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.


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

Turns out that evolutionary advantages can come with a price.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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?

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

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

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.