Atlantic cod was once one of the most important fish species in the world. The big, long-lived predator helped feed Europe and North America for centuries. But decades of overfishing in the mid–20th century caused populations to crash, wiping out 30,000 jobs in Canada alone and financially devastating many coastal […]

Modern snakefly pictured above Fifty-two-million-year-old fossil snakefly from Driftwood Canyon in British Columbia. Credit: Fossil image copyright Zootaxa Ancient predatory insects discovered in region once thought uninhabitable. Fossil discoveries often help answer long-standing questions about how our modern world came to be. However, sometimes they only deepen the mystery—as a […]

A microscope image of the intertidal flatworm Procerodes littoralis. Credit: Katharine Clayton, University of Plymouth A tiny flatworm found commonly on the coasts of western Europe and North America is living proof that species may be able to evolve and adapt to rapid climate change. Research by the University of […]

An example of what a complete fish fossil coelacanth looks like. This one is from the Jurassic of German. Credit: Professor David Martill, University of Portsmouth A serendipitous discovery of a fossilized bony lung reveals a massive ancient fish. Fossilized remains of a fish that grew as big as a […]

Māori wrasse are large, colorful fish that can be found on the Great Barrier Reef. In a ground-breaking new study, scientists used innovative molecular techniques to explain how corals on the east coast of Australia survived previous tough conditions—enabling the Great Barrier Reef to become the vast reef it is […]

The aerial scene depicts two Late Devonian early tetrapods — Ichthyostega and Acanthostega — coming out of the water to move on land. Footprints trail behind the animals to show a sense of movement. Credit: Davide Bonadonna It’s hard to overstate how much of a game-changer it was when vertebrates […]

Using computer simulations built on reasonable assumptions and conducted under careful control, computational bioscientists can mimic real biological conditions. Starting with the original founding population (ancient phase), they can evolve the population over several thousand generations to develop an intermediate phase, and then evolve that generation another several thousand generations […]

A Hesperapis regularis bee visits a flower of Clarkia cylindrica at Pinnacles National Park. Credit: Tania Jogesh Study of flowers with two types of anthers solves mystery that baffled Darwin. Some flowers use a clever strategy to ensure effective pollination by bees, doling out pollen gradually from two different sets […]

Mollusks of a sample from Southern Israel: in red, those belonging to species of Red Sea origin, in blue, those of Mediterranean origin. Native species are very few, whereas tropical ones are dominant, marking the transformation of the ecosystem. Credit: © Paolo Albano Most native species are going locally extinct, […]

ANIMATION New research by scientists at the University of Bristol explains how a “stop-start” pattern of evolution, governed by environmental change, could explain why crocodiles have changed so little since the age of the dinosaurs. Crocodiles today look very similar to ones from the Jurassic period some 200 million years ago. There are also […]