Evolutionary biology

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There’s nothing that everyone wants in a partner. But there are characteristics most men or women find attractive. Leo Hidalgo/Flickr

How do we choose a partner?

We know a lot about why people choose different brands of dishwashing detergent. But when it comes to the processes behind choosing a romantic partner, science knows surprisingly little.
A great white shark captured off the coast of Mexico. Flickr/Brook Ward

No bones about it: sharks evolved cartilage for a reason

We used to think of sharks as primitive fish because the had cartilage instead of bones. Turns out there was a good reason why and it makes them anything but primitive.
Sex is not without its costs. Wouldn’t it be easier if you could just create a clone of yourself? Tamara Álvarez/Flickr

If you could clone yourself, would you still have sex?

Imagine how easy life would be if you could produce offspring without a mate. Sexual reproduction is the most common mating system in the animal kingdom. But in many species, females do not require males…
The human Y chromosome has retained only 3% of its ancestral genes. So why’s it a shadow of its former self? Rafael Anderson Gonzales Mendoza/Flickr

Sex, genes, the Y chromosome and the future of men

The Y chromosome, that little chain of genes that determines the sex of humans, is not as tough as you might think. In fact, if we look at the Y chromosome over the course of our evolution we’ve seen it…
So … how ‘bout it? Wendi Kelly/Flickr

Copulate to populate: ancient Scottish fish did it sideways

The intimate act of copulation is old – very old. In fact, it first evolved in ancient armoured placoderm fishes called antiarchs 385 million years ago. Fossils of the antiarch Microbrachius dicki show…
‘Smells like life-long partnership … with just a hint of sweat.’ opactiy/Flickr

Does Singld Out, a gene-based dating service, pass the sniff test?

Singld Out, an online dating service based on “cutting-edge” science, has the solution for busy singles to sniff out the perfect companion. Literally. The dating site, in conjunction with a company called…

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