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.
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.
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.
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.
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.