Displaying 1 - 20 of 22 articles

Professor Lee Berger from the University of the Witwatersrand holding the skull of Homo Naledi. EPA/Shiraaz Mohamed

Homo naledi may be two million years old (give or take)

The big question being asked is: where does Homo naledi fit in the evolutionary tree? Assessing the similarity or dissimilarity between fossil skulls has provided a possible clue to the answer.
The skull of Homo naledi is built like those of early Homo species but its brain was just more than half the size of the average ancestor from 2 million years ago. SUPPLIED

Homo naledi: determining the age of fossils is not an exact science

Despite claims about its age, puzzling combinations of features from Homo naledi gives it an uncanny resemblance to human beings.
What’s in a name? Plenty, if it is a dinosaur such as the Changyuraptor, a genus of the ‘four-winged’ predatory dinosaur. S. Abramowicz, Dinosaur Institute

Unraveling the mystery of how dinosaurs get their names

A dinosaur's name says something about the dinosaur itself. They are grouped together according to similarities they share, which also indicates their ancestral relationships to one another.
A Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) in the wild near Melbourne. Raoul Ribot

Colour variability in Crimson Rosellas is linked to a virus

Despite its name, the Crimson Rosella is perhaps Australia’s most colour-variable bird and a cause of this striking and beautiful diversity seems to be a disease that’s potentially deadly to many other…

New sauropod dinosaur species discovered

A new sauropod dinosaur species, Leinkupal laticauda, has been discovered in Argentina. With the exception of Africa, diplodocids…
Leopardus tigrinus can be found in Eastern Amazonia or the dry semi-arid Caatinga. Project Wild Cats of Brazil

One becomes two: genes show Brazilian wild cat is two species

A new species of wild cat in central and north-eastern Brazil has been confirmed, according to a study published today in…
Sorry guys, if you are smaller than 1 mm, you can’t be a species. Microbe World

How small is too small to qualify as a species?

Despite their small size, organisms smaller than thousandth of a metre (1 mm) contribute greatly to biodiversity and ecosystem function. Unfortunately, categorising small organisms, even defining those…

New bird species discovered in Cambodia

A new species of bird has been discovered in Phnom Penh, the a capital city of Cambodia. The Cambodian tailorbird has a distinct…
Many species of cone snail, which contain compounds needed to treat neurological diseases, still await discovery. Flickr/Phil Camill

Millions of unknown species likely in danger of extinction

The planet is home to anywhere between two million and 50 million undiscovered species, many of which are at threat from…
Only 5% of the world’s plants, and 1% of invertebrates have been assessed under IUCN guidelines. Tim√

Silent declines: recognising unlisted ‘endangered’ species

If an entire forest falls and its occupants approach extinction, does anybody hear it? Since for the vast majority of species, the answer is most likely no, we decided to be proactive and recently published…

Top contributors