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Latest Evolution Stories

2012-10-17 11:44:49

Ecologists in the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology have found that evolutionary diversity can be an effective method for identifying hotspots of mammal biodiversity. In a paper published Oct. 17 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, they report that evolutionary diversity can be an effective proxy for both the sheer number of species as well as their characteristics and ecological roles. Their findings could help conservation organizations better protect threatened...

Genetics Plays Vital Role In Building Better Bees
2012-10-16 12:14:18

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new study suggests that the reason worker bees are such a highly skilled and specialized workforce is that the genes controlling their behavior are re-shuffled frequently, helping evolution build a better bee. The new research from York University, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), sheds light on how sterile worker bees evolved charismatic and cooperative behaviors. These behaviors include...

New Concept Dramatically Alters Theory Of Animal Evolution
2012-10-13 08:10:50

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online New work by Dr. Stuart A. Newman, professor of cell biology and anatomy at New York Medical College, develops a concept that dramatically alters one of the basic assumptions of the theory of evolution. The assumption is that survival is based on a change's functional advantage if it is to persist. Newman, whose life's work has supported the theory of evolution, offers an alternative model where he proposes that the origination of...

2012-10-11 12:57:01

Experimental studies of ancestral visual pigments and their mutational variants cast doubt on simplifying assumptions widely used in evolutionary studies of proteins A key assumption that biologists have relied on widely over the past quarter-century in studying the evolution of protein molecules is "highly questionable," according to an article published in the November issue of BioScience. The article, by Shozo Yokoyama, a vision researcher at Emory University, summarizes experimental...

Predator Prey Relationship In Insects And Plants Drives Evolution
2012-10-05 09:30:39

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Economists know that the consumer's taste drives variety and innovation in almost every field of industry. It is the same in the natural world. An international team of researchers has determined that just as consumers' diverse food preferences give rise to varied menu offerings, the preferences of plant-eating insects' play a role in maintaining and shaping the genetic variation of their host plants in a geographic area. The new...

In The Development Of Birds, Researchers Find Diversity By The Peck
2012-09-24 14:46:54

New investigation of tissues and signaling pathways in finches' beaks reveals surprising flexibility in the birds' evolutionary toolkit It has long been known that diversity of form and function in birds' specialized beaks is abundant. Charles Darwin famously studied the finches on the Galapagos Islands, tying the morphology (shape) of various species' beaks to the types of seeds they ate. In 2010, a team of Harvard biologists and applied mathematicians showed that Darwin's finches all...

Red Queen Or Red King
2012-09-24 10:52:18

In relationships based on mutuality, the number of individuals involved can determine the rate at which species evolve The relationship between species determines how rapidly they evolve. Parasites and their hosts coevolve more rapidly, and partners in a mutualistic relationship can evolve more slowly. But this view is obviously too simplistic. The rate of evolution in a mutualistic relationship does not depend only on the type of interactions, but also on the number of individuals...

Escherichia Coli under the microscope
2012-09-20 06:24:09

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Michigan State University researchers and colleagues from the University of Texas and the University of Calgary have documented the step-by-step process in which organisms evolve new functions. The study results are revealed through an in-depth, genomics-based analysis that decodes how E. coli bacteria figured out how to supplement a traditional diet of glucose with an extra course of citrate. “It´s pretty nifty to see...

Female Pit Vipers Give Birth Without Mating
2012-09-12 12:04:30

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online In what could be the ultimate act of feminism, wild female North American pit vipers have been shown to give birth without mating, according to a new report published in the Royal Society's Biology Letters. A phenomenon, known as facultative parthenogenesis (FP), has been observed in captivity before and the report asserts that it can occur regardless of the presence of male individuals. “In these populations, males are...

Mustard Evolved To Give Predators An Unpleasantly Spicy Meal
2012-08-31 13:01:11

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Many plants have developed spicy mechanisms that deter pests from munching on them. Mustard plants, in particular, have evolved their pungent flavor to effectively target and deter specific predators, according to a new study published this week in the journal Science. Researchers from Duke University, the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Germany and the University of Illinois at Urbana—Champaign looked at the...


Latest Evolution Reference Libraries

Paleontology
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Paleontology or Palaeontology is the scientific study of prehistoric life, including the study of fossils to determine the organisms evolution and interactions with each other and their environments. Paleontological observations have been documented as far back as 5th century BC. The science became established in the 18th century as a result of Georges Cuvier’s work on comparative anatomy, and it developed quickly within the 19th century. The term itself comes from Greek palaios, meaning...

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Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'