Male kangaroos and wallabies, like a lot of seemingly quiet grazing animals, get into knock-down drag-out fights over females. They obviously don’t have antlers or horns to spar with, but they’re perfectly willing to grapple rivals with their forelimbs and kick the crap out of each other with their big hind feet. »
By pitting various strains of bacteria against one another, researchers from Vanderbilt University have stumbled upon a novel way of discovering active chemicals that can be used to produce powerful new drugs. »
The discovery of Pappochelys, a Triassic-era reptile with a set of emerging turtle-like features, is helping scientists fill in an important evolutionary gap. »
As the world waits for a fifth Indiana Jones film, there may be a new adventurer on his tail: Charles Darwin. »
In 1922, papers around the world trumpeted the discovery of the oldest human fossil ever yet discovered — “Nebraska Man.” If you haven’t heard about it, it’s because you don’t hang out on creationist websites. »
Nothing looked exactly like you 555 million years ago, but that’s when life emerged that looked like you in one crucial respect. What’s the most basic thing that you share with some creatures and not others? Brains? Lungs? Red blood cells? Nope. It’s that you’re bilateral. You have the ability to be cut into two… »
Your schoolteachers probably told you most species wouldn’t (or maybe couldn’t) successfully interbreed with one another. If some did, their hybrid offspring, like mules, couldn’t have babies of their own. That explanation was a bit oversimplified. Hybridization happens, and it may be one way new species arise. »
This season, Orphan Black introduced a line of genetically male clones to its tale, and with them came a scary new twist in the Orphan Black biology. How scientifically realistic is this weird new development? Well, something like it does happen in the real world — but only with fruit flies, not humans. »
There’s a new branch on the human family tree. Anthropologists say they’ve found a new human ancestor, who lived 3.5 million years ago, right beside Australopithecus afarensis on the plains of what is now Ethiopia. »
Sexual selection doesn’t necessarily just shape sexual anatomy – it can have as profound an effect on the rest of an animal’s body as natural selection does. In both cases, the end result is more babies for animals that look or act a particular way. »
Roughly 3.3 billion years ago, Earth’s early life forms were plunged into an unimaginable hell, when a series of massive asteroids smashed into the young planet, vaporizing the oceans and scorching the skies. »
Scientists have shown that body-flinging escape jumps by trap-jaw ants are more than just a neat insectoid party trick.
Here’s a great Charles Darwin story you may not have heard before: In 1862, the famed naturalist foretold the discovery of an unusual animal, based on his observations of a species of orchid endemic to Madagascar. The creature was ultimately discovered in 1903—some 20 years after Darwin’s death. »
The Y chromosome, a chunk of genetic code that is unique to male mammals, isn’t just physically smaller than the X. It also contains far fewer genes. The X has more than 1000 genes, while the Y has fewer than 200 —and most of them don’t even work. Why do men have this odd, stunted chromosome in their genomes? »
This nerve can stretch to twice its resting length. Did you just squirm? If you did, you probably know that the nerves of vertebrates are notoriously inelastic things, and that stretching them even a little bit can result in painful injury. But the nerve in this image is special. In fact, it’s evolved to stretch this… »
Most of the time, the male Superb Bird of Paradise is a fairly nondescript black bird. But when it tries to attract a mate, it flips its feathers around to create a fluorescent kabuki mask that you’ll never forget. In this video, ornithologist Ed Scholes explains how the bird creates the illusion.
Meet Chilesaurus diegosuarezi, a newly described dinosaur discovered by a seven-year-old boy in Chile. The theropod was related to famous meat-eaters like T. rex, but researchers think it was a vegetarian. Stranger still: It possessed a mixture of anatomical features unlike anything researchers have seen before.
Paleontologists have painted a grim picture of the short and brutal life endured by a Daspletosaurus, a member of the tyrannosaur family. Damage inflicted to this specimen's skull affirms the suggestion that that these fearsome carnivores engaged in inter-species combat — and even cannibalism. »