A 3D model of the skeleton of a European polecat. Penis bone (baculum) is highlighted in pink.
Charlotte A. Brassey
Our study used innovative 3D scanning and engineering-inspired computer simulations to understand the evolution of the penis bone in some mammals.
Birds don’t fly across wide Amazonian rivers like the Rio Negro.
Marcos Amend www.marcosamend.com (for use with this article only)
Rivers are natural boundaries for evolving populations. But scientists don't agree whether they create new species or just help maintain them. Research using birds' molecular clocks provides some answers.
Berzelia stokoei, one of the 3% of plants in South Africa that are found nowhere else in the world.
There is good news for plant conservation in South Africa and internationally.
Attenborougharion rubicundus is one of more than a dozen species named after the legendary naturalist Sir David Attenborough.
Simon Grove/Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Scientists have been naming species after well-known people since the 18th century, often in a bid for publicity. But the issue deserves attention – 400,000 Australian species are yet to be described.
Some people thought Charles Darwin was suggesting that, over a very long period of time, apes turned into people. He was not.
The short answer is no. An individual of one species cannot, during its lifetime, turn into another species. But your question helps us think about life, evolution and what it means to be human.
Ondrej Prosicky / shutterstock
It is a delicate – and dangerous – moment for one of the world's most ecologically important nations.
Ulysses butterflies (
Papilio ulysses) in CSIRO’s Australian National Insect Collection, Canberra.
Australian taxonomy resources number around 70 million specimens, valued at over AU$5 billion. That's big science.
The US banned trade in salamanders for spreading a disease that threatened wild populations.
The fascination and admiration of the natural environment may draw people closer to it, but it's crucial to remain responsible about any desire to own a piece.
Newly recognised genetic populations carry their evolutionary history with them, and the history of their habits. This is why detecting new species is so important.
A new understanding of subspecies, such as Reichenow’s Helmeted Guineafowl, can help conserve the birds.
It's difficult to sort out the conservation 'wheat' from the 'chaff' when too many subspecies are defined.
There might have been as many as 160,000 types of dinosaur, give or take.
A simplified Tree of Life summarising the evolutionary relationships among a broad selection of living organisms.
Charles Darwin was one of the first to show connections in the variety of life by using a rough evolutionary tree. Things have developed quite a bit since then.
Coconut water may be the 'it' drink, but its producers face multiple threats.
Researchers have found that dragonflies have become on average lighter-colored over the past half-century in response to higher temperatures.
Study shows the footprint of climate change is already vast and that species are trying to adapt to rising temperatures.
Spines don’t stop animals from browsing, but slow down their feeding rates.
Fire has been viewed as the main protagonist in creating Africa's iconic savannas. However, new research shows that browsing animals created savannas millions of years before fire became important.
A wax figure of Charles Darwin, whose theories about species have influenced science for centuries.
Jose Manuel Ribeiro/Reuters
Humans have an innate interest and ability in naming biologically meaningful entities, or species. Taxonomy, then, vies for the title of world's “oldest profession”.
Shield bug guarding her eggs in the Ecuadorean rainforest.
Andreas Kay/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
The perils of bug parenting.
As temperatures rise, will species have enough habitat to move to suitable ground?
Animals and plants will need escape hatches to move to cooler climes as the planet warms, but few parts of the U.S. have the natural habitat available for these migrations.
There’s a difference in the sex chromosomes between various mammals, such as the platypus compared to humans.
How new species are created is at the core of the theory of evolution. Mammals may be a good example of how sex chromosome change drove major groups apart.
How many species of frog are in the picture? Genetics often says ‘more than we thought’.
Michael Lee (Flinders University & South Australian Museum)
The Earth is full of many varied species from the largest mammals to the tiniest organisms. But we now think there could be ten times more species than was originally thought.