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.

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Interbreeding with Neanderthals Gave Humans Virus Protections

New research suggests modern humans owe some of our genetic resistance against RNA viruses to our Neanderthal ancestors.

Laziness May Have Doomed This Human Ancestor

Homo erectus lived for more than a million years on Earth, but laziness and lack of innovation might have been the death of them.

Did Schizophrenia Evolve Along With Our Brains?

Turns out that evolutionary advantages can come with a price.

Panspermia: Did Alien Seeds Cause Life to Explode on Earth?

A group of scientists are suggesting that panspermia may be responsible for the Cambrian Explosion millions of years ago – the time when most major animal groups appear in the fossil record.

Neanderthals Were Actually Prehistoric Picassos

New research shows that homo sapiens weren't the first folks to decorate their caves with artwork. Neanderthals actually did it thousands of years earlier.

Meet Cheddar Man: Your New Stone Age Crush

Cheddar Man was a dark-skinned, blue-eyed Stone Age Brit. You don't see those every day.

Prehistoric Women Were Stronger Than Today's Elite Female Athletes

Think you could beat a prehistoric woman in an arm wrestling match? Think again.

Saudi Arabian Rock Art Depicts Prehistoric Dogs on Leashes

Saudi Arabian rock engravings could be the oldest artistic rendering of human-dog relationships ever discovered. It's certainly the oldest depiction of a leash.

Perfectly Preserved Prehistoric Lion Cub Found in Russian Permafrost

In recent years, three mummified cubs from an extinct lion species have emerged from the Russian permafrost. Cloning might be possible, but is it wise?

Humans Didn't Outsmart Neanderthals, We Just Outlasted Them

New research suggests Neanderthals went extinct, not because we outcompeted them, but because we took over their ecological niche.

Last Common Ape-Human Ancestor Was Likely the Size of a Gibbon

Fossils of a "missing link" may never be found, but new research shows apes' last common ancestor may have been smaller than previously thought.

Neanderthal DNA Changed the Way Modern Humans Look

Neanderthal genes may be to thank for your skin tone, hair color and even smoking habit.

Surprisingly Swift Evolution Observed in Lizard Species

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

Artifacts Suggest Human Arrival in Australia 18,000 Years Earlier Than Thought

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

Dinosaur Extinction Allowed Frogs to Flourish

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

Family Tree of Homo Sapiens Continues to Evolve

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

Oldest Homo Sapiens Fossils Ever Found Suggest a Human Evolution Rewrite

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.

New Analysis Places 'Hobbit' on Unexpected Limb of the Human Family Tree

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

Ancient Skeleton DNA Suggests Genetic Link to First Humans in North America

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

Climate Helped Shape the Human Nose, Study Says

Temperature and humidity might have determined nostril width.

Seeing Food May Have Lured Fish Onto Land

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.

Is It Time for Our Understanding of Evolution to Evolve?

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.

Discovered? New But Extinct Human Relative From Melanesia

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

Right-handed Habit May Have Started 2 Million Years Ago

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.

Why Didn't Evolution Give Us the Ability to Smell Fresh Water?

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?


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