Articles on Evolution

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Whether children imitate a bear or a pirate, their imagination could contribute to human advancement. Juhansonin

Imitation and imagination: child’s play is central to human success

We all know the scene: a child, wrapped in his or her own imaginary world, fights off aliens while flying through space on a rocket fashioned from an empty box. But could such flights of fancy be critical…
Our relationship with four-legged friends has brought many benefits. JDEN

Canine and able: how dogs made us human

What role have dogs played in human evolution? Woof … now there’s a question. Anthropologist Pat Shipman, in a recent issue of American Scientist, suggests dogs gave our human ancestors an advantage over…
A new study has shown better-than-chance recognition of gay people by participants. Official U.S. Navy Imagery

Our ‘gaydar’ seems to be working well … but why?

In the last few years, several laboratory studies have shown that, to some extent, we can tell whether someone is gay or straight, just by glimpsing their face. When asked to categorise male and female…
Female wasp spiders often eat their mate straight after intercourse. Wikimedia Commons

Sticky and picky: why male orb-web spiders like heavy virgins

When it comes to selecting a mate, females are traditionally thought of as the choosy sex; males, meanwhile, aren’t thought to be particularly picky. This makes sense for many species – the sex that invests…

Species with multiple colours evolve faster

Australian researchers have provided the first support for a 60-year-old evolution theory - that species with multiple colours…
Humans and spider monkeys are the only primate species without a penis bone. Chris Makarsky

The human penis is a puzzler, no bones about it

The penis. It comes in so many different shapes and sizes … and that’s just in humans. As you would imagine, different species have very different penises. The males in most mammal species, including cats…
We might expect dramatic sex ratio fluctuations when a whole population experiences extreme food shortages. Teeejayy

Little China girls: how history’s worst famine shifted the sex ratio

People often ask me whether natural selection continues to operate on modern humans in industrialised societies, even though technology has liberated so many from hunger and early death. My answer is always…

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