Archive | Evolution


Iconic sexual selection study “fatally flawed”

A classic study from more than 60 years ago that suggested males are more promiscuous and females more choosy in selecting mates has informed and influenced evolutionary biology for decades, but a modern day repeat of the experiment indicates the original work may have been fatally flawed. The new work calls into question many of […]

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Worrying and intelligence evolutionarily inseparable

Anxiety and excessive worry, traits that are usually viewed as maladaptive, appear to have co-evolved with the attribute that is viewed as most adaptive – human intelligence. Details of this intriguing research, led by Jeremy Coplan, professor of psychiatry at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, appear in the journalFrontiers in Evolutionary […]

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Size matters: evolutionary changes in body size measured

For the first time, scientists have measured how quickly large-scale evolutionary changes in body size occur. Intriguingly, while it takes 24 million generations for a mouse-sized animal to evolve to the size of an elephant, shrinkage is a much more rapid process. The findings, which focus on increases and decreases in mammal size following the […]

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Brain primed for nakedness

The uniquely human part of the brain that allows us to recognize faces in microseconds is even more sensitive at recognizing another aspect of human bodies – whether they are clothed or naked. Researchers in Finland say that the part of the brain known as the occipitotemporal N170 component is primed to recognize nude bodies […]

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Lasting evolutionary change “slow and rare”

Addressing the long-running debate about short-term vs. long-term evolutionary change, a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that the changes that stick tend to take a long time, and one million years appears to be the magic number. Oregon State University zoologist Josef Uyeda, the lead author of the […]

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Mindless copying a good evolutionary strategy

Comparing the evolutionary success of blindly copying your parents’ lifestyle choices with that of innovative, informed lifestyle adaptations, researchers found that mindlessly copying what your parents did was usually the best strategy for the long-term success of your genes. The researchers, from the University of Exeter and University of Bristol, published their findings inEcology Letters. […]

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