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Mass extinction study provides lessons for modern world

This illustration depicts the food web for ecological groups in the late Cretaceous Period as reported in a new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Each ecological group includes a set of species that share the same set of potential predators and prey. Silhouettes show iconic members of each group. Arrows show who eats whom. (Credit: Courtesy of Jonathan Mitchell, Peter Roopnarine and Kenneth Angielczyk)

1000pa (Oct. 29, 2012) — The Cretaceous Period of Earth history ended with a mass extinction that wiped out numerous species, most famously the dinosaurs. A new study now finds that the structure of North American ecosystems made the extinction worse than it might have been...

Penis worms show the evolution of the digestive system

Adult Priapulus caudatus. (Credit: Bruno Vellutini, Sars International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology)

1000pa (Oct. 26, 2012) — A team of scientists has revealed that the enigmatic marine penis worms (priapulids) develop their intestine as humans, fish or starfish. This surprising finding shows that very different animals share a common way of forming a gut.

A research team led by Dr. Andreas Hejnol from the Sars International Centre for Marine...

Far from random, evolution follows a predictable genetic pattern

Dogbane beetle. The Princeton researchers sequenced the expression of a poison-resistant protein in insect species that feed on plants such as milkweed and dogbane that produce a class of steroid-like cardiotoxins called cardenolides as a natural defense. The insects surveyed spanned three orders: butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera); beetles and weevils (Coleoptera); and aphids, bed bugs, milkweed bugs and other sucking insects (Hemiptera). (Credit: Photo courtesy of Peter...

Genetic tradeoff: Harmful genes are widespread in yeast but hold hidden benefits

Sacharomyces cerevisiae cells in DIC microscopy. (Credit: By Masur (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

1000pa (Oct. 25, 2012) — The genes responsible for inherited diseases are clearly bad for us, so why hasn't evolution, over time, weeded them out and eliminated them from the human genome altogether? Part of the reason seems to be that genes that can harm us at one stage of our lives are necessary and beneficial to us at other points in our...

Flycatchers' genomes explain how one species became two

Collared flycatcher. (Credit: Johan Träff)

1000pa (Oct. 24, 2012) — Just how new species are established is still one of the most central questions in biology. In an article in the leading scientific journal Nature, researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden describe how they mapped the genomes of the European pied flycatcher and the collared flycatcher and found that it is disparate chromosome structures rather than separate adaptations in individual genes...

100-million-year-old coelacanth fish discovered in Texas is new species from Cretaceous

A fossil discovered in Texas is a new species of coelacanth fish. Paleontologist John Graf, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, identified the skull as a 100 million-year-old coelacanth, making it the youngest discovered in Texas. (Credit: Image courtesy of Southern Methodist University)

1000pa (Oct. 24, 2012) — A new species of coelacanth fish has been discovered in Texas. The species is now the youngest coelacanth from Texas; fish jaw and cranial material...

Did bacteria spark evolution of multicellular life?

Triggered by the presence of bacteria, the single-celled choanoflagellate Salpingoeca rosetta divides and aggregates with its sisters to form a colony. One reason may be that the colony is a more efficient way of capturing food, like a “Death Star” sitting amidst the bacteria and chowing down. The colony is about 15 microns in diameter, or less than one-thousandth of an inch across. (Credit: Scanning electron microscope image courtesy of Nicole...

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unexplained artifacts
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Timeline: Human Evolution

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Fossil Formation: How Do Fossils Form?

Book review

Dinosaurs Encyclopedia

Book Review

Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages ... WRITTEN BY A PROFESSIONAL paleontologist specifically for young readers, this guide to the Dinosauria is packed...