Tag Archives: evolution

New study asks how your favorite doggos came to be

Dogs: We love them. Like, a lot. In fact, humans have been hanging out with doggos for at least 15,000 years or so, and likely a lot longer. Over the course of that long, mutually beneficial friendship, we’ve done a lot of strange things to our four-legged companions, controlling their reproduction to coax them into breeds that suit our (sometimes absurd) needs.

Continue reading New study asks how your favorite doggos came to be

A 130,000-Year-Old Mastodon Threatens to Upend Human History

IN 1993, CONSTRUCTION workers building a new freeway in San Diego made a fantastic discovery. A backhoe operator scraped up a fossil, and scientists soon unearthed a full collection of bones, teeth, and tusks from a mastodon. It was a valuable find: hordes of fossils, impeccably preserved. The last of the mastodons—a slightly smaller cousin of the woolly mammoth—died out some 11,000 years ago.

Continue reading A 130,000-Year-Old Mastodon Threatens to Upend Human History

THESE BABOON SHRIEKS COULD PUSH BACK THE EVOLUTION OF SPEECH

We like to think that human speech is special. It defines our species and separates us from those animals that we’d rather think of as inferior. The trouble is that it’s difficult to know when and how human speech arose because “language expressed via speech leaves no fossils behind.”

Continue reading THESE BABOON SHRIEKS COULD PUSH BACK THE EVOLUTION OF SPEECH

This Mutated Fish Can Now Withstand Absurd Levels of Toxic Waste

Researchers have discovered that Atlantic killifish are now 8,000 times more resilient to high levels of toxic waste than other fish, allowing them to survive extreme levels of pollution that would normally be deadly. It sounds like an evolutionary success story, but examples like this are exceptionally rare in the animal kingdom.

Continue reading This Mutated Fish Can Now Withstand Absurd Levels of Toxic Waste

How Sexual Selection Is Like Advertising

Years ago, Danny Abrams heard about a strange phenomenon: Deer skeletons were being found beside trees in the forests of the Midwest. These male deer had apparently gotten their massive, unwieldy antlers caught in the branches, where they’d found themselves trapped. Unable to find food or flee predators, they quickly met their demise.

Continue reading How Sexual Selection Is Like Advertising

The Mysterious Machinery of Creatures That Glow in the Deep

DIVE DEEP ENOUGH under the surface of the ocean, and light reigns. Some 90 percent of the fish and crustaceans that dwell at depths of 100 to 1,000 meters are capable of making their own light. Flashlight fish hunt and communicate with a flashing Morse code sent by light pockets that pulse under their eyes. Tubeshoulder fish shoot luminous ink at their attackers. Hatchetfish make themselves appear invisible by generating light on their underbellies to mimic downwelling sunlight; predators prowling below look up to see only a continuous glow.

Continue reading The Mysterious Machinery of Creatures That Glow in the Deep