From a piece that didn’t number the stories, this one was second: In July, scientists announced that they had uncovered the earliest evidence of terrestrial life on Earth. “This work represents the oldest and least ambiguous work that we have so far that life existed on land already 3.2 billion years ago,” Kurt Konhauser, a […]
One doesn’t mean to be unkind. But we hardly need “evolution” to know that giving a bully a task that builds self-esteem will distract him from bullying.
“Researchers were not certain where and how flowers came into existence because it seems that many flowers just popped up in the Cretaceous from nowhere,” explains lead author Qiang Fu” It now looks as though they just popped into the Jurassic from nowhere.
It certainly is “amazing,” as Professor Benton says, that a complex array of features appeared 250 million years ago, rather abruptly, just as life was recovering from the Permian extinction. Would anyone have predicted that? Talk about “fossil rabbits in the Cambrian.”
The 455 million-year-old trackways were not from the first creatures on land but rather “death dances” of arthropods overcome by volcanic ash, say researchers. The actual earliest trackways are from 420 million years ago, when life forms started moving on land all at once.
The recent find of a probable new kingdom of life in a routine dirt sample in Nova Scotia (an east coast province of Canada) raises an obvious question: How much more is there out there that is underfoot, so to speak, that does not fit our tidy categories? Just yesterday, we were looking at the […]
From ScienceDaily: Molecular and microstructural analysis of a Stenopterygius ichthyosaur from the Jurassic (180 million years ago) reveals that these animals were most likely warm-blooded, had insulating blubber and used their coloration as camouflage from predators. “Ichthyosaurs are interesting because they have many traits in common with dolphins, but are not at all closely related […]
Anyone familiar with beavers will know that the big busy rodents can transform roads into ponds. They are making a comeback in Alaska: Beavers may be infiltrating the region for the first time in recent history as climate change makes conditions more hospitable, says Ken Tape, an ecologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Or […]
No, they haven’t all come to their senses and seen that of course the frame of reality we live in is designed. Like Larry Krauss and Francisco Ayala, astronomer and science popularizer Tyson has been #MeToo’d: Dr. Katelyn N. Allers, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Bucknell University, told me that she was “felt […]
Does the interaction between individual animal and microbes form something greater the sum of each, considered separately? Vital functions like digestion and immunity were long assumed to be under the purview of individual organisms, as capabilities developed and were refined through evolution by natural selection — the differential survival and reproduction of individuals. But if […]
The beautifully-preserved fossil found in amber from 99 million years ago belongs to the large, diverse Pentepetalae clade: Together with contemporaneous flowers and fruits, the researchers say, Lijinganthus indicates that core eudicots flourished on Earth about 100 million years ago, although did not dominate vegetation until about 20 million years later, the mid-Cretaceous. “Various molecular […]
Sarah Otto, a University of British Columbia researcher, tells media about her research, Her paper is replete with examples from bird species slowly forgetting to migrate to mosquito breeds adapted specifically to underground subway tunnels. Backyard bird feeders are behind changes in the beak shape and strength of house finches. Different mammals are becoming nocturnal as […]
See also: Paleontologist Gunter Bechly live tonight on what the fossil record really tells us about common ancestry
A classic in devolution, actually. In Mozambique, it is estimated that 90% of the elephants have been slaughtered for ivory to finance a civil war that ended in 1992. But tuskless elephants seem more likely to survive: Hunting gave elephants that didn’t grow tusks a biological advantage in Gorongosa. Recent figures suggest that about a […]
Hemimastigotes: Like animals, plants, fungi and ameobas — but unlike bacteria — hemimastigotes have complex cells with mini-organs called organelles, making them part of the “domain” of organisms called eukaryotes rather than bacteria or archaea. About 10 species of hemimastigotes have been described over more than 100 years. But up until now, no one had […]