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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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,…
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…
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…
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.
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.
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…
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 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.
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.”
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?
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.
If you’re arachnophobic, I hate to tell you this, but spiders can fly.
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.
It’s nice to think we’re part of something bigger. And we are, really—in a cosmic, evolutionary sense.
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?