Fossil With Preserved Tail Feathers and Skin Reveals Dinosaur Plumage Patterns

An undergraduate student from the University of Alberta has uncovered the fossilized remains of an Ornithomimus dinosaur with preserved tail feathers and soft tissue. The remarkable specimen is offering important insights into the plumage patterns of these ancient creatures, while tightening the linkages between… »11/02/15 3:34pm11/02/15 3:34pm

This Extinct Species is Changing What We Know About Early Ape Evolution

Meet Pliobates catalonia, an extinct species of ape that roamed the jungles of Catalonia some 11.5 million years ago. Because of this ancient creature’s many surprising physical characteristics, researchers are having to revise their conceptions of what the last common ancestor of all living apes—humans included—might… »10/29/15 2:40pm10/29/15 2:40pm

Crocs Keep an Eye on You While They Sleep

Sleeping with only half your brain sounds like a great way to become a zombie in no time, but for certain marine mammals and birds, it’s a way of life. A new study suggests that crocodiles, too, may be “unihemispheric” sleepers, a finding which makes humans and other full-brain snoozers look more and more like… »10/22/15 9:00pm10/22/15 9:00pm

Did Our Hands Evolve to Throw Punches? One Biologist Thinks So

The human hand is a marvelous evolutionary invention: it can tie knots, tap out blog posts, wield tools and wire circuit boards. But how did we get these hands, with their long, dextrous fingers and conveniently opposable thumbs? It’s likely that tool-grasping played a role, but according to one evolutionary… »10/22/15 12:42pm10/22/15 12:42pm

Why Species Can't Interbreed With Each Other, Except When They Can 

Most people learn that a species is a group of living things that can interbreed. If two organisms don’t normally mate, or have sterile offspring if they do, they’re from different species. Except that like so many other things you learned in school, the reality is somewhat more... complicated. »10/15/15 11:30am10/15/15 11:30am