Articles on Evolution

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Homo erectus had many features in common with Homo sapiens – but we still don’t have a genetic profile for this species. from www.shutterstock.com

A snapshot of our mysterious ancestor Homo erectus

No area of archaeology has seen such vibrant change in recent times than how we understand our family tree. Could 2019 be the year we learn more about our mysterious ancestor Homo erectus?
Exercise and activity are important parts of living the lives humans are meant to live from an evolutionary standpoint. Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

To feel happier, we have to resolve to the life we evolved to live

As the new year gets underway, millions will make resolutions. The author explains why resolving to live in accordance with the way humans have evolved could go a long way to increasing happiness.
Lots of positive pregnancy tests this time of year. Kristina Kokhanova/Shutterstock.com

‘Tis the season for conception

Did you ever consider that human beings might have a breeding season? Birth seasonality exists – and has interesting implications for childhood disease outbreaks.
From the largest whales to the smallest plankton and microscopic life, we’re all tightly connected to planet Earth. Vivek Kumar/unsplash

Unpacking the history of how Earth feeds life, and life changes Earth

Although often separated as two unique subjects in science, geology and biology have been intricately intertwined since life on Earth first evolved billions of years ago.
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Why biodiversity is key to our survival

There is an urgent need to reconsider the importance of diversity. It is not a simple wealth. It is both a property of the living and an essential condition for its survival.
A member of a rare group of 410-million-year-old jawless fishes from Australia meets a mate. along the shoreline (artist’s impression). Nobumichi Tamura

Ancient fish evolved in shallow seas – the very places humans threaten today

New research shows shallow, near-land seas similar to Bass Strait were critical in the early days of fish evolution. These are the waters we need to protect now to ensure ongoing biodiversity.
Some Harlequin ladybugs, Harmonia axyridis, have black elytra with two large red spots. Others have two additional red spots backwards, or are decorated with a dozen small red spots. Conversely, there are ladybugs with red elytra, decorated with 20 black spots. All these ladybugs belong to the same species. B. Prud’homme, J. Yamaguchi

In red and black, the genetics of ladybug spots

Where do the pretty colours of the harlequin ladybug come from? A single gene draws the colour patterns of this familiar insect.
A three-banded clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) navigates the anemones of the Andaman Coral Reef, India. Ritiks/Wikipedia

Why does Nemo the clownfish have three white stripes? The riddle solved at last

Our children all know the little clownfish Nemo, star of the Pixar film. But why does he have three stripes, rather than one or two? Developmental and evolutionary biology are revealing the answer.

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