Category Archives: Latest on Evolution

True size of prehistoric mega-shark finally revealed

To date only the length of the legendary giant shark Megalodon had been estimated. But now, a new study led by the University of Bristol and Swansea University has revealed the size of the rest of its body, including fins that are as large as an adult human. There is a grim fascination in determining…
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When did we become fully human? What fossils and DNA tell us about the evolution of modern intelligence

When did something like us first appear on the planet? It turns out there's remarkably little agreement on this question. Fossils and DNA suggest people looking like us, anatomically modern Homo sapiens, evolved around 300,000 years ago. Surprisingly, archeology—tools, artifacts, cave art—suggest that complex technology and cultures, "behavioral modernity," evolved more recently: 50,000-65,000 years ago. Some scientists interpret this…
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Study sheds light on the evolution of the earliest dinosaurs

The classic dinosaur family tree has two subdivisions of early dinosaurs at its base: the Ornithischians, or bird-hipped dinosaurs, which include the later Triceratops and Stegosaurus; and the Saurischians, or lizard-hipped dinosaurs, such as Brontosaurus and Tyrannosaurus. In 2017, however, this classical view of dinosaur evolution was thrown into question with evidence that perhaps the…
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Meet the super salamander that nearly ate your ancestors for breakfast

Say hello to one of the strangest creatures to ever call our planet home: a giant salamander-like amphibian that lurked in the waters of Europe more than 200m years ago. My colleagues and I recently discovered this new beast, whose fossils we found in Portugal. Its scientific name is Metoposaurus algarvensis, a nod to the sunny…
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Age-related impairments reversed in animal model

Frailty and immune decline are two main features of old age. Researchers from the University of Bern and the University Hospital Bern now demonstrate in an animal model that these two age-related impairments can be halted and even partially reversed using a novel cell-based therapeutic approach. Elderly people are more prone to infectious diseases as…
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Origins of the beloved guinea pig

New University of Otago research sheds light on guinea pig domestication and how and why the small, furry animals became distributed around the world. Just published in the international science journal, Scientific Reports, the researchers use ancient DNA from archaeological guinea pig remains which reveals the transition from the animals being used as a wild food…
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Evolution of pandemic coronavirus outlines path from animals to humans

A team of scientists studying the origin of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that has caused the COVID-19 pandemic, found that it was especially well-suited to jump from animals to humans by shapeshifting as it gained the ability to infect human cells. Conducting a genetic analysis, researchers from Duke University, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of…
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When three species of human ancestor walked the Earth

An international team, including Arizona State University researcher Gary Schwartz, have unearthed the earliest known skull of Homo erectus, the first of our ancestors to be nearly human-like in their anatomy and aspects of their behavior. Years of painstaking excavation at the fossil-rich site of Drimolen, nestled within the Cradle of Humankind (a UNESCO World Heritage…
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