Latest findings support the theory that teeth in the animal kingdom evolved from the jagged scales of ancient fish, the remnants of which can be seen today embedded in the skin of sharks and skate.
The largest study to date of body sizes over millions of years finds a “pulse and stasis” pattern to hominin evolution, with surges of growth in stature and bulk occurring at different times. At one stage, our ancestors got taller around a million years before body mass caught up.
New research on our internal trade-off when physical and mental performance are put in direct competition has found that cognition takes less of a hit, suggesting more energy is diverted to the brain than body muscle. Researchers say the findings support the ‘selfish brain’ theory of human evolution.
New study finds “messy” microscopic structures on petals of some flowers manipulate light to produce a blue colour effect that is easily seen by bee pollinators. Researchers say these petal grooves evolved independently multiple times across flowering plants, but produce the same result: a floral halo of blue-to-ultraviolet light.
New research uses innovative data modelling to predict which species acted as an intermediary between our ancestors and those of chimpanzees to carry HSV2 – the genital herpes virus – across the species barrier.
It lived well over 550 million years ago, is known only through fossils and has variously been described as looking a bit like a jellyfish, a worm, a fungus and lichen. But was the ‘mysterious’ Dickinsonia an animal, or was it something else?
Newly-described fossil shows how brittle stars evolved in response to pressure from predators, and how an ‘evolutionary hangover’ managed to escape them.
Researchers have found that the formation and breakup of supercontinents over hundreds of millions of years controls volcanic carbon emissions. The results, reported in the journal Science, could lead to a reinterpretation of how the carbon cycle has evolved over Earth’s history, and how this has impacted the evolution of Earth’s habitability.
Major changes in the chemical composition of the world’s oceans enabled the first large organisms – possibly some of the earliest animals – to exist and thrive more than half a billion years ago, marking the point when conditions on Earth changed and animals began to take over the world.