Bullock/Baltimore Oriole hybrid. Credit: Bryan Calk, Macaulay Library, Cornell Lab of Ornithology Baltimore and Bullock’s Orioles Are Not Merging A half-century of controversy over two popular bird species may have finally come to an end. In one corner: the Bullock’s Oriole, found in the western half of North America. In […]

This illustration shows a life restoration of a pod of Ankylorhiza tiedemani hunting. Credit: Robert W Boessenecker A report in the journal Current Biology on July 9 offers a detailed description of the first nearly complete skeleton of an extinct large dolphin, discovered in what is now South Carolina. The 15-foot-long dolphin […]

Gardenia’s newly sequenced genome highlights how evolutionary tinkering transforms plants into some of nature’s great chemical-makers. Plants are some of nature’s most extraordinary chemists. Unlike animals, they can’t run from predators or pathogens. They can’t uproot themselves to seek out a mate or spread their seeds. So instead, they manufacture […]

Animation Rife with obstacles and occlusions, terrestrial environments potentially helped give rise to planning circuits in the brain. New simulations show that living among land’s rich topography forced animals to plan rather than act based on habits Planning abilities increased survival rates, so evolution might have selected for brain circuitry […]

Scientists have long debated which genetic information carrier — DNA or RNA — started life on Earth, but a new study suggests life could have begun with a bit of both. The research, led by scientists from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), in Cambridge, shows for the first time […]

This two-billion-year-old shungite records evidence for balmy, oxygen-rich conditions on the early Earth. Photo courtesy of K. Paiste. Credit: K. Paiste Research on Russian drill core challenges long-standing models of oxygenation on Earth. The international team of researchers, led by UAlberta scientists, studied a Russian drill core containing shungite—a unique […]

Willow tit (Poecile montanus) in flight in Kittilä, Finland. Poecile montanus: Dispersal ability has a prominent latitudinal gradient; species that live in temperate regions, like this Willow Tit, can on average fly farther than those that live in the tropics. Credit: Estormiz Bird wings adapted for long-distance flight are linked […]

Catmint emits the odor nepetalactone which triggers a kind of ecstasy in sexually mature cats: They get high on sniffing at catmint plants, roll on the floor and exhibit an unusually playful behavior. Credit: Phil Robinson, John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK Researchers discover the evolutionary origins of the cat attractant […]

Research from the University of Sheffield has revealed why some bird species take longer to develop than others Findings could help scientists predict how animals will adapt to climate breakdown and habitat destruction The study is the first to consider the importance of lifestyle, environment, evolutionary history, and body size […]