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Sumatran rhinos never recovered from losses during the Pleistocene, genome evidence shows

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:04:57 EST ~ An international team of researchers has sequenced and analyzed the first Sumatran rhino genome from a sample belonging to a male made famous at the Cincinnati Zoo. This study shows that the trouble for Sumatran rhinoceros populations began a long time ago, around the middle of the Pleistocene, about one million years ago. Find out more...

Ancient genetic mutation helps explain origin of some human organs

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 10:08:33 EST ~ A genetic mutation that occurred over 700 million years ago may have contributed to the development of certain organs in human beings and other vertebrates. This change, a random error in the evolutionary process, facilitated the connection of the gene networks involved in animal embryogenesis. Find out more...

Dinosaur parasites trapped in 100-million-year-old amber tell blood-sucking story

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 10:47:35 EST ~ Fossilized ticks discovered trapped and preserved in amber show that these parasites sucked the blood of feathered dinosaurs almost 100 million years ago. Find out more...

Revising the story of the dispersal of modern humans across Eurasia

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 14:17:24 EST ~ Most people are now familiar with the traditional 'Out of Africa' model: modern humans evolved in Africa and then dispersed across Asia and reached Australia in a single wave about 60,000 years ago. However, technological advances in DNA analysis and other fossil identification techniques, as well as an emphasis on multidisciplinary research, are revising this story. Recent discoveries show that humans left Africa multiple times prior to 60,000 years ago, and that they interbred with other hominins in many locations across Eurasia. Find out more...

It's all in the ears: Inner ears of extinct sea monsters mirror those of today's animals

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 14:16:14 EST ~ A new study has revealed that an extinct group of marine reptiles called sauropterygians evolved similar inner ear proportions to those of some modern day aquatic reptiles and mammals. Find out more...

Separated since the dinosaurs, bamboo-eating lemurs, pandas share common gut microbes

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:24:51 EST ~ A new study finds that bamboo lemurs, giant pandas and red pandas share 48 gut microbes in common -- despite the fact that they are separated by millions of years of evolution. Find out more...

Recently discovered fossil shows transition of a reptile from life on land to life in the sea

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 09:07:13 EST ~ Using modern research tools on a 155-million-year-old reptile fossil, scientists report they have filled in some important clues to the evolution of animals that once roamed land and transitioned to life in the water. Find out more...

Cooling climate drove evolution of Tasmanian Devil and its relatives

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 14:25:46 EST ~ A big drop in global temperatures 12-14 million years ago may explain the evolutionary success of Australia's unique marsupial carnivores, a new study has found. Find out more...

Early avian evolution: The Archaeopteryx that wasnt

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 15:06:50 EST ~ Paleontologists have corrected a case of misinterpretation: The first fossil "Archaeopteryx" to be discovered is actually a predatory dinosaur belonging to the anchiornithid family, which was previously known only from finds made in China. Find out more...

Worm genomes reveal a link between ourselves and our distant relatives

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 11:29:26 EST ~ Researchers have decoded two worm genomes and found that they have several genetic similarities with the vertebrates. Find out more...