Category Archives: Latest on Evolution

For Darwin Day, 6 facts about the evolution debate

Today is the 210th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, a day now celebrated by some as Darwin Day. Darwin is best known for his theory of evolution through natural selection. When Darwin’s work was first made public in 1859, it shocked Britain’s religious establishment. And while today it is accepted by virtually all scientists, evolutionary theory…
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The Wild Experiment That Showed Evolution in Real Time

In the fall of 2010, Rowan Barrett was stuck. He needed a piece of land, one with plenty of mice, and after days of futile searching, he found himself at a motel bar in Valentine, Nebraska, doing what people do at bars: telling a total stranger about his problems. A young evolutionary biologist, Barrett had…
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Human mutation rate has slowed recently

Researchers from Aarhus University, Denmark, and Copenhagen Zoo have discovered that the human mutation rate is significantly slower than for our closest primate relatives. The new knowledge may be important for estimates of when the common ancestor for humans and chimpanzees lived -- and for conservation of large primates in the wild. Over the past…
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How an ancient cataclysm may have jump-started life on Earth

A cataclysm may have jump-started life on Earth. A new scenario suggests that some 4.47 billion years ago—a mere 60 million years after Earth took shape and 40 million years after the moon formed—a moon-size object sideswiped Earth and exploded into an orbiting cloud of molten iron and other debris. The metallic hailstorm that ensued…
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Evolution used same genetic formula to turn animals monogamous

Why are some animals committed to their mates and others are not? According to a new study led by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin that looked at 10 species of vertebrates, evolution used a kind of universal formula for turning non-monogamous species into monogamous species -- turning up the activity of some…
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What sets primates apart from other mammals?

University of Otago researchers have discovered information about a gene that sets primates -- great apes and humans -- apart from other mammals, through the study of a rare developmental brain disorder. Dr Adam O'Neill carried out the research as part of his PhD at the University of Otago, under the supervision of Professor Stephen…
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Oxygen could have been available to life as early as 3.5 billion years ago

Microbes could have performed oxygen-producing photosynthesis at least one billion years earlier in the history of the Earth than previously thought. The finding could change ideas of how and when complex life evolved on Earth, and how likely it is that it could evolve on other planets. Oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere is necessary for…
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Embryological study of the skull reveals dinosaur-bird connection

Birds are the surviving descendants of predatory dinosaurs. However, since the likes of Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor, some parts of their anatomy have become radically transformed. The skull, for instance, is now toothless, and accommodates much larger eyes and brain. Skulls are like 3-D puzzles made of smaller bones: As the eye socket and brain case…
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