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Ancient Steroid Suggests Sea Sponges Were One of Earth’s First Animals Ancient Steroid Suggests Sea Sponges Were One of Earth’s First Animals

Scientists from the University of California, Riverside, are claiming to have discovered the oldest known animal fossil—an ancient sea sponge that emerged between 660 million and 635 million years ago.

Hungry Dinosaurs May Be the Reason Humans Need Sunscreen Hungry Dinosaurs May Be the Reason Humans Need Sunscreen

What do blind cavefish, dinosaurs, and sunburnt humans have in common? A lot more than you may realize, according to a thought-provoking new study.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry Goes to Scientists Who Used Evolution to Create Safer Chemicals and New Drugs The Nobel Prize in Chemistry Goes to Scientists Who Used Evolution to Create Safer Chemicals and New Drugs

A trio of scientists from the U.S. and the UK have won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry this year for using evolution to their advantage, developing new methods of creating molecules that have already helped us produce safer, greener chemicals and new drugs.

Check Out This Incredible Extinct Bird From the Cretaceous Period Check Out This Incredible Extinct Bird From the Cretaceous Period

The discovery of a 127-million-year-old fossil in northeastern China is filling an important evolutionary gap between modern birds and the winged, dinosaur-like creatures that came before them.

Extraordinary Evidence Suggests 558-Million-Year-Old Fossil Is the Oldest Known Animal on the Planet Extraordinary Evidence Suggests 558-Million-Year-Old Fossil Is the Oldest Known Animal on the Planet

An international team of researchers is claiming to have discovered traces of cholesterol on a fossil of Dickinsonia—a mysterious creature that lived during the primordial Ediacaran Period. This evidence, the researchers say, makes Dickinsonia the oldest known animal in the fossil record. But the discovery is not…

Misidentified Fossils Could Rewrite the History of Lemurs on Madagascar    Misidentified Fossils Could Rewrite the History of Lemurs on Madagascar   

A leading theory of recent decades is that lemurs colonized Madagascar around 50 million years ago. As they dispersed throughout the island and made homes in its tropical rainforests, those ancestral lemurs evolved into the menagerie of species we see today. It’s certainly a romantic idea, but it might also be false,…

AC Lung, Space Stairs, 3D Guns and the Quietest Place on Earth: Best Gizmodo Stories of the Week AC Lung, Space Stairs, 3D Guns and the Quietest Place on Earth: Best Gizmodo Stories of the Week

August 2018 rolled in with a bang, literally, as explosions rocked Caracas, Venezuela on Saturday during a speech by President Nicolas Maduro—and government officials later said bomb-carrying drones were to blame. If the accounts of an attempted assassination using unmanned aerial vehicles is confirmed, the New York…

The Asteroid That Killed the Dinosaurs Also Jumbled Shark Evolution The Asteroid That Killed the Dinosaurs Also Jumbled Shark Evolution

More than 500 different shark species roam Earth’s oceans: from zippy little cookie-cutter sharks, to the iconic great white, to nightmarish goblin sharks, to 25-foot-long, filter-feeding basking sharks. And it seems that the current equilibrium of shark species we see today arose after the Cretaceous–Paleogene mass…

Here's How an Absurd Primate Ended Up With Squirrel Teeth Here's How an Absurd Primate Ended Up With Squirrel Teeth

The aye-aye is about as ridiculous looking as a primate can get: beady yellow eyes, bat-like ears, and hands like horrible spiders. But perhaps its most interesting feature is its teeth.

Fur, Feathers, Hair, and Scales May Have the Same Ancient Origin Fur, Feathers, Hair, and Scales May Have the Same Ancient Origin

New research shows that the processes involved in hair, fur, and feather growth are remarkably similar to the way scales grow on fish—a finding that points to a single, ancient origin of these protective coverings.

Humans Didn’t Evolve From a Single Ancestral Population Humans Didn’t Evolve From a Single Ancestral Population

In the 1980s, scientists learned that all humans living today are descended from a woman, dubbed “Mitochondrial Eve,” who lived in Africa between 150,000 to 200,000 years ago. This discovery, along with other evidence, suggested humans evolved from a single ancestral population—an interpretation that is not standing…

America's First Dogs Were Wiped Out by Europeans, but Their Genetic Legacy Lives on as a Sexually Transmitted Cancer America's First Dogs Were Wiped Out by Europeans, but Their Genetic Legacy Lives on as a Sexually Transmitted Cancer

The evolutionary journey of how dogs came to occupy millions of human living rooms is a complicated one, filled with detours and false starts. A new study out Thursday in Science seems to better illuminate one of these detours. It suggests the first domesticated dogs to come to the Americas were brought by humans…

A Toddler Who Lived 3 Million Years Ago Could Walk Upright and Capably Climb Trees A Toddler Who Lived 3 Million Years Ago Could Walk Upright and Capably Climb Trees

A re-analysis of a three-million-year-old fossil suggests Australopithecus afarensis, an early hominid, had children who were as capable on two feet as they were in the trees—an important discovery that’s shedding new light on this critical stage in hominid evolution.

Origin Mystery of Ancient Rhino-Like Mammal Solved By 55-Million-Year-Old Fossil Origin Mystery of Ancient Rhino-Like Mammal Solved By 55-Million-Year-Old Fossil

Tens of millions of years ago, after most land-roaming dinosaurs died out in the Cretaceous Period, a hodgepodge of ancient animals started to fill the landscapes the dinos left behind. One such group was the embrithopods: hoofed mammals, now extinct, whose name means “heavy-footed.”

Whoa, Check out Zebrafish Eyes Whoa, Check out Zebrafish Eyes

Imagine that during our evolutionary history, we could not turn our heads up or down. How might our vision have evolved differently from the two frontal, mobile eyes we have today?

Extinct Giant Panda Lineage Discovered Thanks to DNA From 22,000-Year-Old Skull Extinct Giant Panda Lineage Discovered Thanks to DNA From 22,000-Year-Old Skull

DNA from a 22,000-year-old fossilized panda skull suggests an entirely separate lineage of giant pandas once roamed the area that is now southern China.

Watch Tiny Crab Spiders Take Flight With 10-Foot Silk Parachutes Watch Tiny Crab Spiders Take Flight With 10-Foot Silk Parachutes

If you’re arachnophobic, I hate to tell you this, but spiders can fly.

A Trippy '80s Book on Life After Humans Is Now More Relevant Than Ever A Trippy '80s Book on Life After Humans Is Now More Relevant Than Ever

Fifty million years after humanity’s extinction, the world has once more grown wild. In the forests of North America, the deer-like descendants of rabbits flee attacks by large predatory rats. Giant antelope and striding baboons more reminiscent of dinosaurs roam Africa’s savannas.

Does Earth's Shifting Orbit Influence How Life Evolves? Does Earth's Shifting Orbit Influence How Life Evolves?

It’s nice to think we’re part of something bigger. And we are, really—in a cosmic, evolutionary sense.

Why Do We Have Butts? Why Do We Have Butts?

When separates us from the animals? Is it the burden of consciousness, the terror of knowing that one day we will die, along with everyone we’ve ever loved? Or is it our big weird asses?

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