Artist: Tom Björklund / Moesgård Museum
Here’s what we can learn from our closest extinct relatives.
Slime plays an essential role in the lives of snails, hagfish and people alike.
Adrienne Bresnahan/Moment via Getty Images
A vast array of species, including people, use slime for a variety of essential bodily functions. Studying the genetic ancestry of slime surprisingly showcases the role of repetitive DNA in evolution.
A single seagrass plant in Shark Bay is around 4,500 years old, covers 200 square kilometres of seabed, and thrives in harsh conditions.
A long-term study of wild animal populations shows each generation is on average almost 20% genetically ‘better’ than their parents at surviving and reproducing.
Live birth has evolved independently more than 150 times. The underlying biophysical processes all look quite similar, but new research shows they use completely different genetic tools.
Being able to perceive sweetness can guide foragers to the most calorie-rich picks.
Elva Etienne/Moment via Getty Images
If you ever feel like you can’t stop eating sugar, you are responding precisely as programmed by natural selection. What was once an evolutionary advantage has a different effect today.
New research in fruit flies elucidates how the genes that direct animal body shape work.
Vaclav Hykes/EyeEm via Getty Images
Hox genes make sure all your body parts grow in the right place. Understanding how they work can reveal the process of evolution and lead to potential treatments for congenital birth defects.
A Homo erectus skull from Java, Indonesia. This pioneering species stands at the root of a fascinating evolutionary tree.
The ancestors of modern-day people living on Southeast Asian islands likely interbred with a prehistoric species called Denisovans - raising the possibility of fresh and intriguing fossil discoveries.
Echolocation evolved multiple times in bats over millions of year. Yet the earliest bat ancestors probably didn’t have this skill — or if they did, it was likely very primitive.
North America during the late Pleistocene: a pack of dire wolves (red hair) are feeding bison while a pair of grey wolves approach in the hopes of scavenging.
Our research shows dire wolves lived in the tropics not the Arctic, and were not especially close relatives of the grey wolf.
All your questions about the new coronavirus variant, answered by a microbial genomics researcher.
University of Queensland
DNA from the humble sea sponge is shedding light on the “dark matter” that makes up much of our genomes.
We propose same-sex attraction evolved to allow greater social integration and stronger same-sex social bonds.
Scientists don’t ask how some people evolved to be tall. In the same way, asking how homosexuality evolved is the wrong question. We need to ask how human sexuality evolved in all its forms.
An Indonesian island was home to
H. Floresiensis – but how did the dwarfed human species evolve?
New research models how the Homo floresiensis species could have evolved its small size remarkably quickly while living on an isolated island.
Giant tortoise on Pinzon Island, Galapagos.
Rory Stansbury, Island Conservation/Flickr
The Galapagos Islands’ giant tortoises are one of the world’s best examples of evolution. Scientists are pioneering new conservation strategies to save them from extinction and restore their habitat.
Grand Prismatic Spring and Midway Geyser Basin from above.
Scientists have uncovered genes they believe have been passed down from an ancestor organism that all life evolved from.
There’s long been a lack of evidence for why sex has become so much more common than asexual reproduction across nearly all species. Thankfully, this is now slowly changing.
The X-chromosome at some point evolved to be different from all other chromosomes.
Unlike other chromosomes, the X chromosome is inactivated in nearly all cells in women – and genes on it are active in very few tissues.
Genetic techniques are helping scientists work out how to stop invasive species before they rack up huge environmental and financial costs.
The bobtail squid and bioluminscent bacteria are just one of hundreds of examples of mutualism.
Reproduction for a female fig wasp can be a nightmarish process. When she is ready to lay her eggs, she leaves the fig in which she was born and became pregnant and searches for another. After she finds…