Evolution

These articles explore evolution - the changes seen in the inherited traits of a population from one generation to the next. Evolution is one of the great mysteries of biology, since it is a slow process and difficult to study.


Over the course of one frigid winter, green anole lizards in Texas changed up their genetic makeup to help them better tolerate cold.

Researchers have deduced that Homo sapiens reached Australia 65,000 years ago, extending our presence Down Under by 10,000 years.

Frogs owe a debt to that giant asteroid, a new study finds, opening up evolutionary options previously blocked by dinos.

Were hobbits and giants real? And are they distant relatives of humans?

Remains in Morocco push back Homo sapiens origins at least 100,000 years — and show that our species evolved neither in the way nor place we've assumed.

Homo floresiensis, popularly known as a hobbit, is an extinct, miniature human species that might be much, much older than previously thought.

Do ancient human remains mean we've found an ancient ancestor? It's not always that simple.

Temperature and humidity might have determined nostril width.

The ability to see food on land might explain why our fish ancestors evolved, eventually growing limbs so they could stalk the abundance of prey on land.

A group of researchers is pressing to rethink Modern Synthesis, a version of evolutionary theory we've used since the 1940s to explain how species change and adapt.

A statistician dove deep into human DNA and may have uncovered a possible new branch on the old family tree.

Humans are the only animals that strongly favor dominant right hands. This trait might be much older than suspected, perhaps going back 1.8 million years to Homo habilis.

You'd think being able to smell drinkable water would be an evolutionary advantage. But we can only smell things that suggest potable water. Why is that?

Researchers subjected a bunch of E. coli to deadly levels of antibiotics. It didn’t take that long for the bacteria to become drug-resistant, as this video shows.

Neanderthals may be long gone, but their genetic footprint lives on — in us.

You might want one, but chances are you don't have one. Why is that?

The newly developed family tree of Earth’s 2.3 million species is a first draft of the 3.5-billion-year history of evolution.

Despite what you've heard, size does matter, but not in the way you may have thought. Following a mass extinction smaller not larger, may be better.

Back in the day, knocking your opponent out sure could provide some handy advantages for mating and survival.

Think your job is hard? Biological anthropologists use tools from practically all walks of science to understand the differences within and between human populations. Investigating the environmental and hereditary bases of diversity isn't easy.

The mass extinction event that killed off the dinosaurs is probably the most well-known, but it definitely isn't the worst.

Hint: It wasn't because an enormous comet or asteroid struck Earth.

If dinosaurs hadn't gone extinct, you wouldn't exist. Extinction may seem inherently bad, but sometimes the death of a species encourages new life.

We're used to taking the phrase "survival of the fittest" to mean it's an "every man for himself" world. But some animals (like worker bees) sacrifice themselves to ensure their species lives on. Why would they do this?

Evolution is a never-ending process, but some scientists believe it might be speeding up as human activity impacts the environment.