Tag Archives | Evolution

bejan

Generalized constructal law shows that evolution doesn’t apply only to biological things

A law of physics that explains why larger animals live longer and travel further can be extended to the simplest forms of mass migration on the planet – like rolling stones and turbulent eddies in water and air currents, according to new research from Duke University. “The finding demonstrates that evolution doesn’t apply only to […]

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dog_evos

How climate change created the modern dog




Appearing in Nature Communications, a new study of dog fossils suggests that the evolutionary path of whole groups of predators can be a direct consequence of climate change. “It’s reinforcing the idea that predators may be as directly sensitive to climate and habitat as herbivores,” said study co-author Christine Janis, professor of ecology and evolutionary […]




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Key element of human language discovered in Australian bird




Stringing together meaningless sounds to create meaningful signals was previously thought to be the preserve of humans alone, but a new study published in the journalPLOS Biology reveals that Australian babbler birds are also able to communicate in this way. Researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Zurich discovered that the chestnut-crowned babbler (pictured) – […]




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How evolution shaped our idea of the perfect butt




New research from The University of Texas at Austin sheds light on today’s standards of beauty, attributing modern men’s preferences for women with a curvy backside to prehistoric influences. Specifically, the woman’s ability to better support, provide for, and carry out multiple pregnancies. The study, published in Evolution and Human Behavior, investigated men’s mate preference […]




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male_diverse

Male genetic diversity strangled by wealth and power




Genetic researchers have discovered an extremely dramatic decline in male genetic diversity between 4,000 and 8,000 years ago, while in contrast, female genetic diversity was on the rise. The work, by scientists from Arizona State University (ASU), the University of Cambridge, and the University of Tartu (Estonia), has been published in the journalGenome Research. It […]




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Evolutionary biology could reveal a universal basis for morality




Recent developments in science appear to indicate that the emergence of life in general and perhaps even rational life, with its associated technological culture, may be common throughout the Universe. Now, a new paper appearing in the journal Space Policy suggests this universal tendency toward complexity has distinctly religious overtones and may even establish a […]




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dystopia

How long can our technological civilization last?




By combining the Earth-based science of sustainability with the space-oriented field of astrobiology, two astrophysicists are attempting to answer questions about humanity’s future in the broadest astronomical context. In their paper, which appears in the journalAnthropocene, Adam Frank and Woodruff Sullivan (both from the University of Rochester) propose that climate change, ocean acidification, and species […]




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psand

Scientists uncover biggest-ever flying bird




The fossilized remains of an extinct giant bird with a wingspan of 24 feet place the creature above theoretical upper limits for powered flight in animals, leaving scientists to wonder how the enormous bird managed to take to the air. Named Pelagornis sandersi, the new species was more than twice as big as the Royal […]




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cryptophyte

Algae turn quantum coherence on and off




A team of researchers has discovered how algae that survive in very low levels of light are able to switch on-and-off a quantum phenomenon known as coherence. The function of coherence in the algae remains a mystery, but the researchers think it could help the organisms harvest energy from the Sun much more efficiently. The […]




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New type of avian flu found in Antarctic penguins




An international team of researchers has identified a previously unknown avian influenza virus in a group of Adelie penguins from Antarctica. The new virus is described in a study published this week in mBio. Other research groups have previously detected influenza antibodies in Antarctic birds, but until now no one had detected an actual live […]




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