Which came first the head or the brain?

(Phys.org) —A fundamental question in the evolution of animal body plans, is where did the head come from? In animals with a clear axis of right-left symmetry, the bilaterians, the head is where the brain is, at the anterior ...

Understanding reef systems at the genetic level

(Phys.org)—Coral reefs are the most diverse marine ecosystems, biodiversity hotspots now under anthropogenic threat from climate change, ocean acidification and pollution. Efforts are underway to protect and expand shrinking ...

Ancient critter could be the granddaddy of shellfish

A weird marine creature that lived 500 million years ago at a time of explosive growth in Earth's biodiversity could be a forerunner of worms and molluscs, a study published on Thursday said.

Gene decides whether coral relative will fuse or fight

When coral colonies meet one another on the reef, they have two options: merge into a single colony or reject each other and aggressively compete for space. Now, a report in the March 19th Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, ...

Researchers find unusually elastic protein

Scientists at Heidelberg University have discovered an unusually elastic protein in one of the most ancient groups of animals, the over 600-million-year-old cnidarians. The protein is a part of the "weapons system" that the ...