Ancient Flying Reptiles Featured Distinctly Dino-Like Feathers

Feathers were common among dinosaurs, but scientists aren’t certain if the fur-like coverings of pterosaurs—a group of flying reptiles—were of the same sort seen on dinos and birds or something completely different. The discovery of two exquisite fossils in China now suggests pterosaurs were very much covered in feathers, potentially pushing back the origin of this critically important evolutionary feature by 70 million years. Read More >>

Dolphins Had a Jurassic-Era Reptile Twin Featuring Blubber and Warm Blood

Ichthyosaurs and dolphins are the archetypal examples of convergent evolution in action, in which two completely unrelated species acquire near identical characteristics. The discovery of a new ichthyosaur fossil suggests this Jurassic-era creature was even more dolphin-like than we appreciated, featuring warm-blood, blubber, and even similar camouflage. Read More >>

Toothless, 33-Million-Year-Old Whale Could Be an Evolutionary ‘Missing Link’

A closer examination of a fossil found more than four decades ago has led to the identification of a new species of whale — a 33-million-year-old cetacean featuring neither teeth nor baleen. Its discovery could solve a longstanding mystery about the origin of filter-feeding whales, but some scientists say the new analysis isn’t wholly convincing. Read More >>

Spider Mothers Produce Milk for Their Young, Incredible New Study Shows

Jumping spider mothers provide milk to their spiderlings far into development, according to a new study that might turn your understanding of invertebrate parenting on its head. Read More >>

Scientists Stabbed Cactus Spines Into Meat to Study Evolution

One benefit of working at a university with an agricultural school is the availability of meat. That’s especially useful if you need something to stab cactus spines into. Read More >>

Upsettingly Large Fungus in USA Weighs 440 Tonnes and Is 2,500 Years Old

It’s nicknamed the “humongous fungus” – an unusually large fungal growth belonging to a single genetic individual. An updated analysis of this gigantic fungal beast shows it’s substantially larger and older than scientists initially thought. Read More >>

Mysterious Origin of Extinct Jamaican Monkey Solved With DNA Testing

For nearly 100 years, scientists haven’t been able to agree on the evolutionary origins of a strange, now-extinct monkey that lived and thrived in Jamaica for thousands of years. New research suggests its ancestors arrived from South America, and that life on this tropical island caused the species to acquire its odd set of features. Read More >>

Shallow Waters Allowed Early Fish-Like Creatures to Experiment With Evolution

The conditions under which early lifeforms originated and exploded into the many animal groups we see today is a mystery that has confounded scientists for decades. New research suggests shallow marine environments were a critical testbed for these early animals, providing the perfect space for them to evolve the physical characteristics required for them to move beyond their nearshore cradle. Read More >>

These Crows Are More Clever Than Non-Human Apes When It Comes to Building Compound Tools

Let’s say there is a fifty-pound note wedged behind a bookshelf just beyond your reach, and beside the shelf is a Meccano set. Even a toddler could probably snap together a few of the pieces to fish the note out. But what about an animal? One especially smart crow species seems to have figured out this problem on its own. Read More >>

Ancient Steroid Suggests Sea Sponges Were One of Earth’s First Animals

Scientists from the University of California, Riverside, are claiming to have discovered the oldest known animal fossil—an ancient sea sponge that emerged between 660 million and 635 million years ago. Read More >>

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry Goes to Scientists Who Used Evolution to Create Safer Chemicals and New Drugs

A trio of scientists from the US and the UK have won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry this year for using evolution to their advantage, developing new methods of creating molecules that have already helped us produce safer, greener chemicals and new drugs. Read More >>

Check Out This Incredible Extinct Bird From the Cretaceous Period

The discovery of a 127-million-year-old fossil in northeastern China is filling an important evolutionary gap between modern birds and the winged, dinosaur-like creatures that came before them. Read More >>

Extraordinary Evidence Suggests 558-Million-Year-Old Fossil Is the Oldest Known Animal on the Planet

An international team of researchers is claiming to have discovered traces of cholesterol on a fossil of Dickinsonia—a mysterious creature that lived during the primordial Ediacaran Period. This evidence, the researchers say, makes Dickinsonia the oldest known animal in the fossil record. But the discovery is not without its critics, who say the new work is unconvincing. Read More >>

Misidentified Fossils Could Rewrite the History of Lemurs on Madagascar   

A leading theory of recent decades is that lemurs colonised Madagascar around 50 million years ago. As they dispersed throughout the island and made homes in its tropical rainforests, those ancestral lemurs evolved into the menagerie of species we see today. It’s certainly a romantic idea, but it might also be false, according to new fossil research. Read More >>

Happy #LeftHandersDay! Here’s The Science Of Why So Few People Are Left-Handed

Left-handers aren't very common. In fact, they only represent about 10 per cent of the human population. But a study suggests that the reason lefties are in the minority isn't anything suspect — rather, it boils down to the fact that the human race cooperate more than they compete. Read More >>