothold in the chemical ...
Fossil study helps pinpoint extinction risks for ocean animals
What makes some ocean animals more prone to extinction than others? A new study of marine fossils provides a clue.
New study examines how ocean energy impacts life in the deep sea
A new study of deep-sea species across the globe aims to understand how natural gradients in food and temperature in the dark, frigid waters of the deep sea affect the snails, clams, and other creatures that ...
Birds that live with varying weather sing more versatile songs: study
A new study of North American songbirds reveals that birds that live with fluctuating weather are more flexible singers.
Extinction risk factors for New Zealand birds today differ from those of the past
What makes some species more prone to extinction? A new study of nearly 300 species of New Zealand birds from pre-human times to the present reveals that the keys to survival today differ from those of the past.
Researchers aim to assemble the tree of life for all 2 million named species
A new initiative aims to build a grand tree of life that brings together everything scientists know about how all living things are related, from the tiniest bacteria to the tallest tree.
Not all altruism is alike, says new study
(Phys.org) -- Not all acts of altruism are alike, says a new study. From bees and wasps that die defending their nests, to elephants that cooperate to care for young, a new mathematical model pinpoints the environmental conditions ...