Species v hybrid. More fuel for the debate
The evolutionary importance of hybridisation.
By their nature, conflicting ideas about evolution aren’t easily resolved. Some – such as the role of hybridisation i...
How mammals inherited the Earth
Scientists map out first million years of life after the dinosaurs
Sixty-six million years ago, an asteroid roughly the size of Malta slammed into the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. The...
European pigs shook off their ancestry
Modern breeds show virtually no signs of arrival from Near East.
When ancient Near Eastern farmers migrated westward into Europe about 8500 years ago, they brought their pigs with th...
How do Sherpas thrive up here?
New study suggests it’s something to do with their kidneys. Paul Biegler reports.
The ability of sure-footed Sherpas to scale the oxygen-rare slopes of the Himalayas without losing puff has enthralle...
Spawn of the triffid?
Organisms shed insight into a complex evolutionary world.
This is Rhodelphis limneticus, one of two newly discovered organisms that Canadian and Russian researchers say point ...
Ancient DNA sheds light on early cattle
Genomic analysis reveals a complex history.
Cows are seemingly simple creatures. Their history is anything but. An analysis of ancient genomes from domestic cat...
Sponge blob square pants
Analysis overturns understanding of evolutionary history.
This is a cross-section of a type of cell found in sponges known as a choanocyte. It is not what it seems.Until now, ...
Evolution: the product of random mutation
The paths available to evolving organisms are far from limitless.
biletskiy/Shutterstock What would happen if the hands of time were turned back to an arbitrary point in our evolutio...
Eurasian migration steppe by steppe
Indigenous genomes from nine countries show ancestral interactions were moderated by mountains an...
Geographical features represent a strong barrier to human gene flow across inner Eurasia, genetic research has reveal...
We have evolved to communicate
There’s a reason we look so different to our near relatives.
The need to develop social skills helped shape the modern human face, scientists have suggested. Writing in the jour...
In primates, evolution is a ball game
Looking handsome comes at a very personal cost.
Evolution is fundamentally an exercise in trade-offs – speed versus bulk, running versus tree-climbing, that sort of ...
Mass extinction and “morphospace”
Slow return to diversity is due to tensions between ecology and possibility.
Theory tells us that after a mass extinction, an event where the diversity of species is drastically reduced, nature ...